Happy New Year! One of my favorite things about welcoming a new year is looking back on the previous one. At Wofford College that means celebrating a rigorous academic program, international study and travel, community-based learning, internships, research-experiences, our residential program and much more. Here are a few highlights from 2017:
- Wofford was named #4 in the nation among baccalaureate colleges and universities for the percentage of students who study abroad for credit. We also were ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, Forbes, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and The New York Times.
- We opened two new buildings giving students additional opportunities in the arts and athletics.
- We received significant grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Daniel-Mickel Foundation, the Jolley Foundation, the AARP Foundation and the Council of Independent Colleges.
- Wofford joined the American Talent Initiative, an effort to substantially increase the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at the nation's top-performing undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates.
- Six Wofford students studied abroad free of charge thanks to their selection as Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholars, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Two other students also studied abroad in China as Critical Language Scholars, also sponsored by the state department.
- Our athletics teams enjoyed an exciting year with the football team making it to the FCS quarterfinals, volleyball competing in the Southern Conference Tournament finals and men's basketball defeating the defending national champion UNC Tar Heels to start their season.
- Coach Mike Ayers retired at the end of 2017 after 30 incredible years leading the Terrier football team, and the first order of business in 2018 was hiring Josh Conklin, former defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh, to carry the mantle forward.
- We completed a campus-wide assessment of diversity and inclusion and hired new faculty as part of the Milliken Sustainability Initiative at Wofford College.
The new year begins with the 50th anniversary of the college's January Interim and the opening of a new fitness and recreation center for students in the Benjamin Johnson Arena. The spring semester also will bring new speakers, exhibits, concerts, plays and athletics events. We invite you to join us, and, as always, we welcome your partnership and your unfailing support of higher education and Wofford College.