A new exhibition honoring “the mother of the civil rights movement,” Septima Poinsette Clark (1898–1987), opened on campus this past winter. A mural of the Charleston native, educator and activist, painted by South Carolina artist Natalie Daise, now greets visitors in the atrium of the Septima Clark Memorial Auditorium at the Thaddeus Street Jr. Education Center. Inside the auditorium, interpretive panels capture important moments in Clark’s life, many of which occurred near or on campus, including the house in which she was born, 105 Wentworth Street, now a Greek house.
Undergraduate students in Joanna Gilmore’s museum studies class were involved in the exhibition planning, seeking input from the College’s 1967 Legacy Program and members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The hope is that Clark’s story will inspire students.
“Not only was she an incredible educator and leader, but she overcame significant obstacles throughout her life,” says Julia Eichelberger, director of Southern studies. “Students should be inspired by the way Clark surmounted these obstacles and made positive changes that many people believed were impossible.”
Doctor in the House
The College will offer its first doctoral program in the fall. The Ph.D. will be in mathematics with a focus on computation to address the increasing demand of tech companies. With late afternoon and evening classes, the program is designed for people who want to continue working. Whether the candidates’ research is in pure or applied mathematics, they must fulfill a required computational component. With the increased relevance of computational tools in multiple areas of mathematics, the computational component will give graduates an advantage in industrial and higher education settings.
In April, the College’s student-run record label, 1770 Records, released its first full-length album since 2016. Our Name’s in Jeopardy is by Pity Points, a power-pop/alternative rock group made up of CofC students Coker Easler, Tyler Ford, Drew Prentice and Brooke Schafer, who recorded the album in the arts management studio at Harbor Walk. Currently, the students at the label are working on an artist database with the Women and Nonbinary Music Club and making plans for the Boat Show, a popular floating music festival aboard the Carolina Queen, which will set sail around the Charleston Harbor with three or four bands in November.
“It’s great to have 1770 Records back in full swing again,” says Heather Lee McDonald, director of the music industry concentration within the Arts Management Program. “The students have a lot of great ideas and great music set for the coming year, so I hope everyone on campus will keep an eye out for all of their good work.”
On the Charts
Edward Hart ’88, music professor and former dean of the School of the Arts, has collaborated with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra on a new album, Under an Indigo Sky, that debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums Chart earlier this year. It is the first time Hart’s work has made the charts, and – although he has collaborated numerous times over the last 20 years with the CSO, including as the orchestra’s composer-in-residence – it’s the first commercial recording of just his compositions. The album features critically acclaimed violinist Yuriy Bekker, conductor of the College’s orchestra, as well as the world-renowned Harlem Quartet.
“The charting of Under an Indigo Sky is truly the result of a fantastic group effort,” says Hart, singling out the CSO musicians and staff, along with Navona Records.
“I could not be more honored and humbled to be in partnership with this incredible team.”
As a Charleston native, Hart often looks to his hometown for inspiration, particularly toward its natural beauty and multicultural heritage. “A Charleston Concerto” on the album commemorates the 350th anniversary of the city, taking an unflinching yet ultimately hopeful view of the city’s complex history. Similarly, the title composition is a musical love letter written to Hart’s home state. It explores the physical splendor of the coast and mountains, but also the feel and soul of these geographically distinct places.
Says Hart of the title track and “A Charleston Concerto”: “The two works on the CD are deeply connected with our region, its landscapes, culture and history.”
Women’s tennis coach Angelo Anastopoulo passed former men’s basketball coach John Kresse for the most wins (560) in school history. In his 31 years with the women’s tennis program, Anastopoulo has amassed a 572-251 record. He also coached the men’s tennis team from 1991 to 2001, bringing his combined record to 743-330.
The women’s golf team successfully defended their Colonial Athletic Association Championship, beating second-place Delaware by 17 strokes – the largest margin of victory since they won their first CAA title by 18 strokes in 2015. They also set a CAA tournament team record of 17 over par in winning their fifth title. Emma Schimpf won the individual trophy by five strokes at 3 under – the second consecutive Cougar to become individual champion, taking the reins from Viktoria Hund, who finished tied for second.
For the second year in a row, the cheerleading program finished second at the National Cheerleaders Association Nationals, DI small coed division. “This year’s team was the most locked-in and focused group we’ve had yet,” says head coach Samantha Keohane, noting how hard the 25 members practiced. It paid off with their highest point total ever – even higher than when the team won in 2021. “I am so proud of these athletes and can’t wait for this coming season.”