Posted on: December 12, 2017
Hello students, parents, alumni, faculty, and friends,
Finals are underway and winter break is on the horizon, so I’d like to take a moment to wish you and your family a very happy, healthy, and festive holiday season. As we prepare to celebrate the commencement of our Fall 2017 graduates next week, I also want to say thank you to our faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and parents for the difference you have made this year in the lives of our students and the future of our fields.
As the semester and calendar year starts to wind down, please take time to celebrate great things that we have accomplished together in 2017. While there are too many to name in one letter, I would at least like to highlight a few of the achievements that we can all feel proud of:
- We have been energized with the addition/new appointments of 16 new faculty and staff to our team, including acclaimed and innovative scholars from around the world, industry leaders, and experts dedicated to our students’ career success.
- Our student recruitment broke new records with more than 700 new students this fall and we reported more than 2,300 undergraduate students enrolled in our college this year, including department records in RETL and SPTE. We are growing and resilient!
- SPTE was recognized for the second year running as part of UofSC’s ranking as No. 1 in the U.S. and its graduate and undergraduate programs to continue to be ranked in the top ten in the U.S.
- RETL was cited as No. 4 among the top 20 prominent retailing institutions in the world, and continues to be featured on a number of listings for top programs.
- HRTM is still recognized as No. 6 in the U.S. for hospitality schools and jumped three spots to No. 4 for its hospitality management undergraduate program.
- We formed new partnerships:
—Building new career opportunity pipelines for our students with partners like Aramark, The Statler Foundation, and The Alotian Club.
—Becoming one of only ten universities in the country to offer a collaborative fashion and design study abroad opportunity with Regent’s University London.
—Establishing the first university partnership with WIX.com and NCR to transform our eCommerce education.
—Establishing four new partnerships with schools abroad to expand our global visibility and network.
—Developing a prestigious college sport research archive collection.
- We hosted engaging events like our Alumni Homecoming celebration and Ron Shapiro executive lecture event.
- We continue leading our field through research productivity—giving presentations around the world and publishing articles that have gone on to be the most downloaded for the year.
This is only a fraction of the good news coming from our college this year alone. We are better each day than the day before, and I’m excited to continue growing, strengthening, and transforming the way we do things to continually push our success to the next level.
While we can quantify our success in some ways, even more important than the stats or percentages are the intangible connections and personal impact we create. Our passion and engagement is what our students remember most and it is what helps them achieve their personal and professional goals. Thank you to everyone who takes those moments to share sage advice, listen to what a student might be struggling with, or to help an alumnus make a connection that leads to a new job. We are blessed with the opportunity that only a very small fraction of people have: to work with the hope and future of the next generation.
I look forward to a great 2018 together, and wish you a joyous, healthy and prosperous New Year. If you ever need anything or have an idea you would like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Happy holidays and go Gamecocks!