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Dean's Letter

From Dr. Daniel J. Ennis, Dean of the Edwards College

    Welcome to the 2017 issue of Tapestry, the magazine of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University. If you are are a Coastal Carolina University graduate, I hope you are pleased to learn of the developments in the Edwards College. If you’re one of our many supporters, I thank you for your role in making so many good things happen in this place. If you are new to Coastal Carolina University and you’ve picked up this publication in order to learn more, I trust you will be impressed with the activity and energy that is the hallmark of the Edwards College.

    Within you’ll find news from all of our departments, with a special emphasis on the ways we have integrated experiential learning into our academic programs. The Edwards College hums with activity as students move easily from the classroom to the professional realm, from theory into practice. As dean, I am most proud of those stories in which we learn about a student, mentored by a member of our faculty, who has taken his or her education one step further. In this college, that one extra step is often the difference between apprenticeship and mastery.

     Too often we hear of the humanities and fine arts in narratives of siege and decline. In America, funding for the humanities and arts is always begrudged, and as I write these words the future of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts — as well as funding for school art, music, and theatre programs — is under threat. Often these threats are couched in baldly competitive terms, in that support for the arts and humanities is presented as an unnecessary extravagance in a time of want. Yet in this college, these students demonstrate daily, to my never-ending admiration, that the work we do is essential for a healthy community. Great nations are not afraid of books and sculptures and symphonies and poems. Great nations crave such things.

     I am privileged to write from a place where the arts are celebrated and the great questions can still be asked. At Coastal Carolina University, we’ve never been part of a narrative of siege and decline. I invite you to come visit, to walk through our art gallery, to witness a debate, to experience a performance, to see how a book is made, and to participate in our tapestry.

Dan Ennis, Dean