Former Student Now Sits in University President’s Seat

ROCK HILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – The first President to have a degree from Winthrop University, Dr. Edward Serna, is officially at the helm of Winthrop University.

Dr. Serna, who was a student when Dr. Tony Digiorgio was president, now sits at the same seat that was once occupied by Digiorgio. Serna says he looks forward to filling the shoes of those who’ve come before him, while making his own mark.

Serna sharing with us, “Well you cant help but be emotional, this campus meant so much to me, and this community meant so much to me, to be back on campus and definitely stepping back in the office and all the history in the office and it was an emotional time. I think there was the overwhelming responsibility to this job, to this university, and this community that it service, so excited, nervous, just so excited to be here.”

For Dr. Edward Serna and his family which includes two young active girls, they’re looking forward to working closely with both those here and in the community.

As for the University, Dr. Serna knows it’s important people in Rock Hill to also believe in the mission.

Serna says, “There doesn’t need to be a boundary between the two, a vibrant university means a vibrant Rock Hill, and vise versa, and I think we need to be a partner choice. We need to be the people that businesses call and York Tech calls when there is an opportunity. And, I want to make it easy.”

When Dr. Serna was a Winthrop student in 2002 he said he could never have envisioned moving into this first families home with his family, but that’s exactly what’s now happening. And just to make things go full circle, that student ID number he had back as a student, well that has been reactivated as he came back as President

Serna added, “I could never have imagined 20 years ago coming back to campus as a University President but I think if you work hard and you get that education so many doors are going to be opened to you that won’t have.”

This is Serna’s 5th year as a University President and believes those in higher education, in general, need to do a better job of convincing prospective students of the importance of a 4 year degree and beyond. He said, “And, that’s the big question right now, it’s worth the investment. If I can go out and make $15, $20, $25 an hour? To me the experience of a college education has always been more then that first job it’s always been about what it does in your lifetime and some how we have to do a better job talking about that”

“There’s this current of element called planned happenstance. What it basically says is if you work really hard and put yourself into the best situation that you can and just accept the opportunities when they come. And, to me a university education, a college education puts you in the best situation for those opportunities when they come” adding Serna.

Most recently Dr. Serna was president of the University of Maine at Farmington.
While it’s no doubt a little warmer here in the Carolinas in the evenings you may catch the Serna family out taking a walk on campus with their dog Cooper.

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