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05/03/2018

Retiring VP Plans to Give Advice to Graduates at Saturday's Commencement

Quick Facts

 Keynote Speaker Frank Ardaiolo will give his speech twice at the Winthrop Coliseum, once during the 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and again at 3 p.m. for those graduating from the Richard W. Riley College of Education and the College of Business Administration.
 There will be almost 400 students receiving their undergraduate degrees during the morning ceremony and almost 300 in the afternoon ceremony.

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Frank Ardaiolo
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University’s Commencement speaker for its May 5 ceremonies is Frank Ardaiolo, vice president for student life who will retire next month.

He’ll be giving advice to graduates for their future success.

Ardaiolo will give his speech twice at the Winthrop Coliseum, once during the 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and again at 3 p.m. for those graduating from the Richard W. Riley College of Education and the College of Business Administration.

There will be almost 400 students receiving their undergraduate degrees during the morning ceremony and almost 300 in the afternoon ceremony.

In his 29 years at Winthrop, Ardaiolo dedicated himself to helping students as well as promoting diversity, citizenship and internationality in his work and private life. His legacy is the dozens of students who learned leadership and organizational skills at Winthrop and parlayed that into student life careers at universities across the country.

Raised in Portugal and West Africa, Ardaiolo has served as chair of the Board of Trustees for Friends of Liberia, a non-profit, non-governmental organization. He also served as a United Nations-sanctioned peacekeeper during the 2005 Liberian elections.

He also led student and alumni trips to Greece, Turkey, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Great Britain in an effort to raise global awareness.

As he winds down his career, Ardaiolo has received two awards recognizing the contributions to his profession and the Rock Hill community. He was the recipient of the 2017 Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean for the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education through the NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education organization for demonstrating sustained professional achievement in student affairs work.
 
Ardaiolo also received the 2018 Dream Keeper Award by the city of Rock Hill exemplifying the ideals of social responsibility, political empowerment, diversity, racial harmony, nonviolence and unselfish service.

Ardaiolo earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs from Assumption College, followed by a master’s degree and a doctorate in higher education administration, political science and African studies, from Indiana University.

Heavy traffic Expected Saturday

Rock Hill residents who are not attending the Saturday Commencements may want to stay away from the coliseum area due to the heavy traffic anticipated. Traffic lines are expected on and off from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Eden Terrace.

Signs will be posted near the coliseum encouraging those not attending to take a different route. Those who live on Eden Terrace between Richmond Drive and Bradley Street will have access to their residences.

Graduate Commencement on May 3
Winthrop also will hold a Graduate Commencement on May 3 for those receiving their master’s and specialists’ degrees for about 225 students. The 7 p.m. ceremony takes place at the coliseum.

Live Stream of All Ceremonies
For those who cannot attend, the May 3 and 5 ceremonies will be available via live stream on YouTube. Please visit the university's homepage and click on the "Commencement Information" graphic to access the video and other important information regarding Commencement.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu or at 803/323-2404.

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