Winthrop University President Dan Mahony chose a “different approach” to kick off the school year on Monday with faculty and staff.
In contrast to the formal speeches that marked Winthrop’s opening event in previous years, Mahony talked for only a few minutes Monday during a casual breakfast at McBryde Hall where faculty and staff members socialized. A video of last year’s campus highlights was shown.
Mahony, who became president in July 2015, said he expects to deliver a formal “state of the university” address next month, when he plans to discuss the university’s strategic goals for 2025.
Students are scheduled to begin moving in to on-campus housing for the fall semester later this week, and classes begin Aug. 22.
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Mahony talked about some of the work he believes sets Winthrop apart from other schools, including 346 students from 25 academic departments who are participating in an undergraduate research program.
“I want to bring more people to the campus to see the great work we are doing,” he said.
He also said the campus hosted 10 presidential primary candidates over the past year, which were events that “took everyone to be involved.”
Mahony said Winthrop has 177 registered student organizations, and said he was impressed that more than 300 students and staff volunteered in January for a Martin Luther King Day of Service.
He said Winthrop this year graduated its first class from its Think College, a customized program for students with intellectual disabilities. “They have become a really important part of our campus,” he said.
He said residence assistants offered more than 720 programs for academic success communities, and student callers made more than 26,000 fundraising calls to alumni, parents and friends in 2015, up from 5,000 phone calls in 2014 due to a technology upgrade.
He said Winthrop student-athletes have an average 3.16 grade point average, and 61 percent earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher.
He also said last year the campus had a record number of valedictorians and salutatorians in its freshman class, “and this year we will beat that record with even more.”
Jennifer Becknell: 803-329-4077