Excellence in Graduate Studies Scholarship hits $50,000

February 19, 2019


  • Excellence in Graduate Studies Endowed Scholarship will award two $1,000 scholarships annually
  • Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and must submit a sample of their graduate work
  • Six students have been awarded the scholarship

Gradaute stuROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – An anonymous donor has elevated Winthrop University’s Excellence in Graduate Studies Endowed Scholarship to the $50,000 mark.

The merit-based scholarship is the first of its kind for the Graduate School, which offers 40 different master’s degree programs of study and has nearly 900 graduate students currently enrolled. The endowment will allow Winthrop to provide annually two $1,000 scholarships to students in their second year of graduate school.

Members of the Graduate School’s advisory board have in recent years been focused on fundraising and boosting the program’s visibility on campus and in the community.

Graduate School Dean Jack DeRochi said the fund became the primary focus of the Graduate School over the last three years as a way to signify the importance of graduate education at Winthrop.

“This scholarship is merit-based and highlights the tremendous work, research and creativity of our graduate students,” DeRochi said.

Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and must submit graduate-level work (i.e. a research project, performance or academic paper) as part of the application process.

So far, $6,000 has been awarded in scholarships. Lauren Moore, who is pursuing a Master of Social Work degree, received the graduate scholarship last year and said the graduate program has expanded her breadth of knowledge through research, internships and projects.

“When I received the Excellence in Graduate Studies Scholarship last spring, I was honored and thrilled! Finances have been difficult to manage over the last two years while attending school, and this award relieved some of that financial stress,” Moore said. “I am beyond thankful to have received this scholarship, and it has made a large impact on my stay here at Winthrop. I hope one day to pay it forward,” she said.

The ability to offer more scholarship opportunities to students like Moore is one of the key targets of the Winthrop Plan, the university’s strategic plan through 2025.

Donor support for scholarships is critical and even more important for programs within the Graduate School as fewer scholarships are available for graduate students, as compared to undergraduates. Donor interest in funding scholarships, DeRochi said, signifies that the reputation and outcomes of graduate-level education at Winthrop is growing stronger.

“We know how far we’ve come in offering support to our grad students, and growth in scholarships is truly encouraging,” he said.

Last fall, Winthrop expanded the Graduate School’s programming by launching four online graduate programs: Master of Education in Special Education Intervention, Master of Business Administration, Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in Arts Administration.

The Graduate School will celebrate its annual Graduate Education Week Feb. 18-22.

For more information about how to contribute to the Excellence in Graduate Studies Endowed Scholarship, please call 803/323-2204.

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