Faculty and Staff - April 17, 2023

A moment of gratitude.

Last week was truly one to remember. Our campus was bustling with activities and events that showcased our amazing students, talented faculty and staff, rich history and bright future. And as I was walking about last week, several times Winthrop’s breathtaking beauty stopped me in my tracks. I’m reminded of how fortunate I am, and we all are, to work here. With less than three weeks left in the semester, I wanted to take just a few minutes to provide you with some important updates:

Strategic Planning Info Sessions and Surveys
As you are aware, we are currently in the midst of our strategic planning process with our partners at Berkeley Research Group (BRG). Our recently launched strategic planning website has detailed information on the process, BRG, the process timeline, steering committee members and more. I invite you to learn more about the process from BRG’s Project Delivery Lead Faisal Amin, with whom we are working closely, at Staff Conference on Friday, April 21 at 10 a.m. in G02 Owens Hall or at Faculty Conference on Friday, April 21 at 2 p.m. in Whitton Auditorium. Faisal will give a short virtual presentation on the strategic planning process at each conference and will field any questions. In addition, all faculty and staff members will soon receive via e-mail a survey to complete. Please prioritize completing this 5-10 minute online survey because your input—your ideas, opinions and recommendations—will influence Winthrop's direction for years to come.

Alumni Association and Winthrop Foundation Offices Moving
The Morgan-Holcombe Alumni Center and the Winthrop Foundation, both currently located on the third floor of Tillman Hall, will move this summer to the Stewart House. Our Trustees voted favorably on the move in December, noting the unique property is a major and highly visible campus asset. The Stewart House will provide ample parking and easier access for some alumni and donors than the current location, and it fulfills the vision of our generous donors, Betty Morgan Holcombe ‘56 and her husband, Milton, who made it possible. Read more about the Stewart House’s history and the move in this press release.

Faculty, Staff, Retirees Ceremony
Please join me next week on Tuesday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m. in McBryde Hall to celebrate and recognize the achievements of our retirees, service award recipients, and winners of the Award of Excellence, Staff Member of the Year Award, Faculty Student Life Award and Mary Spann Richardson Award. Offices will be closed from 9:15-11:15 a.m. so that everyone may attend.

Upcoming Board of Trustees Meeting

The Board of Trustees will hold its quarterly meeting April 27-28. We will be discussing a wide variety of topics from across the university during committee meetings as well as at the full board meeting. The meeting’s agenda will be sent out via e-mail next week.

Day of Understanding Event

Please join me and the Winthrop Diversity Council as we celebrate PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) CEO action initiative on diversity and inclusion during the upcoming Day of Understanding to be held Thursday, May 4, at 11 a.m. in Dina’s Place. Director of the International Center and Interim Dean of University College Leigh Poole will moderate the internationally themed session. I want to thank Myles Calvert, Catherine Chang, Monique Constance-Huggins, Duha Hamed, Anna Romanova, Danko Tarabar and Silvia Wozniak who will share their stories and answer questions. I also want to acknowledge the continuing, positive work of Winthrop’s Diversity Council.

May Commencements

I look forward to celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of our newest graduates on Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m. for Graduate Commencement and on Saturday, May 6, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for Undergraduate Commencement. All events will be held at the Winthrop Coliseum. The 10 a.m. ceremony will celebrate visual and performing arts plus arts and sciences graduates. The 3 p.m. ceremony will recognize business and education graduates. I am pleased to share that Peter Judge, interim provost, will be our Undergraduate Commencement speaker.

As always, thank you for all that you do for Winthrop. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event or two!


Edward A. Serna