Gardner-Webb Loses Distinguished Administrator, Professor and Dear Friend, Dr. Gayle Price – Funeral Update

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“We’ll be drinking from wells she dug for a long time.” 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.— Dr. Gayle Bolt Price, a beloved professor, dean and associate provost at Gardner-Webb for over 20 years, died on Tuesday, March 6 at her home in Greenville, S.C., after a battle with cancer.  Price was 61.

“Gayle was one of my closest friends,” said Dr. June Hobbs, chair of the English department.  “We as a community and I personally will be drinking from wells she dug for a long time.  She was a passionate person who lived her life with an intensity I’ll probably never see again.”

A native of Greenwood, S.C., Price joined the Gardner-Webb faculty in 1991 as a professor of English, and eventually chaired that department.  She founded and directed both the Learning Assistance Program and the Writing Center, coordinated the Writing Across the Curriculum Program, and served as dean of the Graduate School.  In 2007, she was named associate provost for graduate and professional studies, the position in which she worked tirelessly until her death.

A past winner of the Gardner-Webb Excellence in Teaching Award, Price’s commitment to professional excellence was surpassed only by her commitment to her children.  “I remember the day Gayle was honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award, she was not present to receive it because her daughter was receiving an award at school that same day.  As a young parent at the time, it spoke volumes to me that being present for her daughter was more important to Gayle than basking in her own accolades,” said Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president for Christian life and service and Price’s colleague on the Senior Staff.

“As a Senior Staff member, I will remember Gayle especially for her integrity.  She desired nothing short of excellence in everything we did, whether it pertained to our academic pursuits or our Christian commitment.  Her loss will be dearly felt,” Jessup said.

Price earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Education from Clemson University and her Ed.D. from Auburn University. Though she finished her career as a full-time administrator, Price always thought of herself as a teacher, having taught for more than 35 years at a number of institutions including North Greenville University, Furman University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of South Carolina and Robert Morris College, as well as the S.C. public school system.

Price also volunteered in the Greenville, S.C., public schools for over 25 years and served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher in her home church.  She is survived by a son, David, his wife Lauren Price, and a daughter, Emily Price. She is also survived by her brother Glenn Bolt, his wife Gwen, and their children Benjamin and Kenneth; and brother Kenneth Bolt, his wife Mary, and their daughters Berry, Katie and Julie.

Funeral Arrangements – Giving Instructions

The family will receive friends at 11:30 on Friday, March 9, at First Baptist Church, 847 Cleveland Street, Greenville, S.C.  The memorial service will follow at 1 p.m.  The family will also host a catered reception following the service at the home of Dr. Price’s brother and sister-in-law.  The address and directions will be listed in the bulletin for Friday’s service.

In lieu of flowers, Price’s family has requested that donations be made to the Gayle Bolt Price Memorial Fund in care of Gardner-Webb University, Attn. Becky Robbins, P.O. Box 997, Boiling Springs, NC 28017.  The family will determine how best to use these funds in honoring Price’s legacy at Gardner-Webb University.  Any contributions made prior to this notification will be placed in this fund.

A Price Worth Paying

On Wednesday, March 7, a blood drive was held at Gardner-Webb “in celebration of [Price’s] life well-lived to the glory of God,” Jessup said. The drive, sponsored by Blood Connection of Greenville, had originally been intended to offset costs of Price’s blood transfusions, but even after the news of her death, her friends and colleagues gave enthusiastically in her memory.  “We had 82 people who were willing to donate, and 70 units were collected,” said Blood Connection’s Alison Lister.

According to Blood Connection, each unit can save up to three lives, so the 70 units collected could potentially save more than 200 people. “I know it is a sad time for people who loved Dr. Price,” Lister continued, “but what a wonderful way for people to honor her memory. It was bittersweet, but lives will be touched through this drive, just as so many lives were obviously touched by Dr. Price’s compassion and generosity.”

The following are comments and memories from several of Dr. Price’s closest friends in the Gardner-Webb family:

“Gayle had extraordinary dedication, an incredible work ethic.  She was an exceptionally competent administrator, both tremendously effective and efficient.  The testimony to that is in the caliber of the schools she oversaw.  She was, of course, responsible for all of Gardner-Webb’s professional schools, which is a tremendous breadth of responsibility.  I think the excellence of those schools is, probably more than anything else, a tribute to her leadership, and her great sense of academic quality and competence.  She will be very, very missed, both personally and professionally.”

Dr. Frank Bonner, President

 

“In everything she did, Gayle brought an exuberance, a spark, a talent for working with people, and a knack for getting the job done, whatever it might be.  A creative, versatile writer as well as a superb teacher and a friend to so many, Gayle was also a deeply religious woman whose faith in God never wavered.  I cannot adequately express what a huge gap she is leaving, not only in my life, but in others’ lives as well.”

-Dr. Darlene Gravett, retired Associate Provost for Schools

 

“I’m having a hard time putting my feelings for Dr. Price into complete sentences.  The words that immediately come to mind when I think of her are warm, funny, fierce, loyal, supportive, tough, loving, and fair.  I miss the sound of her in the next room, her laughter that could be heard all the way upstairs. Most of all, I appreciated that she always made me feel like an equal, like a partner, like I was working with her and not just for her.”

Karen Ferree, Administrative Assistant to the Associate Provosts

 

“Gayle Price taught me how to scaffold an assignment.  She taught me the power of a simple ‘Good Job!’ stamp on a paper.  But the most important thing she ever taught me was that my son is first and my work is second.  At the faculty retreat in the fall of my second year at Gardner-Webb, she asked me how my summer had been.  I said that I hadn’t gotten any work done, but I had spent a whole lot of time with my then infant.  She beamed.  ‘Good,’ she said.  ‘Work will always be here.  Babies won’t.’  My friend, my mentor, my associate provost, in eight words, both affirmed and directed my work-life balance.  It was a gift, and I thank her for it every day.”

-Dr. Lashea Stuart, Professor of English

 

“Over the years, Gayle has influenced not only the policies and procedures, but more importantly the very heart of the graduate school.  She has set high expectations and standards coupled with a sense of dignity, grace and fairness.  We love her and miss her every day.”

Dr. Franki Burch, Dean of the Graduate School

 

“Gayle has meant everything to the School of Nursing.  She has promoted and assisted me with growing programs, facilities, faculty, and more.  She epitomizes the terms ‘mentor’ and ‘colleague’ for me.”

-Dr. Susie Beck-Little, Dean of the School of Nursing

 

Gayle was the Dean of Deans and she inspired me to be strong during my personal adversities.  She is my ‘Biblical Barnabas.’”

Dr. Anthony Negbenebor, Dean of the Godbold School of Business

 

“I have always credited you with really teaching me how to write, which is something I am thankful for every day.”

-Abby Wolford, former student (quote from Price’s Caring Bridge site)

 

“Gayle was our champion in times of gain and loss.  When our School has experienced loss or crisis, Gayle was always there to support and encourage us.  We are better for having known her.”

-Dr. David Carscaddon, School of Psychology and Counseling

 

“The School of Education is forever indebted to Dr. Gayle Price for her support, guidance, and insight to ensure quality delivery of the Education programs.  We appreciate her level of integrity in all manners and her attention to detail that enabled each of us to excel.  We encounter few of Dr. Price’s caliber in a lifetime, so we are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her.  Her influence will benefit each of us for many years to come.”

-Dr. Doug Eury, Dean of the School of Education