Regional Partnership

Gardner-Webb University Establishes Partnership with Tryon International Equestrian Center

Gardner-Webb University is excited about a new partnership with a nearby $175 million equestrian facility. The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is a 1600-acre equestrian resort located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just 25 miles west of the University.

“Gardner-Webb has a long tradition as a community and business partner at the state, regional, and local level,” shared Richard McDevitt, GWU Vice President for Marketing. “The Tryon International Equestrian Center is a major regional economic driver, literally in our backyard. We’re pleased to be engaged with this important initiative and believe it offers an excellent opportunity to increase visibility of the Gardner-Webb brand.”

Since TIEC was established in 2014, Gardner-Webb professors and administrators have worked to expose students to various aspects of the equestrian tourism industry. Students have participated in professional internships and alums have been offered employment at the facility. “The Center has made an immediate impact on the travel and tourism, hospitality, retail, and sports markets in North Carolina,” McDevitt offered. “We have already seen internship and employment opportunities for our students and graduates and we expect those to only expand over time.”

GWU Vice President for Enrollment Management Kristen Setzer agrees that the opportunities for students and alumni at the Center are significant. “It’s important for Gardner-Webb to establish partnerships within our community and region,” she affirmed. “Through these kinds of efforts, we hope to share our university mission to future students as well as continue reinforcing and growing that mission with our alumni base and other stakeholders.”

Officials hope to continue efforts to establish business partnerships that bolster hands-on learning opportunities and professional readiness for students. “Our commitment to student internships begins with our business partners,” McDevitt stated. “Working this way allows us to stay current with the changing needs of businesses. We know that our graduates are professionally prepared on day one because our business partners are always involved.”

Learn more about internships and professional preparation at the Center for Personal and Professional Development