Former Gardner-Webb University Faculty Member Passes Away

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Dr. Lansford Jolley Taught for Over 40 Years 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University lost an admired and distinguished faculty member on Monday with the passing of Dr. Lansford Jolley.  Jolley passed away at the age of 86 at Hospice of Cleveland County (Shelby, N.C.), after a period of declining health.

Jolley retired from Gardner-Webb in 1992 after serving on the GWU faculty for 34 years teaching courses in history and sociology.  He served 33 of those years as the chair for the Department of Social Sciences, and in all, Jolley taught for over 40 years.  Jolley was a native of Boiling Springs, N.C. and grew up in the Flint Hill community.  He received academic degrees from Gardner-Webb, Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Peabody College (Nashville, Tenn.), and Florida State (Tallahassee). Jolley also served his country in the United States Navy, was active in his church at Boiling Springs Baptist, and was heavily involved in numerous civic and community activities. He was also presented with an honorary doctorate of humanities in 1997.

Jolley was also an author and historian. In 1997, he released an extensive history of Gardner-Webb University in the book – “Dreaming, Daring, Doing – The Story of Gardner-Webb University 1907-1997.” Jolley had a wealth of personal history connecting to the school as well. He not only grew up in the GWU community and was an alumnus, but his mother and wife were also alums of Gardner-Webb.

“I think I did it for the satisfaction of researching and writing the history of a school I appreciate tremendously,” Jolley said in a 1997 interview with The Shelby Star.  The book remains a permanent fixture in numerous offices on campus today.  Jolley’s most recent book, the fictional “The Coed’s Mite,” a story based on local people, locations, and plotlines, was released last fall.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Cothenia (former Gardner-Webb archivist), one daughter Lana and two grandchildren.  The family will receive friends in the Life Enrichment Center of Boiling Springs Baptist Church from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening.  A Celebration of Life Service will follow at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Boiling Springs Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to the M. Lansford Jolley Academic Fellow Scholarship Fund, c/o Gardner-Webb University, P.O. Box 997, Boiling Springs, NC 28017.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for professional success and for productive citizenship.