Gardner-Webb Faculty Member Vows to Keep Friend’s Legacy Alive

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Dr. Franki Burch Named Associate Provost for Professional and Graduate Studies

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University is proud to announce that Dr. Franki Burch has accepted the role of associate provost for professional and graduate studies, effective Aug. 7.

Associate Provost Emerita, Dr. Darlene Gravett, who retired from GWU in 2007, began serving as associate provost for professional and graduate studies earlier this year following the passing of Dr. Gayle Price.  Price was a beloved professor, dean, and associate provost for GWU who died in March after a courageous battle with cancer. She was a part of the Gardner-Webb family for over 20 years.

Burch is a native of Chadds Ford, Pa., who joined GWU in 2001 to teach in the area of physical education, wellness and sports studies.  She was named dean of the graduate school in 2007.

“I am looking forward to my position,” said Burch.  “I support and value the mission of the institution and hope I can make a significant contribution to advancing the academic excellence and service commitment of Gardner-Webb.  It is, however, with mixed emotions that I assume this role.  Former Associate Provost Dr. Gayle Price was my mentor and friend, and I would trade it all in a second to have her back with us. It is my commitment to the Gardner-Webb community and to the memory of Dr. Price to lead with a spirit of kindness and integrity,” added Burch.

Gardner-Webb has experienced growth and innovation in its graduate programs, and Burch sees no reason for this to slow down.  “I hope to see this trend continue as we provide degree programs that will meet the needs of society and improve the quality of life in our state, region, nation, and across the globe.”

Burch hopes that a degree from Gardner-Webb will not only prepare students intellectually for careers, but also nurture a philosophical foundation built upon the University’s mission of faith, service and leadership.

“My goal, as the associate provost,” said Burch, “is to support and mobilize the collective dreams, efforts, and ideals of this community as they inspire, mentor, and encourage our student population.”

The Burch name is a familiar one at Gardner-Webb. Franki’s husband, Chuck, serves as vice president for athletics, while their son, Travis, is event coordinator.

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 career success and for engaged, responsible citizenship in their professional, civic, and spiritual communities.