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04/26/2016

May 7 Commencement a Celebration for Seniors and President Mahony

Quick Facts

 As Mahony considered options for the official and symbolic investiture ceremony, his desire to engage students—who are the core of the academic enterprise—was paramount.
 Both the morning and afternoon ceremonies will feature aspects of the investiture to recognize the official start of Mahony’s presidential tenure.

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Dan Mahony
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Melody Tankersley

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University’s May 7 Commencement exercises will celebrate not only the graduation of more than 700 undergraduates, but also the investiture of President Daniel F. Mahony as the university’s 11th president.

As Mahony considered options for the official and symbolic investiture ceremony, his desire to engage students—who are the core of the academic enterprise—was paramount. Incorporating the investiture with May Commencement allows students, families and friends to participate, along with faculty and staff.

Both the morning and afternoon ceremonies will feature aspects of the investiture to recognize the official start of Mahony’s presidential tenure.

During the 10 a.m. Commencement for the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Visual & Performing Arts, Mahony will receive the president’s hood. Nearly 390 graduates from the two colleges will receive their degrees and witness the event. S.C. Senator Wes Hayes, chair of the York County legislative delegation, will read a letter of congratulations from Governor Nikki Haley, while Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols ’77 will bring greetings from the city.

At the 3 p.m. Commencement for the College of Business Administration and Richard W. Riley College of Education, Mahony will receive the president’s medallion, give remarks and welcome investiture speaker Melody Tankersley ’84, ’86, the senior associate provost and interim dean of graduate studies at Kent State University. That ceremony will involve nearly 290 business and education seniors receiving their degrees.

Tankersley has ties to both Mahony and to Winthrop. Prior to coming to Winthrop, Mahony served for seven years as dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, and as a professor of sport management at Kent State University in Ohio. While there, he worked with Tankersley, who received both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in special education from Winthrop. 

Tankersley's speech will highlight a few of Mahony's many qualities that make him a great scholar, teacher, and leader. "His sense of fairness and commitment to excellence, his tremendous analytic ability, and his capacity for strong and clear-sighted direction combine to make him a strong leader for Winthrop," she said. "In Mahony, Winthrop has a president who will motivate and energize others, who will bring people together for a shared purpose—and he’ll do so with great warmth and respect for all."

As Kent State’s senior associate provost, Tankersley provides leadership in all aspects of academics. The Pickens, South Carolina, native is responsible for assisting the Provost in planning, directing, evaluating, and developing undergraduate and graduate academic programs, policies and procedures. As interim dean of graduate studies, she offers administrative and strategic direction to Kent State’s Division of Graduate Studies.

Tankersley has been a faculty member and administrator in Kent State’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services since 1993. A professor of special education, she earned her doctoral degree from the University of Virginia and a post-doctoral fellowship from the University of Kansas.

Her doctoral pursuits were built upon her Winthrop education. Tankersley specializes in the prevention and treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth. She has published more than 100 professional books, chapters and journal articles, and addressed more than 200 national and international audiences regarding her area of expertise. Tankersley’s work has been recognized internationally—most recently being awarded the James M. Kauffman Publication Award for a scholarly work that results in knowledge leading to exemplary practice.

Winthrop alumni, faculty, staff, students and members of the community are welcome to attend the ceremonies in person or participate by watching a livestream broadcast of the events that will be available May 7 on the university’s homepage.

Earlier that week, on May 5, the university will hold graduate Commencement at 7 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum. Nearly 245 students will receive master’s or specialist degrees during the ceremony.

For more information on Commencement and the investiture ceremony, please visit www.winthrop.edu/investiture or contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or longshawj@winthrop.edu.


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