Summer 2017 Edition

By | June 28, 2017


The end of Spring term is always filled with new and exciting projects, events, and opportunities for our undergraduates, faculty/staff, and alumni. Yes, the entire CofC community is able to share with the world the uniqueness of our campus and the personal attention to the student experience.

The most prominent news of the day has centered around the full solar eclipse that will cross over the North American continent on Convocation Day, August 21. Folks from around the country will be flocking to Charleston, the last city in North America to have the eclipse pass over.

Undergraduates and faculty alike will be participating in this once-in-a-lifetime event. Even NASA will be stationed on campus at Rivers Green offering live reporting as the eclipse makes its was from Washington state to our little Holy City.

In addition to the excitement surrounding the eclipse, check out some more cool stuff happening at the College:


Undergraduate Class of 2017

Graduate Class of 2017

Undergraduate Class of 2017: By the Numbers*

1,428 Graduates
6 Students graduating with top honors
20 Students graduating with A.B. degrees
18 Youngest graduate
56 Oldest graduate
43 states and territories (including Washington D.C.)are represented
19 countries represented (in addition to U.S.)
167 School of the Arts graduates
167 School of the Arts graduates
325 School of Business graduates
244 School of Education, Health, and Human Performance graduates
434 School of Humanities and Social Sciences graduates
79 School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs graduates
256 School of Sciences and Mathematics graduates
5 School of Professional Studies graduates

* Numbers may change once final grades for spring 2017 are posted.

Top Majors

Business administration: 143 students
Biology: 121 students
Communication: 112 students
Psychology: 110 students
Public Health: 81 students

Undergraduate Class of 2017: Honors College by the Numbers

  • 106 Students in the Class of 2017
  • Five students are graduating with top honors, a perfect 4.0 GPA, and are the recipients of the John Lewis Gervais, Jr. Award
  • Two students are the recipient of the Bishop Robert Smith Award, the College’s highest award
  • One student is the recipient of the Alexander Chambliss Connelley Award
  • One student is the recipient of the Cistern Award
  • Two students are recognized in the Higdon Student Leadership Center’s Hall of Leaders
  • Seven students are the recipients of the Alumni Medal
  • Seven students are graduating in three years
  • 21 students are members of the William Aiken Fellows Society
  • Eight students are International Scholars
  • Eight students are Swanson Scholars; three were Huge Scholars; two were ATD Scholars; two were Boykin Scholars; two were Colonial Scholars; one was an Honors Dean’s Excellence Scholar; one was a Julia Sadler Webb Scholar; one was a Newell Scholar; and one was a Pinckney Scholar
  • Two students are varsity student-athletes
  • 31 double majors
  • 48 majors in the School of Sciences and Mathematics
  • 31 majors in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 20 majors in the School of Business
  • 19 majors in the School of Languages Cultures and World Affairs
  • 13 majors in the School of the Arts
  • Five majors in the School of Education, Health and Human Performance
  • 82 percent of Honors College students received Latin honors
  • 29 percent of students will graduate summa cum laude
  • 36 percent of students will graduate magna cum laude
  • 16 percent of students will graduate cum laude
  • One student received a Rotary Ambassadorial Global Grant
  • One student received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Two students were named National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hollings Scholars
  • 52 percent of students studied abroad at least once
  • 100 percent of students participated in local community service
  • 100 percent of students completed mentored research projects; 51 percent of students presented at a professional conference
  • 73 percent of students participated in an internship
  • 45 percent of students applied to graduate or professional school. Of those applicants 87 percent were accepted, and 56 percent of those students received a scholarship, fellowship or grant.
  • 43 percent will enter the workforce, and another 11 percent are participating in fellowships or internships.

Undergraduate Class of 2017: Award Winners

  • Bishop Robert Smith Award 
    Jordan Collins
    Zachary Sturman
  • Ted Stern Cup
    Emily Beck
    Erik Markert
  • Alexander Chambliss Connelley Award
    Morgan Larimer

Graduate Class of 2017: By the Numbers

146 Participating graduate students (includes degree candidates and students with permission to participate in the ceremony)
128 Master’s degree and graduate certificate candidates
7 M.A. in Communication
5 M.A. in English
13 M.A. in History
4 M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education
6 M.A.T. in Elementary Education
9 M.A.T. in Special Education
2 M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education
2 M.A.T. in Performing Arts Education
3 M.Ed. in Science and Mathematics for Teachers
5 M.Ed. in Languages
10 M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning and Advocacy
7 Master of Business Administration
12 Master of Public Administration
2 M.S. in Environmental Studies and Master of Public Administration Concurrent Program
23 M.S. in Accountancy
11 M.S. in Child Life
2 M.S. in Computer and Information Science
16 M.S. in Environmental Studies
12 M.S. in Historic Preservation
4 M.S. in Mathematical Sciences
7 M.S. in Marine Biology
1 Arts Management Certificate
1 Graduate Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education
2 Operations Research Certificate
2 Urban Studies and Regional Planning Certificate

Graduate Class of 2017: Award Winners

Outstanding Graduate Students

  • Master of Business Administration – Shafi Keisler
  • M.S. in Accountancy – Peter Davidson
  • M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education – Summer Franklin and Alexis Patsalos
  • M.A.T. in Elementary Education – Miranda Milburn
  • M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education – Terese Peterka
  • M.A.T. in Performing Arts Education – Heather Roberts
  • M.A.T. in Special Education – Molly Caggiano
  • M.Ed. in Languages – Soledad Francis
  • M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning and Advocacy – Thomas Iafrate and Edgar Johnson
  • M.Ed. in Science and Mathematics for Teachers – Grant Norell
  • M.A. in Communication – Stephanie Meier
  • M.A. in History – Monica Bowman and Kristin Brig
  • Master of Public Administration – April Adams and Madeline Sloan
  • M.S. in Child Life – Tiffany Daly and Samantha Davis
  • M.S. in Environmental Studies – Kathryn Ellis and Kimberly Sitta
  • M.S. in Environmental Studies and MPA Concurrent Program – Alexander Pasquini
  • M.S. in Marine Biology – Benjamin Flanagan and Kevin Mack
  • M.S. in Mathematical Sciences – Michael Hooi and Kaitlyn Manley
  • Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning – Janna Peterson



