ROCK HILL, S.C. - Elizabeth "Libby" Wilson Patenaude, chair of the Department of Dance of Florida State University and a recognized leader in national dance organizations, has been named dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) for Winthrop. The appointment takes effect July 1.
"I am extremely delighted to have the opportunity to return to my home state of South Carolina, specifically to lead the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. This is an institution that has valued the arts throughout its history and has established itself as one of the few of institutions nationwide that has achieved discipline specific accreditation in visual arts, design, music, theater and dance," Patenaude said. "I am fortunate to be inheriting an extraordinary faculty, highly committed staff, gifted students and a higher administration that understands the importance of the arts in education, in our communities and in our world. It will be my great honor to lead all the departments in the college to the next level of excellence."
Winthrop officials conducted a national search for the dean and received more than two dozen applications for the position. Patenaude will succeed interim dean Don Rogers, who will continue to chair the Department of Music.
"Elizabeth Patenaude has tremendous experience as an arts educator and administrator and a thorough knowledge of the arts in South Carolina," said Tom Moore, vice president of academic affairs. "I’m certain that her background, experience and expertise in the arts will enable her to provide excellent leadership for the College of Visual and Performing Arts."
Winthrop’s College of Visual and Performing Arts has majors in art, design, music, theatre and dance. It also offers teacher licensure curricula in art, music, dance and theatre and is the only school in South Carolina to do so. With a full-time faculty of more than 50 artist/teachers, the college provides the greater Charlotte region with a vast array of outstanding performances and art exhibitions.
A native of Greenville, S.C., Patenaude has served as chairperson of the Department of Dance at Florida State since 1997. Prior to that, she worked for 20 years at Columbia College, establishing the first B.F.A. degree in dance in South Carolina, the first B.A. in dance education leading to certification of dance in the state and the first dance programs in the state to the accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. Patenaude was the visionary behind the establishment of the South Carolina Center for Dance Education, which received major funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation.
While at Florida State, Patenaude was instrumental in developing the graduate degree programs, established the first National center for Choreography in the United States, attracted such artists as Suzanne Farrell and Dan Wagoner to the FSU faculty and successfully lobbied for a $17 million retrofitting in 2004 of the department’s home in Montgomery Hall.
Patenaude earned the recognized terminal degree, her M.F.A. in dance, from University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a B.A. in biology from Columbia College. She has held major leadership roles in the American College Dance Festival Association, the National Association of Schools of Dance and the Florida Dance Association.