Faculty and Staff - August 21, 2023

Let’s get the fall semester started!

We will officially kick off Winthrop’s 138th academic year at our annual Convocation ceremony at 11 a.m. today in the West Center. I hope you’ll join me for this special time as we officially welcome our freshmen and transfer students into the Winthrop family. Then, please plan to stay afterwards for the picnic on the Margaret Nance lawn. Please note that offices will close from 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in order for everyone to attend Convocation and the lunch.

I can attest that our students are eager to get this semester underway. Lauren, members of the Board of Trustees and senior leadership, and I helped move students in on Friday, and there was so much excitement in the air. I’m always impressed with our new Eagles and can’t wait to see them spreading their wings on campus. Before the start of classes, I’d like to share with you just a few items of interest below:

Board Activity

Trustees met last week to approve Winthrop’s 2023-24 operating budget (more to come on that under separate cover), and earlier this month, they set their meeting dates for this year. You can view those dates here.

Campus Master Plan Info Sessions

Mark your calendars for one of two opportunities to hear the latest on the Campus Master Plan. You may recall the board adopted the plan at its June meeting, and I am pleased that James Grigg and Chris Johnson have offered to host two information sessions in Dina’s Place during common time, 11am-12:15pm on Sept. 5 and 14.

Changes Within Office of the President

I wanted to mention briefly some changes that became effective July 1. Since March, University Communications and Marketing has reported through VP of Enrollment Management and Marketing Joe Miller, and we are making that official for the foreseeable future. In addition, Kevin Sheppard, Title IX coordinator and ADA compliance officer, is reporting to Vice President for Student Affairs Shelia Burkhalter.  The University Events area is still part of the Office of the President, but under Tammie Phillips who is now executive director of the office. As you may recall from June’s board action, University Counsel Todd Hagins has assumed the duties of secretary to the Board of Trustees. Some of these changes are now reflected in a streamlined Cabinet directory on my website as well as other places on the web. 

Garnet and Gold Fridays

I hope you’ll continue to join me on Fridays by wearing Garnet and Gold! Wear that Winthrop sweatshirt/T-shirt/hoodie with pride to show off that Eagle spirit! If you need some new Winthrop apparel, check out the bookstore and use your employee discount to score some new swag or you may purchase swag online here and here.

I can’t wait to see you today at Convocation and at various events this semester. Let’s work together to have a wonderful academic year. What a great time to be an Eagle! 


Edward A. Serna