With New Name, Gardner-Webb University Office Seeks to Increase Community Impact

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GWU IMPACT Center Promotes Service Learning, Sustainability, Christian Ethics & Social Responsibility

Earth Day activities are among events sponsored by the IMPACT Center.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A Gardner-Webb University office that actively promotes sustainability, service, responsibility and ethics hopes that the addition of one new word to its name will have a major impact on its outreach.

The GWU IMPACT Center for Christian Ethics & Social Responsibility recently updated its title to incorporate its new mission statement of “Influencing Mercy and Promoting Advocacy in the Community by working Together.” In short, the office is now called the “IMPACT Center.”

“We wanted to convey our message in a more clear, concise way to show what we’re trying to do, which is simply to have an impact on the community, the campus, on students, and on faculty and staff,” explains Dr. Tom LeGrand, the Center’s director. “We want people to ask questions about what we do, and we’re saying to students, ‘What will your impact be?’”

The IMPACT Center was also among the sponsors for a symposium on race relations and identity issues.

The Center advocates for the importance of Christian ethics, opportunities for students to learn through service, and for the responsible use and maintenance of God’s creation. It carries out that mission by bringing relevant speakers to campus, connecting students with programs to serve the community, and environmental-friendly events such as Earth Day activities.

GWU students play a major part in the office’s work by serving as interns and volunteers who help organize and promote various events and programs. Currently, students in one of Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Elizabeth Amato’s classes are organizing a voter registration drive to encourage responsible citizenship. Other students, including those in one of Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Lisa Luedeman’s classes, have helped the Center plan and promote its name change.

“IMPACT fit perfectly,” assesses Center intern and GWU senior Taylor Lillard, who helped develop the office’s new mission statement. Lillard points to recycling awareness efforts among the many initiatives that help the IMPACT Center play a key role in improving the University and the community. “We plan to focus on getting more organizations on campus involved in what we are doing. By changing the name, we are hoping more people will be attracted to the Center with a desire to help grow and take care of the world around us.”

The IMPACT Center is still working to produce a new blog that will highlight the office’s goals and ways Gardner-Webb students can get involved and improve the community. For the latest information, follow @gwuimpact on Twitter, or contact LeGrand at 704-406-2348 or tlegrand2@gardner-webb.edu.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).