Faculty and Staff - March 16, 2021

Dear Colleagues:  

Spring is upon us, and the warmer weather has given us glimpses of what will hopefully be beautiful months ahead. Now that Alison and I are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (and I sincerely hope you’re planning to be as well!), we look forward to getting out more on campus and in the community. In the last few weeks, since it’s National Nutrition Month, Alison has been working with the Department of Human Nutrition’s Food Box to help collect items for the on-campus food pantry. The department collected more than 300 pounds of food recently, and I encourage you to let folks know of this important resource that can provide free food items to students, faculty, staff and members of the Rock Hill community. Alison and I also enjoyed cheering on the men’s basketball team during this month’s Big South Conference tournament at the Coliseum. Read more below about what’s coming up for the team and other items that may interest you:

Eagles Ready to Dance

March Madness is officially here! The 12th-seeded men’s basketball team will face 5th-seeded Villanova in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 19, at the Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:57 p.m., and the game can be watched on TNT. This is the Eagles’ 12th NCAA Tournament appearance, and this game marks the first meeting between the Eagles and the Wildcats. Please tune in if you’re able to watch. I’m very proud of what the team accomplished during such an unprecedented time filled with such uncertainty. The team compiled a history-making season, posting a 23-1 overall record and winning a second-consecutive Big South Championship title (13 titles overall for the program). The Eagles’ 17 Big South Conference wins is a conference record. Congratulations go to Pat Kelsey who was named conference Coach of the Year and senior Chandler Vaudrin who earned Player of the Year honors (and also was named the conference tournament’s Most Valuable Player). Go, Eagles!

Voter Friendly Campus Designation

I am very pleased to report that Winthrop is one of more than 200 U.S. campuses, and one of four colleges in South Carolina, to be designated as a Voter Friendly Campus. Winthrop previously earned the Voter Friendly Campus designation in 2019 and 2017. The initiative, led by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encourage their students to register and vote in 2020 elections and in the coming years. During the latest election season, campus was abuzz with a variety of virtual events and activities to get out the vote, and I appreciate the work of all involved who helped our students understand the importance of being life-long civically minded and engaged citizens.

S.A.F.E. Testing Dates

I encourage you to take advantage of three upcoming Saliva Assay Free Expedited (S.A.F.E) COVID-19 testing opportunities. Representatives from USC’s College of Pharmacy will be in McBryde Hall on March 23, April 6, and April 20 to provide a quick and painless way for students, faculty and staff to get tested for COVID-19. This is a free, and voluntary, testing option for those who are not experiencing any symptoms. For those who may be experiencing symptoms, free COVID-19 testing site is available six days a week in the Winthrop Coliseum parking lot.

Upcoming Board of Trustees Meeting

The Board of Trustees will hold its quarterly meeting April 8-9. We will be discussing a wide variety of topics from across the university during committee meetings as well as at the full board meeting. Be on the lookout for the meeting agenda which will be e-mailed to the campus community closer to the dates.

As the finish line of another successful semester comes into view, I know we are all looking forward to signs of normalcy. I am very excited about what’s to come in the next couple of months, including April’s Faculty, Staff and Retirees Ceremony and May’s in-person Commencement ceremonies. The return of these long-standing and celebratory events gives me hope that better days are ahead.



George Hynd

Interim President