The following  message from Interim President Stephen C. Osborne ’73 regarding the College’s upcoming 250th anniversary was sent to the campus community on Jan. 15, 2019:

Dear Campus Community:

I hope you had a wonderful holiday break that was both productive and restful.

I’m writing today to provide the College community with an update on our plans for our 250th anniversary celebration. As many of you know, the College turns 250 years old on January 30, 2020. To properly mark this milestone, the College will be celebrating and commemorating this anniversary in a variety of ways: from telling our full story to holding signature academic and campus events beginning in late fall 2019 and running throughout 2020. 

You may recall that last semester I invited our entire College family to take an online survey, which asked you to rank order your preference on several proposed themes for our 250th anniversary. I’m pleased to announce that the results are in and the College has selected a theme. I will be unveiling the theme during a campus event on January 30, 2019, in the Cistern Yard from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please mark your calendars and be sure to join me and your fellow Cougars for what will be an exciting birthday celebration and campus moment. We’ll have music from the Chucktown Sound (the College’s revamped pep band), cupcakes, drinks, and free t-shirts!

As you can imagine, celebrating our 250th anniversary is going to be a large undertaking by our entire university. All of us will play some role in this unique and historic event. To that end, Cande Cook is serving as our project director for the 250th anniversary celebration. To help Cande execute this university venture, late last fall I formed seven campus-wide committees to help develop, plan and implement ideas, events and other deliverables for our sestercentenial celebration. The seven committees and team leaders are:

  • Academic & Scholarly Programs: Lynn Cherry (Associate Provost, Academic Affairs), Grant Gilmore (Associate Professor, Historic Preservation and Community Planning), Cass Runyon (Associate Professor, Geology and Environmental Geosciences) and David Templeton (Associate Professor, Music)
  • Campus & Alumni Events: Melantha Ardrey (Director of Residence Life), Kim Gailliard (Program Coordinator, Office of Institutional Diversity), Ann Pryor (Vice President of Alumni Affairs) and Jamaal Walton (Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs)
  • Community Engagement: Jim Allison (Executive Director of the Career Center), Patricia Williams Lessane (Associate Dean, Libraries) and Charissa Owens (Director of Diversity Education and Training, Office of Institutional Diversity)
  • Fundraising: Edward Hart (Department Chair, Music), Carin Jorgensen (Executive Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, Institutional Advancement), Gibbs Knotts (Department Chair, Political Science) and Cathy Mahon (Vice President of Development)
  • Historical Documentation: Julia Eichelberger (Professor, English), Harlan Greene (Scholar in Residence, Libraries) and Ron Menchaca (Executive Director of Communications, Marketing and Communications)
  • Marketing & Merchandising: Darcie Goodwin (Senior Director of Advancement Communications, Marketing and Communications), Kenyatta Grimmage (Assistant Director of Access Initiatives and Pre-College Programs, Enrollment Planning), Jessica Rodgers (Director of Marketing, Athletics) and Henry Xie (Associate Professor, Management and Marketing)
  • Student Events & Programs: Michael Duncan (Associate Vice President, Student Affairs), Cassandra Foster (Events Coordinator, Communications), Rochelle Johnson (Interim Director, Multicultural Student Programs and Services), Tripp Keeffe (Student Government Association President) and Zachary Stephens (Graduate Student Association President)

Members of our campus community will also serve on these seven committees. Your own colleagues who are serving as team leaders have already invited some of you to join these committees and will continue extending invitations over the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas or would like to learn more about the College’s 250th anniversary, you can visit 

The team leaders and several members of the senior leadership team held an all-day retreat in December to discuss the vision and goals for our 250th anniversary celebration as well as the expectations for the committees. We also heard from a consultant who helped execute Rutgers University’s 250th anniversary celebration.

These next two years promise to be an exciting time for the College of Charleston. We’ve come a long way since our founding in 1770 and our future is as bright as ever.

I wish everyone a productive and enjoyable spring semester. I hope to see you in the Cistern Yard on January 30, if not around campus before then.





Stephen C. Osborne ’73

Interim President, College of Charleston