Winthrop University

Winthrop University
Motto Veritas cum libertate
Motto in English
Truth with liberty
Type Public
Established 1886
Endowment US$43.6 million[1]
President Daniel F. Mahony
Academic staff
Students 6,170
Undergraduates 5,029 [2]
Postgraduates 1,141 [3]
Location Rock Hill, South Carolina, U.S.
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
Campus Suburban
425 acres (172.0 ha)
Colors Garnet and gold[4]
Nickname Eagles
Mascot Big Stuff
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig South

Winthrop University, often referred to as Winthrop or WU and formerly known as Winthrop College, is a public, coeducational, liberal arts university located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, United States. Founded in 1886 by David Bancroft Johnson, who served as the superintendent of Columbia, South Carolina, schools, received a $1,500 grant from Robert Charles Winthrop, a Boston philanthropist and chair of the Peabody Education Board. The school originally opened in Columbia to educate young women to teach in the public schools.

Winthrop offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through five colleges and schools and has current enrollment of about 6,000 students. The 100-acre (40.5 ha) main academic and residential campus is located 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina and 71 miles (114 km) north of Columbia, South Carolina in Rock Hill.

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 basketball and soccer. The majority of Winthrop's students are from South Carolina, with out-of-state and foreign students accounting for 11% of undergraduate enrollment. The university offers a number of extracurricular activities to its students, including athletics, honor societies, clubs and student organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities. Alumni and former students have gone on to prominent careers in government, business, science, medicine, education, sports, and entertainment.


Winthrop University was founded In 1886, when the Peabody Education Board, headed by Robert C. Winthrop, provided $1500 to form the "Winthrop Training School" for women teachers. That year the school opened its doors to twenty-one students in Columbia, S.C., and nine years later in 1895 moved to Rock Hill, S.C.. The school's name had changed in 1893 to "Winthrop Normal and Industrial College of South Carolina". The college opened its admissions to minority students in 1964 and became fully coeducational in 1974. Evolving from a 'training school' to a 'college', and finally to become a comprehensive institution with a graduate division, this growth was reflected in the school's name change in 1992 to "Winthrop University".[5]


River's Journey

The University's campus is located in the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina, in one of that city's five historic districts. Tillman Hall, Withers Building, and the Winthrop College Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6] The Winthrop University campus also has its own zip code of 29733.

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 317-acre (128.3 ha) Recreational and Research Complex located approximately one mile northeast of the main campus.

Winthrop's main campus has seen extensive development during the last decade. A new $12 million Dalton Hall opened in 1999.[7] The Courtyard at Winthrop, which features apartment style residences for students, opened in 2003.[8] The Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education and Wellness Center was opened in 2007 and serves as the new home of the University's physical education department and intramural sports.[9] The most recent addition, in 2010, is the DiGiorgio Campus Center, which added a 128,000-square-foot (11,900 m2) multipurpose campus hub featuring 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.

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

In addition to hosting the University's intercollegiate athletic facilities, the Recreational and Research Complex also hosts the Piedmont Wetlands Research Project, a golf course (open to faculty, students and alumni), and a world-class disc golf course (which has been the site of the United States Disc Golf Championship since its inception in 1999).[10]

Winthrop's campus has served as the location for 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. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was the first high profile visitor to Winthrop in 1943. Winthrop University is a focal point for presidential elections; it is common for presidential candidates to visit the campus during election season. Most recently, a forum for the Democratic party was held on campus in 2015, which included candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama spoke at Winthrop in 2008 as a presidential candidate.

Ninety-one (91%) percent of freshman and forty-five (45%) percent of all undergraduate students live on-campus.[11]

Digiorgio Campus Center, built 2010


Owens Hall, built 2007

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 42 undergraduate and 26 graduate degrees.[12] 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.[13] Currently, the student-faculty ratio is 14:1.[14]


The University currently 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 1 has a non-terminal bachelor's degree.[15]

Tillman Hall, built 1894


Winthrop has been ranked in numerous college rankings. U.S. News & World Report has chosen Winthrop for inclusion in its listings 21 straight times.[16] The university has been recognized as South Carolina's top-rated university according to evaluations conducted by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.[17] Winthrop has been rated by the Commission as "substantially exceeding standards" every year since that classification was created in 2003.[17] The university was also named by the John Templeton Foundation as a University that "encourages character development".[17] In addition, Winthrop has received numerous Top-10 Regional Public University (South) rankings by U.S. News & World Report and has been rated among the Princeton Review's "Best Southeastern Colleges."[17]


Winthrop's tuition for the 2012–13 academic year is $24,476 per year for out-of-state undergraduate students and $13,026 for in-state undergraduate students. Room and board is currently $7,258. Currently, 4,587 undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid.[18][19]

Student life

Winthrop Monolith, built 2010

The University comprises 6,170 students. Undergraduate students come from 34 states and 37 countries.[2]

Of the student population, 5,029 are undergraduate students while 1,141 are graduate students. The student body is 33 percent male and 67 percent female. The student body is 30 percent African-American students, and 60 percent white, non-Hispanic. There are 174 undergraduate international students enrolled.[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.[20]

Student culture

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 named the university as having the "Best Campus Program" in the nation four times: 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.[17]

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.[21] The university maintains an extensive calendar of events that qualify as being "cultural events".[22]

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

The university has over 150 student organizations. It has nine campus ministries, 15 club sports teams, six cultural organizations, 15 clubs associated with an academic department, 16 Greek organizations, 10 Honor Societies, 16 special interest clubs and groups, four political groups, 20 professional groups, 11 non-ministry religious groups, 10 university representatives, eight residence hall councils, and 15 service groups.


