Winthrop University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Winthrop University
Winthrop University seal.svg
MottoVeritas cum libertate
Motto in English
Truth with liberty
Established1886; 135 years ago (1886)
Endowment$62.3 million (2020)[1]
PresidentGeorge Hynd
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

34°56′20″N 81°1′50″W / 34.93889°N 81.03056°W / 34.93889; -81.03056Coordinates: 34°56′20″N 81°1′50″W / 34.93889°N 81.03056°W / 34.93889; -81.03056
425 acres (172.0 ha)
ColorsGarnet and gold[3]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig South
MascotBig Stuff
Winthrop University logo 2018.svg

Winthrop University (Winthrop or WU) is a public university in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It was founded in 1886 by David Bancroft Johnson, who served as the superintendent of Columbia, South Carolina, schools. He received a $1,500 grant from Robert Charles Winthrop, a Boston philanthropist and chair of the Peabody Education Board in Massachusetts. The school was originally established in Columbia to educate young women to teach in the public schools.

Winthrop has developed into a university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees through five colleges and schools. It has enrollment of about 6,000 students. The majority of Winthrop's students are from South Carolina, with out-of-state and foreign students accounting for 13% of undergraduate enrollment. The 100-acre (40.5 ha) main academic and residential campus is located in Rock Hill, 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina and 71 miles (114 km) north of Columbia, South Carolina.

Fielding athletic teams known as Winthrop Eagles, the university participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level as a member of Big South Conference. The athletic program is known for its success in volleyball, basketball, soccer, and tennis.


Winthrop University was founded In 1886, when the Peabody Education Board of Massachusetts, headed by Robert C. Winthrop, provided $1,500 to form the "Winthrop Training School" for white women teachers. That year the school opened its doors to twenty-one students in Columbia, South Carolina. Nine years later in 1895 it moved to Rock Hill. The school's name had changed in 1893 to "Winthrop Normal and Industrial College of South Carolina", reflecting its mission to prepare some students for industrial jobs.

The college was segregated until 1964. It became fully coeducational in 1974. Evolving from a training school to a college with a four-year full curriculum, it also developed a graduate division. By 1992 it reflected this development, changing its name to Winthrop University.[4]


Tillman Hall, built 1894

The university's campus is in the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina. The Winthrop College Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), as are Tillman Hall and Withers Building.[5] The Winthrop University campus has its own zip code of 29733. Rock Hill has a total of five historic districts listed on the NRHP.

Winthrop's campus is divided into two distinct areas: The main campus which houses the academic buildings, residence halls, library and campus center, and the more recently constructed 317-acre (128.3 ha) Recreational and Research Complex, located about one mile northeast of the main campus.

Winthrop's main campus has had extensive development since the late 20th century. A $12 million Dalton Hall opened in 1999.[6] The Courtyard at Winthrop, which features apartment-style residences for students, opened in 2003.[7] The Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education and Wellness Center opened in 2007; it is the new home of the University's physical education department and intramural sports.[8] The most recent addition, in 2010, is the DiGiorgio Campus Center, which added a 128,000-square-foot (11,900 m2) multi-purpose campus center. This features a 225-seat movie theater, food court, campus bookstore, post office, and casual dining. The DiGiorgio Center is connected to the West Center via an open-air plaza.

Withers Building College of Education (1912)

Ninety-one (91%) percent of freshman and forty-five (45%) percent of all undergraduate students live on-campus.[9]

The Research Complex hosts the Piedmont Wetlands Research Project, a golf course (open to faculty, students and alumni), and a world-class disc golf course. (This has been the site of the United States Disc Golf Championship since its opening in 1999).[10]

In 1943 First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the university. It has become common for presidential candidates to visit the university during election season. In 2015, a forum for the Democratic party was held on campus, which included candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. President Barack Obama spoke at Winthrop in 2008 when he was first a presidential candidate.

Winthrop's campus has served as the site for filming of numerous movies, television and other video productions, including the 2008 film Asylum (starring Sarah Roemer), and the 1999 film The Rage: Carrie 2. Additionally, the Winthrop Coliseum has hosted numerous television tapings of various syndicated television programs.


