Winthrop University is a public university in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It was first founded in 1886 as Winthrop Training School in a one-room building. Today, more than 6,200 students attend the university.
Winthrop is located in a historic district of Rock Hill. Its park-like campus is divided into two areas: the main campus, where residence halls, academic buildings, student center, and library are located; and the Recreational and Research Complex northeast of the main campus, which houses athletic facilities, the Piedmont Wetlands Research Project, a golf course, a word class disc golf course, and research facilities. The university also includes a recreational area known as The Farm.
Winthrop has been recognized as one of the best public universities in the South by both US News and World Report and The Princeton Review. The student-to-faculty ratio at Winthrop is 15:1, and the average class size is 22. The school offers over 40 undergraduate majors and about 25 graduate degrees.
Academics at Winthrop are divided into five colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the Richard W. Riley College of Education, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and University College. University College is home to the Global Learning Initiative, a multicultural initiative which is implemented through classes in all topics; musical, dance, and theatrical performances; increased study abroad opportunities; and peer mentorship around issues of diversity.
In order to graduate, Winthrop students must attend at least three cultural events per semester. These events may include concerts, art exhibitions, plays, fine arts films, technology lectures, or other academic presentations.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, so prospective students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications may be made starting at the conclusion of the junior year of high school.
In addition to the wide range of state and federal financial aid options available to college and university students in South Carolina, Winthrop offers several of its own need- and merit-based scholarships. Over 80% of Winthrop students receive financial aid of some kind.
Students come to Winthrop from more than 40 states and nearly 50 foreign countries. The student body is roughly 68% female and 32% male.
Living on Campus
Over 40% of students, including 90% of freshmen, live on campus. Residence halls include traditional dormitories Margaret Nance, Wofford, and Richardson; suite-style halls Lee Wicker and Thomson; and apartment complexes, Roddy Apartments and The Courtyard at Winthrop. High-speed Internet access is available in every building on campus, including all residence hall rooms.
Dining on Campus
In addition to a traditional buffet-style dining hall, Winthrop offers several convenience food outlets at the DiGiornio Campus Center. They include Einstein Brothers Bagels, Sushi with Gusto, Burger Studio, Popeyes Louisana Kitchen, Kettle Classics, Express, Topio’s Classic Pizza, Zoca, Jump Asian Express, and Drinks (a combination coffee shop/soda fountain).
Clubs and Organizations
There are more than 180 student organizations on the Winthrop campus to meet the personal and professional interests of a wide range of students. Organizations include such varied options as Association of Ebonites, Bicycle Club, Guild of Emerging Metalsmiths, Improv This, Quidditch Team, Vision of Prayze, and Grilling Club. The Student Government Association is the voice of the student body in administrative and other public matters. The Student Union Program Board is widely recognized for excellence in extracurriculuar academic and recreational programming.
The Student Services office offers a wide range of support services to assist students in academic success. These services include academic counselling, career counselling, employment placement services, personal counselling, testing services, and disability services.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletic department at Winthrop is known as the Eagles. The Eagles compete in the NCAA Division I and in the Big South Conference. School colors are garnet and gold, and the mascot is a character called “Big Stuff”. Men’s teams include baseball, tennis, track and field, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, and golf. Women’s teams include volleyball, basketball, track and field, tennis, cross country, golf, softball, and soccer. Many of the teams are known for their especially strong performances in recent years, including men’s soccer, men’s cross country, both men’s and women’s tennis, volleyball, softball, men’s cross country, and men’s basketball. There are more than 30 intramural sports for recreational athletes.
There is an annual male beauty pageant at Winthrop called The Big Man on Campus Pageant. This popular event raises money for the speech and hearing impaired.
The Winthrop campus is 20 minutes from the city of Charlotte. With a population of over 730,000 people, Charlotte is home to many cultural, recreational, and culinary attractions, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Mint Museum of Art, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and the Levine Museum of the New South. Charlotte is also in close proximity to the Appalachian Trail, which can be walked from Charlotte north well into the state of Maine.
There are a large number of other colleges and universities in the area as well, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Belmont Abbey College, Queens University of Charlotte, Johnson & Wales University, and Johnson C. Smith University. Given the huge concentration of students in the area, there are an enormous number of bars, clubs, shops, and restaurants catering to the university crowd.
Well-known Winthrop University alumni include:
Professional soccer players John Gilkerson, Daniel Revivo, Stephen Nsereko, Henry Kalungi, Patrick Mitrovich, David Kenga, Michael Luk, Marco Reda and Matt Stinson
Professional basketball player Craig Bradshaw
Professional baseball players Kevin Slowey and Ben Thurmond
Bassist for The Avett Brothers Bob Crawford
National Organization for Women founder Dr. Mary Gaulden Jagger
Historian Anne King Gregorie
Actress Andie MacDowell
South Carolina politicians Chip Huggins and Linda H. Short
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.