Main article: Winthrop Eagles

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.[23] Winthrop's teams are known as the Eagles and their colors are garnet and gold.[24]

The university sponsors 18 intercollegiate teams (8 Men's and 10 Women's) in the sports of 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.[25]

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 (3 since 1995), Men's Basketball (9 since 1988), Men's Cross Country (2 since 2000), Men's Soccer (6 since 2002), Men's Tennis (4 since 1997), Women's Tennis (10 since 1994), Softball (3 since 1989) and Women's Volleyball (4 since 2002).[24]


Practice game at Winthrop Coliseum, built 1982

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.[26] The Coliseum also served as the temporary practice site of the NFL's Carolina Panthers until completion of the team's facilities in Charlotte.[27]

Winthrop Coliseum Basketball pregame

The Winthrop baseball team plays at Winthrop Ballpark, a multimillion-dollar 1,989-seat baseball stadium which opened in 2003.[28]

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.[29]

The university's soccer teams compete at the recently completed Eagle Field. The facility, considered by many to be one of the top intercollegiate facilities in the country, 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.[30]

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.[31]

The tennis teams compete at the Winthrop Tennis Complex which opened in 2003. The complex includes 12 lighted courts, seating for 300 and a club house with public restroom facilities, locker rooms and offices.[32]

Men's basketball

Perhaps the University's most well-known athletic team is the Men's basketball team which has earned a berth in nine NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournaments since 1999. Additionally, they have won the Big South Conference Championship in 1988, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.[33]

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.[34] The Eagles 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.[35]

6 of the 8 Men's Basketball team's championships and national rankings came during Gregg Marshall's tenure as head coach. Marshall left Winthrop to become the head coach at Wichita State University. Marshall's assistant at Winthrop, Randy Peele, was named as Marshall's successor, and led the Eagles to their most recent Big South Championship in 2008 and subsequent 13 seed in the NCAA tournament[36]

On March 6, 2010, Winthrop defeated Coastal Carolina University by a score of 64–53 in the Big South Conference championship game, marking the 10th time Winthrop has won the Big South men's basketball tournament – a conference record. By winning the conference tournament, Winthrop secured an automatic bid into the opening round game of the NCAA tournament, their ninth appearance in that tournament and also a conference record. Winthrop also appeared in the first "opening round game" of the NCAA tournament in 2001 (formerly called the "play-in game") wherein two teams with automatic berths compete for one of the #16 seed positions. Only Florida A&M has also made more than one appearance in this game.

In March 2012, Winthrop named Pat Kelsey as the new head coach of the Eagles.[37]

Notable alumni

Athletic alumni


  1. As of 2013."Financials". Winthrop University Foundation. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Official Fall 2012 Undergraduate Student Profile" (PDF). Winthrop University. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  3. "Official Fall 2012 Graduate Student Profile" (PDF). Winthrop University. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
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  10. "Tournament History". United States Disc Golf Championship. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
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  12. "Winthrop University Student Handbook" (PDF). Winthrop University. Retrieved 12–11–12. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13.| accessdate = 2013-07-11
  14. "About WU". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  15. "Common Data Set 20011-12, Part I: INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY AND CLASS SIZE" (PDF). Wintrop University. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  16. "Winthrop Excellence". Winthrop University. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 "Institutional Achievements". Winthrop University. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
  18. "Schedule of Fees". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  19. "Room and Board". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  20. "Common Data Set 2009–2010" (PDF). Winthrop University. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  21. "The Cultural Events Requirement". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  22. "Cultural Events". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  23. "Big South Conference History". Big South Conference. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  24. 1 2 "Winthrop Athletics". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  25. "Winthrop Eagles". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  26. "Winthrop Coliseum". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  27. "Carolina Panthers History". National Football League. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  28. "Winthrop's New Ballpark Is A 'Jewel'". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  29. "The Irwin Belk Track". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  30. "Winthrop University Soccer Complex". Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  31. "Winthrop Softball Complex". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  32. "Winthrop Tennis Complex". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  33. "Men's Basketball". Winthrop University. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  34. "Winthrop Cracks The Top 25 In Men's Basketball National Rankings". Winthrop University. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  35. "Winthrop Upsets No. 6 Seed Notre Dame 74–64 In NCAA First Round". Winthrop University. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  36. "Peele Takes Over After Four Years As Assistant Coach". Winthrop University. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
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  38. Burlingame, Jon (2014-11-07). "Leigh Chapman, Actress and Screenwriter, Dies at 75". Variety. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  39. "Women Wielding Power-South Carolina". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  40. ""Martha Thomas Fitzgerald Papers - Accession 273" by Martha Thomas Fitzgerald". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  41. Chip Huggins Archived May 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. SC House bio
  42. Linda Short SC Senate bio
  43. O'Mara, Dan (2014-05-06). "Winthrop alum Lois Rhame West, former SC first lady and 'bright light,' dies". The Herald (Rock Hill). Retrieved 2014-07-13.
  44. "Winthrop University: Recreational Services – Wofford Hall – 1967". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
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