Faculty and Staff - December 21, 2022

What a Memorable Commencement!

The Winthrop Coliseum could not contain the excitement of our newest graduates as they crossed the stage in front of family and friends! I was honored to be a part of it and look forward to many Commencements to come.

Before we depart for winter break, I’d like to touch on a few items of interest...

Institutional Updates
Our work with Gray Associates on the next phase of the academic master plan continues. We are behind schedule for completion due to some key data needing to be made available to them, but I am confident their work will wrap up early in the new year. 

We will soon have a consultant chosen for our strategic planning work which will kick off in the spring semester. Our solicitation was successful, and bids are currently being assessed.

The Provost position will close Jan. 17. Our partners at Myers McRae will assist with the search. A Winthrop search committee will soon be named, and I expect we will host candidates on campus in February or early March.

Esports and Club Sports
As you may have seen on social media, our esports team has continued to do well this fall. After our Valorant team finished fifth place in the Red Bull Campus Clutch in Dallas in November, our League of Legends team made it to the semi-finals earlier this month at the LA Comic Con Invitational along with teams from Grand View, Maryville and Saint Louis. Our teams are being paid to travel to these national tournaments for a chance to win prize money for the program. Coach Josh Sides also is working to expand esports into a club at Winthrop so the university will be more appealing to students interested in gaming and looking for a school with a competitive esports program.

In other club sports news, Winthrop has identified part-time coaches for our new disc golf and corn hole teams, both of which have begun practicing. Athletic Director Chuck Rey is the driver for taking club sports to the next level at Winthrop, and I am excited the university is exploring this as a marketing and enrollment strategy.

Facilities/Campus Updates

Weather permitting by early new year, we aim to finish the last phase of the Coliseum roof project, wrap up the DiGs Plaza lower-level pavers and Richardson ballroom entrance, and install the first phase of the swings on Scholars Walk (Kinard end). We have selected the contractor for the Byrnes fire restoration work (this must be done before we can get to the renovation work), and we eagerly await a start date for the project. 

Finally, my holiday wishes are that we all enjoy a peaceful and restful winter break and greet the New Year in good health and spirits, ready to take on the spring semester.


Edward A. Serna