President Mahony Details Winthrop Accomplishments During Fourth State of the University Address

October 29, 2019


  • President Dan Mahony delivered his fourth State of the University address on Oct. 29.
  • He highlighted the accomplishments achieved toward the Winthrop Plan.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Winthrop University President Dan Mahony highlighted numerous accomplishments — including the university’s best overall ranking in 25 years in the U.S. News and World Report’s edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” a new Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program and fundraising successes — during the Oct. 29 State of the University address.

The president, speaking in the Richardson Ballroom, delivered his third update on the Winthrop Plan, which guides the university through 2025 with initiatives to drive enrollment, retention, student success, diversity and fundraising.

Highlights from Mahony's address included:

Third party endorsements continue to roll in — In addition to the university’s best overall ranking in 25 years in the U.S. News and World Report’s edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” the university also was designated a Purple Heart Campus by the Military Order of the Purple Heart for its support of military members, including veterans and their families. Winthrop also received its second voter friendly campus designation from two national nonpartisan organizations.

Graduation rate exceeds targets — Winthrop’s 6-year graduation rate, which tracked the fall 2013 cohort, was 64 percent, which exceeded the 2019 stretch target and 2025 target. Mahony also noted that a large majority of students who graduate do so in four years or less, a trend that he hopes will continue. This is Winthrop’s highest graduation rate in all of the years for which the university has records.

Other new records are set — A record number of applications - 6,101 - were received from prospective students for this year’s incoming freshman class and freshman applications are up again from this time last year. Additionally, Athletics reported that more than 70 percent of student-athletes were placed on the Big South Conference’s Presidential Honor Roll for the 2018-19 academic year, a record graduation success rate (GSR) of 90 percent, and membership into the Eagle Club reached an all-time high of 600 members.

External funding reached nearly $10 million — Thanks to several large federal and state grants, the university received nearly $10 million to conduct state-wide polling, pilot a York County opioid treatment project, upgrade the university’s electrical infrastructure and implement a Teacher Quality Partnership grant to retain teachers in high-need districts.

Winthrop takes top spot for minority hiring — Winthrop took the top spot, after being in second place for the last few years, among the 10 state four-year universities by meeting its affirmative action goals for recruiting, retaining and promoting minorities and women.  Winthrop exceeded the 2025 stretch target for the percentage of faculty/managerial staff who are African American, Latin American, Native American, Asian or International. The university went from a baseline of 14 percent to 21 percent in its minority hiring.

Winthrop remains fiscally sound — The university’s true unrestricted net position reached the highest mark in Winthrop history at $22.4 million, which is about a 111 percent increase since 2013. In addition, the university’s debt ratio continues its impressive downward trend from a baseline of .54 in fiscal year 2015 to .41 in 2019, which exceeds the 2019 target and almost matches the target for 2025. Unrestricted annual giving surpassed the 2025 target of $700,000 and was the second highest total in Winthrop history.

Partnerships are enhancing the quality of life for Winthrop and Rock Hill — The Winthrop community will continue to benefit from a number of important community partnerships, such as the My Ride free electric bus system, Miracle Park, the new Carolina Panthers’ training facilities, the upcoming NCAA basketball development camp which Winthrop will help host, continued development of Knowledge Park and much more. These partnerships show the vital role Winthrop is playing in the community.

Mahony concluded his remarks by thanking the Winthrop community for the hard work that went into making these accomplishments possible.

Visit Mahony's website and look for the full report on all of the plan metrics. A video of the full State of the University presentation is also available for viewing.

For more information, contact Monica Bennett, director of communications, at or call 803/323-2236.

Button ArrowALL NEWS