The university grants undergraduate degrees through four colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the Richard W. Riley College of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. In all the university offers 43 undergraduate and 27 graduate degrees.[11] Winthrop University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master's and specialist degrees.[12] Currently, the student-faculty ratio is 14:1.[13]

Owens Hall, built 2007
Owens Hall, built 2007


The university employs 286 full-time and 222 part-time faculty members, 59 of whom are classified as minorities and 290 of whom are women. Of the 286 full-time faculty members, 248 have earned their terminal degree, 34 have a non-terminal master's degree and one has a non-terminal bachelor's degree.[14]

The campus police department is known as the Winthrop University Police Department. The department has 11 sworn officers[15] serving a student population of 6,109.[16]


Winthrop was ranked the #17 Regional University in the South in 2020 by US News, as well as the #8 best college for Veterans and #11 best college for teaching.[17] Winthrop has been recognized as South Carolina's top-rated university according to evaluations conducted by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.[18] Winthrop has been rated by the commission as "substantially exceeding standards" every year since that classification was created in 2003.[18]

Student life[edit]

The university has 6,073 students. Undergraduate students come from 42 states and 45 countries. There are 135 undergraduate international students enrolled.[2]

Of the student population, 5,014 are undergraduate students and 1,059 are graduate students. The student body is 29 percent male and 71 percent female. The student body is 28 percent African-American and 60 percent white, non-Hispanic.[2]

The university's average size of undergraduate lecture courses is 22 students. All freshman and second-year students are required to live on campus, unless they live at home with their parents or legal guardians.[19]

Student culture[edit]

Hardin Family Garden
Hardin Family Garden
Johnson Hall theatre (1920)

Winthrop's DiGiorgio Student Union Program Board has been ranked the best Program Board in the nation three times for the quality and variety of programming, including both lecturers and entertainers. The trade publication Campus Activities Magazine has ranked the university as having the "Best Campus Program" in the nation in 1995, 2002, 2004 and 2013. Winthrop is the only university in the nation to be on the ballot every year since this award was inaugurated in 1995.[18]

In addition to completing the academic requirements of their chosen degree, full-time Winthrop undergraduates, in order to graduate, are required to attend three cultural events for every 20 semester hours.[20] The university maintains an extensive calendar of events that qualify as being "cultural events".[21]

Cultural events are typically on a wide variety of subjects, and have included in the past:

  • Films (both in English and foreign languages)
  • Plays
  • Concerts (Chamber, jazz, orchestral, cand on the university's Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ)
  • Sculpture and art exhibitions
  • Lectures and discussions

The university has more than 180 student organizations. It has eight campus ministries, 11 club sports teams, seven cultural organizations, 19 clubs associated with an academic department, 19 Greek organizations, 19 Honor Societies, 19 special interest clubs and groups, three political groups, 23 professional groups, seven non-ministry religious groups, nine university representatives, seven residence hall councils and 10 service groups.

Greek life[edit]

The university recognizes 19 chapters of national fraternities and sororities with over 700 students members. Fraternities include Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Tau Kappa Epsilon. Sororities include Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Chi Omega, Delta Sigma Theta, Delta Zeta, Sigma Gamma Rho, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Zeta Sigma Chi, and Zeta Tau Alpha.[22]

Student media[edit]

The Johnsonian, Winthrop's independent weekly student newspaper, has been published since 1923. It's available in print on campus and digitally on[23] In 2016, it was voted as the top student newspaper in the state of South Carolina by the S.C. Press Association.[24]


The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes on the Division I level.

Winthrop is a charter member of the Big South Conference.[25] Winthrop's teams are known as the Eagles and their colors are garnet and gold.[26]

The university sponsors 18 intercollegiate teams (eight men's and 10 women's) in baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track on the men's side, and basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and volleyball on the women's side.[27]

The university has labeled itself "The Campus of Champions" as its intercollegiate athletic teams have experienced success in recent years. Specifically, the university has won numerous Big South Conference championships in the following sports: baseball (three since 1995), men's basketball (eleven since 1988), men's cross country (two since 2000), men's soccer (six since 2002), men's tennis (four since 1997), women's tennis (20 since 1994), softball (three since 1989), women's lacrosse (two since 2015), and women's volleyball (four since 2002).[26]


Winthrop Coliseum
Winthrop Coliseum

At the heart of the university's athletic facilities is the Winthrop Coliseum. In addition to serving as the home venue of the men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams, the university's athletic department offices are located in the Coliseum. The arena features 6,100 permanent seats and hosts numerous non-university shows and events in addition to Winthrop athletic contests.[28] The Coliseum also served as the temporary practice site of the NFL's Carolina Panthers until completion of the team's facilities in Charlotte.[29]

