Why It’s an Exciting Time to be a Winthrop Eagle
In the last year there has been quite a bit of buzz around town about new and exciting things happening at my alma mater, Winthrop University. I’ve have recently had the good fortune to become more involved and give back to the University, as Full Spectrum Brewing became an official sponsor of Winthrop Athletics last summer. I’d like to share some insight as to why it is such an exciting time to be an Eagle, and why we’re so excited to be a part of the vision and plan for Winthrop Athletics.
Winthrop has a long tradition of being an outstanding teaching university- small class sizes, an emphasis on teaching over research for faculty, and copious student resources, all of which are intended to set students up for success. Kudos to all the faculty and staff, both past and present, for upholding that high standard. One of the exciting attributes of the current faculty is the aggressive pursuit of new and cutting edge education programs to advance the curriculum offered at Winthrop. It is tremendously exciting to talk with these faculty members, and quite impressive that their efforts are supported and encouraged by the administration.
Academics aside, Winthrop’s campus has evolved over the last 15 years into an absolutely breathtaking monument to education. It is simply a beautiful campus to walk through. Incredibly, with all of the new construction there is still a feel of quiet, historic, Southern charm as you weave through the intricate labyrinth of facilities- a true testament to the length and breadth of the detailed planning that has been flawlessly executed. We would be remiss to discuss how exciting it is to be involved with the University today without acknowledging the outstanding job performed by President DiGiorgio and all of those who played a part in so drastically improving our facilities and the foresight they had in designing today’s campus.
Perhaps the most exciting reason to be involved with the University today is the vision of our new president, Dr. Daniel Mahony. After meticulously surveying and cataloging the incredible triumphs and achievements accomplished by President DiGiorgio, President Mahony set about crafting a unique vision to elevate Winthrop to new heights, all built around the cornerstones laid for him.
But the true brilliance of President Mahony’s leadership lies in his strategic planning. His vision for the University is bold and ambitious, yet he has carefully and clearly defined what success looks like at Winthrop. This is not a theoretical ideal for where he would like to take the University, but rather a detailed road map for how to achieve this success with some extraordinarily specific goals, objectives, and checkpoints along the way. And throughout the entire process, President Mahony has reinforced a culture of transparency through the open publication of both the Winthrop Plan and the progress that has been made each year. You can read both here: The Winthrop Plan
The Athletic Department
The excitement, vision, and planning currently taking place with the University is perfectly mirrored by the Athletic Department, and can be traced to one individual: our new Athletic Director, Dr. Ken Halpin.
It should be stated plainly that Winthrop Athletics was never in need of a savior. Under the steady hand of our long time Athletic Director, Tom Hickman, our sports programs saw unprecedented growth and success. The foundation upon which Ken is building is rock solid, thanks to the many years of service that Tom devoted to our University.
Ken has set an quite an ambitious mission for himself and his team: to positively shape the lives of the people who will change the world.
To be blunt, his vision, while a worthy goal, is not what makes him impressive. Writing a broad, warm, glowing mission statement is probably a prerequisite for his job.
No, what makes Ken- and his staff- so impressive and exciting are both the deep, unflinching belief in their mission, and their arduously detailed plan for how to be successful in their mission. He doesn’t just have a pie-in-the-sky idea, he has a roadmap for how to achieve it. And best of all, his plan is designed to outlast his tenure; much as Tom Hickman built a solid foundation for him, Ken intends to build a solid house for his eventual successor.
For the tremendous athletic achievements we have had the privilege of sharing in over the last 20 years, Ken’s vision and strategic plan are intended to continue our ascension among the collegiate ranks for the next 20. He clearly understands that in order to fulfill his mission, he must find creative ways to make the Athletic Department financially solvent. There are a multitude of revenue generating projects that he and his staff have already begun planning. The efforts made by his staff to reach out to alumni and the local community are sincere and genuine, guided by the shared belief in their mission: to positively shape the lives of the people who will change the world. You can read the athletic department's strategic plan here: The Drive to '25.
The syncrony, synergy, and shared vision for how to propel Winthrop to new heights both scholastically and athletically between President Mahony and Athletic Director Halpin make this a unique and exciting time to be a Winthrop Eagle. Under the guidance and strategic planning put forth by these two leaders, the path forward is clear and bright. As an alumnus and local small business owner I’m excited and grateful to be able to be involved with this new chapter, and afforded the opportunity to give back to the school that has done so much for me personally.