A moment of change is upon the College of Charleston. On Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, Andrew T. Hsu will formally take the helm as the College’s president, ushering in a time of growth, new focus and renewed dedication for the 13th oldest institution of higher education in the United States.
An inauguration ceremony for Hsu will be held in Cistern Yard at 3:30 p.m. A reception on Rivers Green will immediately follow. Both events are open to students, faculty, staff and the public.
Passionate and personable, Hsu has embraced his role at the College since taking office in May 2019. As the College community prepares to officially celebrate the installation of the university’s next president, learn more about Hsu’s vision for CofC, what he did before his life in academia, what kind of music he likes and more.
Hsu Is the 23rd president of the College of Charleston
President Hsu spent time with the College of Charleston community on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, for the first time since the Board of Trustees elected him as the College’s 23rd president. “Today we celebrate a very special occasion in the life of our university. We get to welcome our College’s next president and his family into our own College family,” said Board of Trustees Chair David Hay ’81, noting the fortuitousness that the College would welcome its 23rd president on the 23rd day of the month. “We knew we needed someone who could take the College to even greater heights as we begin the next 250 years of our story. After conducting multiple interviews and reviewing the feedback of our campus community, the Board of Trustees knew we had found the right person, at the right time, to lead the College of Charleston in Dr. Andrew Hsu.”
He Worked for NASA and Rolls-Royce
At NASA, Hsu worked in computational fluid dynamics at a propulsion center, where he focused on developing computer tools to simulate something called the ramjet engine. Then he went on to work for the aerospace division of Rolls-Royce working to develop tools for designers to use to design an aircraft engine combustor.
Hsu Has Big Ideas for the College
“I certainly hope to help raise the profile of the College of Charleston. It’s an amazing institution with a great history,” said Hsu after the Board of Trustees selected him as the College’s next president in November 2018. “Three signers of the Constitution and the three signers of the Declaration of Independence are founders of the College. This is such a great institution, but we need to raise its profile to make sure that the world knows that we’re a first-rate, global institution. The second thing I would like to achieve, of course, is to help our students improve their learning so that they can be successful not only as students, but as citizens.”
He Is a Big Fan of Music
Brahms’ German Requiem “speaks to my soul,” says Hsu. In fact, he sang in a chorus with the Cleveland Orchestra 30 years ago. He’s also tried playing the violin. And ahead of midterms this fall, Hsu compiled a study playlist featuring everything from Weezer to Bach to Blanco Brown.
He’s Ready to Start His First Year at CofC
“This is also my freshman year as your president,” Hsu told the more than 2,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students during convocation on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. “Like you, when I first arrived, I was a little anxious, but most excited about what lay ahead of me. Like you, I could not wait to meet the people who make up our campus community, to learn the history and traditions of our university and begin to forge my own path. In short, like you, I couldn’t wait to begin my College of Charleston experience.”