The Winthrop baseball team plays at Winthrop Ballpark, a multimillion-dollar 1,989-seat baseball stadium which opened in 2003.[30]

Opened in 2005, the university's track and field teams compete on the $2.8 million Irwin Belk Track Complex. The facility hosts numerous Division 1 meets.[31]

The university's soccer teams compete at the recently completed Eagle Field. The facility features 1,800 permanent seats, a press box, field house, and a Daktronics LCD scoreboard. In addition, the playing field is a Tifway 419 hybrid Bermuda grass with Eagle Blend and Sun Star.[32]

The softball team competes at the Winthrop Softball Complex, which opened in 2001. The facility includes four fields, locker rooms, and an indoor batting cage.[33]

The tennis teams compete at the Winthrop Tennis Complex, which opened in 2003. The complex includes 12 lighted courts, seating for 300, and a clubhouse with public restroom facilities, locker rooms, and offices.[34]

Men's basketball[edit]

Perhaps the university's most well-known athletic team is the men's basketball team, which has earned a berth in eleven NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournaments since 1999. Additionally, it has won the Big South Conference Championship twelve times (1988, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2017, and 2020).[35] Winthrop has won more Big South Conference Championships than any other school in the conference.

On March 5, 2007, the Winthrop Eagles men's basketball team was ranked in the Top 25 of both major college basketball polls for the first time in school history.[36] The Eagles were ranked #22 in the USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 poll and #24 on the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll. Later that spring on March 16, 2007 the Winthrop Eagles defeated Notre Dame for the first NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament win in school history.[37]

Seven men's basketball championships came during Gregg Marshall's tenure as head coach. He left Winthrop to become the head coach at Wichita State University. Marshall's assistant at Winthrop, Randy Peele, was named as his successor and led the Eagles to win Big South Championships in 2008 and 2010.[38]

In March 2012, Winthrop named Pat Kelsey as the new head coach of the Eagles.[39] Under Kelsey, the program has a record of 139–83. In 2017, the Eagles earned a #13 seed in the NCAA tournament but lost to #4 Butler in the opening round. The Eagles earned an automatic bid into the 2020 NCAA tournament, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women's tennis[edit]

Since the mid 1990s, the Winthrop's women's tennis team has become the dominant force in the Big South conference, winning 20 out of 25 conference tournament championships since 1994. In the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship, Winthrop beat Auburn to make it past the first round for the first time in school history.[40] Lauren Proctor rose to no. 14 in national rankings during that same season.[41]

Hole #17 on both the Lakefront and Gold disc golf courses at Winthrop University

Notable people[edit]