In case you’re completely in the dark about the total solar eclipse that will be visible across a massive swath of the continental United States on Aug. 21, 2017, consider this your fair warning: This event will be huge and historic, especially for population centers along the eclipse path, which includes the College of Charleston campus.

“We will experience it around 1:10 p.m. as it starts going into partial eclipse with totality in Charleston at about 2:40 in the afternoon,” says Associate Professor of Geology Cass Runyon. “It will be traveling across the U.S. at about 1,000 miles per hour.”In fact, most of the Lowcountry (which includes Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties) is within the so-called “path of totality” that will go completely dark from anywhere between one and a half to two and half minutes, depending on location, as the shadow of the eclipse travels eastward.

RELATED: Braille Book Sheds Light on the Upcoming Solar Eclipse

Although portions of the U.S. experienced total solar eclipses in 1970 and 1979, they were visible from only a limited number of states. The eclipse on March 7, 1970, was seen along much of the Eastern seaboard and plunged Charleston into darkness for about one minute and 44 seconds.
While a total solar eclipse is visible from some place on earth about every 18 months, it’s estimated that a total solar eclipse is visible from a specific point on earth only once every 375 years, making this summer’s solar spectacle a once-in-a-lifetime event.But a total solar eclipse has not gone coast to coast since June 8, 1918. Fast forward 99 years to this summer and you have all the makings of a major international event right in the College’s backyard.

Considering Charleston’s status as an international tourism destination and the fact that Charleston is the last major city along the path of the eclipse, Jon Hakkila, CofC professor of physics and astronomy, expects Charleston to see a major influx of visitors for the eclipse, particularly as people opt to turn their viewing experiences into vacations.

“The viewing band runs all the way from Oregon to South Carolina – coast to coast,” says Hakkila. “Everybody in the (Charleston area) is going to see it. You can’t miss it – it’s very rare.”

Indeed, hotel bookings are up and area organizations, governments and institutions are planning special viewing and educational events. Local school districts have even adjusted their academic calendars to accommodate the eclipse.

The College’s annual convocation, where new students are officially welcomed into the College, also happens to fall on the same day as the eclipse.

Convocation will take place as scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This means that students in the incoming Class of 2021 will have the very special distinction of launching their academic journey on the same day as the historic eclipse. Talk about an unforgettable first day of college!

The Division of Student Affairs is planning a special viewing event for the campus community on Rivers Green from 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 21. A variety of activities, displays and refreshments will be available to help celebrate the momentous occasion. In addition, the College will be providing custom-designed CofC eclipse viewing glasses to members of campus to ensure everyone protects their eyes while viewing the sun as it transitions.

CofC professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences are in high demand for the eclipse. In addition to serving as narrators and experts at a number eclipse events, faculty members will also be conducting research on various aspects of the eclipse.

Check back with The College Today all summer as we share stories about how our faculty, staff and students are planning for the big day.



The Wilson-Sottile House

By Erin Perkins, for The College Today.

Passing by the pale yellow facade of the Sottile House, one can’t help but to be awestruck by the unique features of the Victorian mansion. Carved oak doors, Tiffany-style stained glass windows, and a two-story veranda make for a picturesque postcard (or Instagram post) of the College of Charleston campus.

But did you know this stunning work of architecture was once a residence for female undergraduates?

RELATED: CofC’s First Alumna Was a Campus Dynamo

Built in 1890 by wealthy merchant Sam Wilson, the house is billed as one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in Charleston. Sold to Albert Sottile in 1912, the home stayed in the Sottile family until it was acquired by the College in 1964 and converted into a residence for female undergrads.

To give a glimpse of the climate of the campus in 1964, read this passage from Nan Morrison’s A History of the College of Charleston:

The traditional way of life at the College of Charleston still retained old mores and customs, as seen in the experience of residential women accepted in fall 1963 who would not be accommodated at 4 Green Street. These women were housed on the third floor of the gym and were required to eat at Craig Union cafeteria, which was several blocks away. In the mornings they put on the skirts and blouses or demure dresses they would wear all day because they were told “ladies do not wear pants on campus even at breakfast.” On the weekends they packed fifteen girls into Peggy Bridge’s grandmother’s car and went to the beach, or they went to Freida’s for pizza burgers, to the pool hall on George Street, or to LaBrasca’s, where they knew that, if they sat downstairs and ordered tea on Sunday, they would be served a mixed drink in a beer stein.

Between the stained glass windows, marble mantels, gold leaf moldings, mahogany china cabinets, and crystal chandeliers, Sottile House had to be one of the most handsome residence halls in the country. There are tales that the students would remove a crystal from the chandeliers upon moving out, and they had to be constantly replaced.

As handsome as the interiors are, the gardens must be mentioned as well. The yard is surrounded by an ornate wrought iron fence and is home to the rose garden of Pi Kappa Phi, which was founded at CofC, and a row of Pierrine Byrd roses, named after the College’s first female graduate.

Today Sottile House serves as offices for the College’s Division of Institutional Advancement.