ROCK HILL, S.C. — Winthrop University’s faculty shine in and out of the classroom. With their scholarly pursuits, faculty members tell stories of remarkable women, improve schools, study consumer engagement, unveil mysteries of authors, and discover the attitudes and trends of politics.
The Winthrop campus and surrounding communities can learn more about these pursuits through a series of special events held during Inauguration week, March 24-29. These faculty-led events lead up to the March 28 Investiture Ceremony when President Jamie Comstock will be officially instated as Winthrop’s 10th president and will become the second woman to be inaugurated as Winthrop president. The 2-4 p.m. ceremony will be held in Byrnes Auditorium. Attending will be presidents and representatives from universities and colleges across the nation, state and local dignitaries, faculty, staff and students. Following the ceremony is a campus-wide reception in the West Center.
Below are faculty-led events that are free and open to the public:
Monday, March 24
Amy Gerald, associate professor of English, will discuss "Forgotten Daughters of South Carolina: The Grimké Sisters, Abolition, Women's Rights, and Rhetoric.” The sisters -- Sarah and Angelina Grimké -- were 19th-century abolitionist agents and early women's rights activists who delivered nearly 100 speeches on a tour of New England, wrote public letters arguing for the right to speak out against the injustice of slavery, and lent their voices to the influential American Slavery As It Is (1839). Yet in Charleston, S.C., where they were born and raised, there is almost no public acknowledgment of them or their work.
Tuesday, March 25
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Professor of Marketing Jane Thomas and Assistant Professor of Marketing Stephanie Lawson explore how consumer engagement begins at a young age and evolves over a lifetime, including the impact of technology and the emergence of "collaborative" consumption. Thomas is frequently consulted on her marketing work for Black Friday pieces nationally and locally.
South Carolina Mother of the Year Award Archives Commemoration and Tea
Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections
Archives Director Gina White and Jennifer Leigh Disney, director of the women's studies program, will give a presentation on the S.C. Mother of the Year Award Oral History Project. In addition, an exhibit on notable women represented in the recent book “Seventy Years of Remarkable Women: South Carolina Mothers of the Year” will also be on display. Records from the S.C. Mother of the Year Committee are housed in the Pettus Archives.
Wednesday, March 26
Gregg Hecimovich, professor of English and chair of the English Department, will discuss how he and his students identified Hannah Bond as the true author of "The Bondwoman's Narrative," the first novel written by an African-American woman. The manuscript was purchased in 2001 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., professor of African-American literature and history at Harvard University, who initially sought to verify its authenticity. Hecimovich’s research went farther and identified which former slave of a plantation in North Carolina was the author. His work has received national attention in scholarly and popular circles and publications, and he currently is writing a book, "The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts,” that is expected to contribute significantly to the study of slave narratives and 19th century transatlantic studies.
Thursday, March 27
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Professor of Political Science Scott Huffmon discusses the science of polling and the role polling plays in politics. Huffmon is director of the Winthrop Poll. The poll is a nationally recognized, long-term survey initiative designed to keep public policy makers across the country in touch with the attitudes and opinions of citizens in South Carolina and the entire southern region.
For more information on Inauguration events, please visit www.winthrop.edu/inauguration/events.
About Winthrop and the Inauguration of 10th President Jayne Marie Comstock
The March 24-29 Inauguration of Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock as Winthrop's 10th president signals a new era in the history of this top-ranked regional public comprehensive university. Comstock has charted a bold course for Winthrop's future, redefining public higher education by prioritizing both quality and access in a single institution. Serving more than 6,000 students, Winthrop blends liberal arts, professional programs, global understanding, and civic engagement in a diverse community of learners. Students leave Winthrop prepared for successful careers, engaged in a democratic society, responsive to local and global concerns, and grounded in values that give meaning to their lives. Comstock's vision for Winthrop will ensure that all students - regardless of demographic category or life experience - have access to an exceptional public higher education. Comporium is the proud presenting sponsor of Inauguration activities.