The fall 2016 issue of College of Charleston Magazine is making the trek to mailboxes near and far this week! This issue tells the story of talented faculty, students and alumni making a difference in all spheres of life from a 90’s pop star turned philanthropist to a student’s summer in Italy studying public health to the journey of alum Mike Gaumer ’98 as the president of vineyard vines. Here’s a peek at what you can expect when your copy arrives. Or you can read all of the current stories and stories from past issues online.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then what begets reinvention? That question is starting to cross the minds of faculty and staff these days as the College embarks on the process of reaccreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A vital part of this process involves establishing a quality enhancement plan (QEP) for the institution – a five-year vision aimed at adding new and dynamic context to all aspects of campus life and curriculum.
After evaluating a range of proposals, a College committee determined that the plan would center around sustainability literacy. This goal aims to help students work effectively for a more resilient world – whether that’s environmental sustainability, economic sustainability or social sustainability. It’s all about understanding our role in the world – be it human devised systems or the natural environment.
When the BOUNDLESS Campaign started nearly seven years ago, it was the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the College’s history. An effort of passion, vision and dedication from alumni, students, friends and supporters culminated this summer with a total of $138.7 million raised, making BOUNDLESS the College’s most successful philanthropic and engagement effort to date.
The funds raised represent a historic level of giving at the College; however, those totals are but a part of the achievement. It is also the story of a remarkable collective effort. BOUNDLESS shined an inspiring new light on what it means to be part of this extraordinary community, and gathered longstanding philanthropists alongside enthused students, many of whom are making their first step toward a lifetime of involvement.
Viral video sensation William Rainey has been gaining attention once again in the world of golf. Rainey, a member of CofC Men’s Golf, was a 2016 PING All-America honorable mention selection and the first golfer in Cougars history to qualify for the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship as an individual. Last year, he was also named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Academic Team, won the CAA Individual Championship title and earned CAA Most Outstanding Player honors.
But millions of people may know him for something a little different. A viral Vine video featuring Rainey making a slew of memorable trick shots earned him a place in Internet history during his senior year of high school. Highlights include Rainey using a golf club to send a football through a basketball hoop, ricocheting a golf ball off several pots and pans to land inside a red Solo cup and nailing a perfect drive using a dead fish as a tee.
Now a senior at the College, Rainey is ready to up his game after earning his sociology degree this spring. This time he hopes to take a shot at a career on the professional golf circuit.
Life is full of wonder. And, unfortunately, also full of struggle and heartache. Professor Alison Piepmeier – celebrated across campus as an iconoclastic blogger, columnist and thinker – shared a final message of gratitude and love with her students and colleagues in a column for the magazine shortly before she passed away from cancer on August 12, 2016.
“This is a love letter for my College of Charleston students, and for my profession. Love is the right word, I think, because my kind of teaching is about passionate engagement with, and enthusiasm about, ideas, social problems and people. I couldn’t imagine merely ‘liking’ teaching,” Piepmeier writes. She continues: “If you were ever in one of my classes, know that I love you now for the risks you took, the challenging topics you weren’t afraid to discuss, and everything you did to make yourself – and me – a better person.”
These are just a few of the moving and exciting things happening within the College of Charleston family. This issue of College of Charleston Magazine – just like the College itself – has so much to offer, with a wide range of stories highlighting the passion and ingenuity of the College community.