Dean Bornholdt discusses hopes for Edwards College

Claudia Bornholdt came to Coastal Carolina University as the Dean of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts in June of 2019, but she is still a relatively new face on campus due to COVID-19.   

A cheerleader, advocate and spokesperson are what Bornholdt considers herself to be for the Edwards College. She said she has spent a lot of time advocating for the Center of Inclusive Excellence and is proud to be the first CCU college with its own Diversity, Equity and Inclusion effort plan.  

Bornholdt’s goal for the college moving forward is to grow the established programs and interdisciplinary collaboration. She also wants to spread awareness of how beneficial a liberal arts degree is to a community.  

“[The arts] are essential for a society to function, and also have a tremendous impact financially on the country,” Bornholdt said. “Nobody has an idea how much money the arts for example [bring in]. It’s almost a trillion dollars a year that the arts sector contributes to the American economy, and no one knows that.” 

Bornholdt is originally from Northern Germany. She moved to the United States in 1995 when she was a transfer student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. From there she moved to Indiana, then Illinois, then Washington D.C., until she eventually landed in Myrtle Beach.  

Bornholdt said during her time at Coastal thus far, she has witnessed some amazing things happen, even during COVID-19. 

“We managed, and that’s probably what I am most proud of. That we made it through this virtual pandemic so well, and actually, really, we didn’t lose students, we gained students over the years,” Bornholdt said.  

Bornholdt led the college to collaborate with nearby cities to expand students’ expertise into the local community. Some of these include the Teal Alley Mural painted in downtown Conway and the newly acquired theatre located in the heart of Myrtle Beach. Bornholdt hopes to hold the first theatre performance in 2023.  

Aside from being on campus, Bornholdt enjoys traveling with her husband, gardening, and walking on the beach. She also calls herself “an avid boogie boarder.”