Students - August 31, 2023

I’m thrilled to welcome you to Winthrop. We are happy the hustle and bustle of the academic year has returned after a relatively quiet summer!

I want to issue you a charge for this year – and if you attended Convocation last week you heard it there first: Be present.

Tune out the distractions. Put down the phone. Give yourself a break from the noise, and be present in what will likely be one of the most formative and enjoyable times of your life. Make time to fully experience Winthrop: meet people, forge relationships, join the club or organization, stay on campus during the weekends.

Trust me when I say these next few years will fly by. My time as a Winthrop student and my first year as president sure did. Embrace this place and let it shape you.

With the theme of being present, I want to encourage you to participate in several things noted below:

Campus Master Plan Information Sessions

This summer the Winthrop Board of Trustees adopted the Campus Master Plan as a living document to take the Winthrop campus into the next decade. I hope you’ll save the dates of Sept. 5 or Sept. 14 for opportunities to learn more about our Campus Master Plan. The two sessions will be held during common time (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.) in Dina’s Place. Chris Johnson ’93, sustainability coordinator, and James Grigg, associate vice president for facilities management, will provide updates about facilities projects underway, possible placement of future academic and residential facilities, as well as the funding sources available for renovation and new construction. The master plan will support the direction of Winthrop's new strategic plan (see more on this below) which will be unveiled in the coming months. Learn more about the Campus Master Plan here

Strategic Planning Town Hall

Excitement is building as the strategic planning process crosses the halfway point! If you completed a strategic planning survey or participated in a focus group during the spring, thank you! We have had such fantastic response to the many opportunities to be involved, and now we have another event just for you! Please join me, Gary Simrill ’91, chair of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and our partners at Berkeley Research Group (BRG) for a town hall on Monday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. in Dina’s Place. This session is especially for students to update you on all the great work that's been accomplished to date, share findings from the data collection phase, present the direction of our strategic plan, and solicit your feedback. If you have questions you’d like answered, I invite you to share those questions with BRG in advance by noon on Friday, Sept. 15, so they may be addressed during the presentation, or if time, asked/answered live toward the end of the town hall session. The confidential email to use for question submission is; this address goes directly to BRG and nowhere else.

Garnet and Gold Fridays

One thing I will admit – I always look for the opportunity to ditch the suit (and especially the tie!) That’s why I can wholeheartedly endorse Garnet and Gold Fridays. For new students, this is what we do as we head into the weekend. Wear that Winthrop sweatshirt/T-shirt/hoodie with pride each Friday to show off your Eagle spirit! If you need some new Winthrop apparel, check out the bookstore or you may purchase swag online here and here.

Student Office Hours and AMAs

I want to get to know you! I’m happy to once again be hosting in-person student office hours and monthly Ask Me Anything sessions this fall. These sessions will be promoted on campus and on social media (follow me on Facebook and Instagram!). Sign up for office hours or stop by the DiGs during one of my AMAs (the first AMA is Sept. 21 during common time, and the focus will be strategic planning) and let’s get to know each other.

Free Admission to Athletic Events

Did you know that students can attend all regular season home sports events for free? Simply show your Winthrop ID to gain admission. I look forward to seeing you cheering on our teams and supporting our student-athletes. Go Eagles!

Finally, I want to wish you the best this academic year! Remember, be present and enjoy the ride! I hope to see you soon!

Always an Eagle, 

Edward A. Serna