  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Official Fall 2012 Undergraduate Student Profile" (PDF). Winthrop University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 June 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  3. ^ Winthrop University Visual Identity Manual (PDF). 2018-02-01. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-04-05. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  4. ^ "Winthrop University Chronology". Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "Welcome to the Winthrop Virtual Tour!". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
  6. ^ "Master of Science in Biology". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  7. ^ "Courtyard at Winthrop". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
  8. ^ "West Center". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  9. ^ "Common Data Set 2011-112, Part B: STUDENT LIFE" (PDF). Wintrop University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-20. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  10. ^ "Tournament History". United States Disc Golf Championship. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
  11. ^ "Winthrop University Student Handbook" (PDF). Winthrop University. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 7, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  12. ^ accessdate = 2013-07-11
  13. ^ "About WU". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  14. ^ "Common Data Set 2011-12, Part I: INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY AND CLASS SIZE" (PDF). Wintrop University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-20. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  15. ^ Winthrop University: Campus Police - Contact Us
  16. ^ Winthrop University - About Winthrop University
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b c "Institutional Achievements". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on December 20, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
  19. ^ "Common Data Set 2009–2010" (PDF). Winthrop University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  20. ^ "The Cultural Events Requirement". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  21. ^ "Cultural Events". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  22. ^ "Winthrop University: Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs - Home Page for the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  23. ^ "My TJ Now - Winthrop University Student Newspaper". My TJ Now. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  24. ^ "Winthrop University: News & Events - The Johnsonian Wins First-Place Student Newspaper in the State". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  25. ^ "Big South Conference History". Big South Conference. Archived from the original on 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  26. ^ a b "Winthrop Athletics". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  27. ^ "Winthrop Eagles". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  28. ^ "Winthrop Coliseum". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  29. ^ "Carolina Panthers History". National Football League. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  30. ^ "Winthrop's New Ballpark Is A 'Jewel'". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  31. ^ "The Irwin Belk Track". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  32. ^ "Winthrop University Soccer Complex". Archived from the original on 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  33. ^ "Winthrop Softball Complex". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  34. ^ "Winthrop Tennis Complex". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  35. ^ "Men's Basketball". Winthrop University. Archived from the original on 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  36. ^ "Winthrop Cracks The Top 25 In Men's Basketball National Rankings". Winthrop University. 2007-03-05. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  37. ^ "Winthrop Upsets No. 6 Seed Notre Dame 74–64 In NCAA First Round". Winthrop University. 2007-03-16. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  38. ^ "Peele Takes Over After Four Years As Assistant Coach". Winthrop University. 2007-03-16. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  39. ^ "Men's Basketball Coaching Staff". Winthrop Eagles. Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  40. ^ "2018 DI Women's Tennis Championship". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  41. ^ "Lauren Proctor Rises to No. 14 in National Rankings". Winthrop University Athletics. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  42. ^ "Experts Worry Active Shooter Drills In Schools Could Be Traumatic For Students". Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  43. ^ Gaudiano, Nicole. "Drugs, depression, discipline problems plague schools where deadly shootings occurred". Politico PRO. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  44. ^ "Run, Hide, Fight: Starting School with Active Shooter Response Training". Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly. 2019-09-05. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  45. ^ Connor, Eric. "First openly gay legislator in South Carolina faces re-election that will test modern GOP". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  46. ^ "North Carolina's 9th District won't have representation in Congress at start of new year". WCNC. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  47. ^ Massie, Victoria M. (2016-03-21). "Why did Bernie Sanders do better with black voters in the Midwest? We asked 4 experts". Vox. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  48. ^ Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (2018-12-19). "South Carolina Republican Party could skip 2020 primary to help Trump". Fox News. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  49. ^ "Senate Confirms Trump's Census Bureau Director Nominee Steven Dillingham". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  50. ^ "Senate confirms new Census Bureau director as 2020 survey approaches". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  51. ^ "Winthrop University: News & Events - Winthrop Alumnus Confirmed as Census Bureau Director". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  52. ^ MervisJul. 20, Jeffrey; 2018; Pm, 5:30 (2018-07-20). "Census Bureau nominee becomes lightning rod for debate over 2020 census". Science | AAAS. Retrieved 2019-01-16.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  53. ^ "Women Wielding Power-South Carolina". Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  54. ^ ""Martha Thomas Fitzgerald Papers - Accession 273" by Martha Thomas Fitzgerald". Archived from the original on 26 December 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  55. ^ Chip Huggins Archived May 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine SC House bio
  56. ^ Linda Short Archived 2007-08-21 at the Wayback Machine SC Senate bio
  57. ^ O'Mara, Dan (2014-05-06). "Winthrop alum Lois Rhame West, former SC first lady and 'bright light,' dies". The Herald (Rock Hill). Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  58. ^ "Winthrop University: Recreational Services – Wofford Hall – 1967". Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  59. ^ Burlingame, Jon (2014-11-07). "Leigh Chapman, Actress and Screenwriter, Dies at 75". Variety. Archived from the original on 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  60. ^ "Winthrop Celebrates Women's History Month". Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  61. ^ Koetsier, John. "IBM: How to Drive Marketing & Innovation Via Customer Review Sites". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  62. ^ "Can review sites make or break million-dollar software deals?". TechHQ. 2019-11-13. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  63. ^ "Amber Armstrong of IBM with Robin Carey: What Is IBM Verse?". Social Media Today. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  64. ^ "Riverbanks' new CEO shares how his work in theme parks helped shape vision for the zoo". thestate. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  65. ^ "Stringfellow Named New CEO of Riverbanks Zoo". WLTX. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  66. ^ "50 Most Influential People Of 2018 | Columbia Business Monthly". Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  67. ^ "Riverbanks CEO on his favorite Columbia places to eat, drink, play". thestate. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  68. ^ "Meet Chad Steele, aka the guy behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis at Super Bowl". 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  69. ^ magazine, Baltimore (2017-02-10). "Top Ravens Staffer Had to Convince Tom Brady He Actually Won Super…". Baltimore magazine. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  70. ^ "'NFL Films Presents': Chad Steele's fascinating Super Bowl job". Retrieved 2019-02-04.

External links[edit]

Media related to Winthrop University at Wikimedia Commons