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. The University has been recognized as South Carolina's top-rated university according to evaluations conducted by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Winthrop has been rated by the Commission as "substantially exceeding standards" every year since that classification was created in 2003. The university was also named by the John Templeton Foundation as a University that "encourages character development". 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."
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. 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.
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