Making the Grade

New Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Four new members were inducted into the Gardner-Webb University School of Education Hall of Fame during the third annual ceremony held in June. The 2017 inductees are Jacqueline Lowry Caudill, Wayne Jack Caudill, Dr. Walter Lowry Caudill, and Louise Brown Blanton. Each inductee shares roots in the region of Shelby, N.C., and later migrated to locations in Wake County.

For more than three decades, Jacqueline Lowry Caudill (1926 – 2014) reached generations of students as an educator at Elizabeth School in Shelby, N.C. She earned an undergraduate degree from Appalachian State Teachers College (now Appalachian State University). A native of Jefferson, S.C., Jacqueline married Wayne Jack Caudill in 1949, and the couple had two sons—Wayne Jack Caudill, Jr. and Walter Lowry Caudill. They moved to Shelby in 1953 and her career as an educator continued for nearly 33 years. A member of First Baptist Church of Shelby and the Alpha Delta Kappa sorority for female educators, Caudill was a devoted wife and mother who always displayed a passion for teaching.

Born in 1923 in Wilkesboro, N.C., Wayne Jack Caudill was a veteran of World War II who later earned several degrees in education. He held an undergraduate degree in education from Appalachian State Teachers College (now Appalachian State University). He earned master’s degrees from George Peabody College (now part of Vanderbilt University) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He married Jacqueline Lowry in 1949. After moving to Shelby, he spent two years as principal of Shelby Junior High School from 1953 to 1954. From 1955 to 1970, he served as principal of Shelby High School, during which time the present campus was designed and constructed.

Dr. Walter Lowry Caudill, son of Wayne and Jacqueline Caudill, grew up in Shelby, N.C., and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). He attended Indiana University where he received a doctorate in Analytical Chemistry. Upon graduation, he became a research scientist at Baxter-Travenol, and eventually developed a successful career in pharmaceutical research. He co-founded Magellan Laboratories, which was later acquired by Cardinal Health. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from UNC-CH and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece by the University.

An innovative educator and principal, Louise Brown Blanton (1919 – 1990) of Lattimore, N.C., is remembered for her staunch advocacy in the field of elementary education, particularly for at-risk and struggling students. She attended Gardner-Webb and Asheville Normal Teacher’s College (Asheville, N.C.) and later earned a master’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. For 33 years, she served as an educator and administrator in Raleigh, N.C., where she established open, multi-age classrooms and a personalized education model. In 1967, she became principal of Boylan Heights Elementary, a small neighborhood school where she made a tremendous difference for both students and staff.

GWU School of Education Dean Dr. Doug Eury said nominees for the Hall of Fame are Gardner-Webb alumni and others who have distinguished themselves in the field of education as either a practitioner or benefactor locally, regionally or at the state and federal level. “The individuals recognized have each made a significant impact in both their field and in the community at large,” Eury shared. “These folks are role models both personally and professionally.”

Learn more about the GWU School of Education programs and degree options.