Shaun Cassidy Named Winthrop's 2020-21 Thompson Scholar
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Shaun Cassidy Named Winthrop's 2020-21 Thompson Scholar

September 10, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • While in previous years the award had been for course-release funding, this year marks the first time the Thompson Scholar will receive a monetary award.
  • The Thompson Scholarship will allow Cassidy to introduce students to the many facets of being a public artist, including project application, ideation, model building, fabrication and installation of projects.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – For the first time since 2016-17, Winthrop University has appointed a new Thompson Scholar: Professor of Fine Arts Shaun Cassidy.   

The $5,000 award, generated through the Robert and Norma Thompson Endowment which was established during the university's first capital campaign, is given to support work on projects that strengthen the academic, intellectual and co-curricular life of the university. While in previous years the award had been for course-release funding, this year marks the first time the Thompson Scholar will receive a monetary award. 

“Shaun Cassidy meets our highest expectations for this award,” Bob Thompson said. “He exemplifies Winthrop’s student-centered priorities, and his community outreach is a great asset for Rock Hill, the university and the students engaged.” 

“The Thompson Scholarship will allow me to introduce students to the many facets of being a public artist, including project application, ideation, model building, fabrication and installation of projects,” Cassidy said. “These real-world skills will provide students with the skills to apply for public art projects upon graduation.”  

It’s a task Cassidy has heavily focused on during his more than 20 years at Winthrop. He’s helped lead the Department of Fine Arts’ work with the city of Rock Hill to extend public art off campus and into the city and surrounding areas.  

His projects with students have included: 

*A public art piece, entitled “Wheels in Motion,” for the city’s Knowledge Park Corridor roundabout

*BMX-inspired sculptures at the corner of East Main Street and Dave Lyle Boulevard 

*Various installed bike racks across the city  

The British-born Cassidy studied sculpture in England and Canada and worked as a studio assistant for Sir Anthony Caro in London before moving to the U.S. in 1991. His work has been shown extensively across the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille, France, and the Socrates Sculpture Park in New York, and been featured in “Art in America” and “Sculpture Magazine.”   

Bob Thompson, retired vice president of Springs Industries, formerly served on Winthrop’s Board of Trustees from 1992-05 and 2008-14, including a term as chair. His other civic commitments include serving as chair of the Winthrop Foundation and on the Board of Visitors. He received the College of Business Administration’s Pinnacle/Summit Award in 2011, which recognized him for his leadership and support of public and higher education. His wife, Norma Thompson, has dedicated her life to the community as a homemaker, former elementary school teacher and civic volunteer.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or chisarin@winthrop.edu.   

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Last Updated: 11/9/20