Faculty and Staff - September 17, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

We are quickly approaching the one-month mark of the fall semester, and I’m pleased to report that because of the campus’ collective safety efforts, our vaccination clinics and incentives program, as well as our masking requirement, Winthrop has fared well during the COVID-19 delta variant surge. Our numbers have remained low, and in just the last three weeks we hosted three COVID-19 vaccine clinics where 68 people received the vaccine. Three more clinics are scheduled for Oct. 1, Oct. 6 and Oct. 14. Watch the Daily Digest for more information on times and locations of these clinics, and I encourage you to take advantage of them to receive your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already. Let’s all continue to do our part to keep our campus, and one another, healthy!

In other news, 65 people have pledged a Year of Service to the REVITALIZING WINTHROP Campus Beautification Initiative (CBI). I would like to thank those who have volunteered their time for the next year to work on various campus projects, which will freshen up our already beautiful campus for us all to enjoy. You can still pledge your Year of Service, and I encourage you to learn more about this important initiative on the CBI website.

Other items I’d like to share with you include:

Washington Monthly Student Voting Accolade

In addition to this week’s U.S. News “Best Colleges” announcement, I’m happy to share that Winthrop has been included, for the fourth year in a row, in Washington Monthly’s “Best Colleges for Student Voting” rankings. This emphasizes Winthrop’s commitment to civic engagement, and I thank each of you who had a part in helping us achieve this important recognition. I encourage you to read more about our inclusion in this press release.

Homecoming Expanding to Three Weekends

Due to continued concerns over COVID-19, the university is planning to welcome alumni back home for Homecoming festivities over the course of three weeks. Each week, events will lead up to celebratory weekends on Oct. 8-9, Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 12-13. Staggering Homecoming and class reunions over three weekends will allow for smaller groups of alumni to safely gather on campus. While we will not be able to offer Homecoming on the Green or tailgating this year, there will be a good mix of in person and virtual events in which the campus community can participate. Visit theHomecoming website for all of the planned activities.

Campus Master Plan

Later this month, representatives from Quakenbush Architects and Ayers Saint Gross, the two consulting firms procured to oversee the Campus Master Plan process, will be conducting virtual focus groups and interviews with a diverse group of campus stakeholders who were identified through divisional vice presidents for this phase of the process. In addition, everyone is invited to stop by the Community Concourse between 1:30-5 p.m. on Sept. 28 to learn more about the process and share your thoughts about Winthrop’s campus today and in the future. Feedback gathered will be instrumental in setting the vision and direction for the campus over the next 10+ years, so I encourage your participation.

Facilities Updates
There is a lot of important facilities work happening on campus, some of it very noticeable while other work is happening behind the scenes. The exterior work replacing the roof and windows on McLaurin Hall is wrapping up (doesn’t it look great?), and interior improvements are next for this historic building. The Coliseum also will be receiving a much-needed new roof, as will Dacus Library, Joynes, the West Center and others. These projects, and more, are long overdue, and the university is investing millions of available dollars this year to address them.

You can hear more about these projects from James Grigg, associate vice president for facilities management, who hopes to provide a comprehensive facilities projects update at upcoming meetings of Staff Conference and Faculty Conference. You also can read more about what’s in the works on the facilities management website. Some of you also may be curious as to when Starbucks will reopen, and that is scheduled to happen in November.

Finally, the Presidential Search Advisory Group is working diligently to plan ways you can be involved in the search process. Please watch your email in the coming days to see how and when you can participate in surveys and town halls that are important to this information-gathering process.

I would like to thank each of you for everything that you are doing to ensure that we have a successful fall semester. As these updates attest, we’re off to a great start!



George W. Hynd
Interim President