Gardner-Webb University Awards Over 260 Degrees During Summer Commencement on Aug. 1

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Students from Traditional Undergraduate, Degree Completion, and Graduate Programs Honored

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner–Webb University hosted Summer Commencement on Saturday, Aug. 1 in the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center at 10 a.m.  More than 260 graduates were honored for their achievements during the ceremony.

Many graduates participated in the ceremony through prayer, scripture reading, and commencement speeches. Joseph Sanders Macgregor (Brooksville, Fla.) offered the invocation, while Britney Nicole Hudgins (Golden Valley, N.C.) shared passages from the Old and New Testaments.  Awards were also given to stellar graduates. Kimberly O’Shay Simpson (Clinton, S.C.) and Trina C. Winkler (Lenoir, N.C.) each received the Degree Completion Program Academic Award; Kaycee Myers (Gastonia, N.C.) was given the Senior Scholastic Achievement Award; and the 2015 Darlene J. Gravett Citizen Scholar Award was presented to Sara Nicole Arndt (Greer, S.C.) for her doctoral dissertation “The Perception of Gendered Participation in a Whole-Class English Discussion: A Mixed-Methods Case Study.”

Commencement speakers were Cynthia Brown Stiltner of Danbury, N.C., who earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice/Human Services through the Degree Completion Program. Also providing words of wisdom for graduates was Rodney Lee Alderman of Galax, Va., who earned a Doctor of Education.

“While we may never know why we make the choices we do, we must all understand that God has a plan for everything,” Stiltner shared. “There are no words to describe the impact that my instructors had on my life. I will forever be grateful to the GWU faculty for supporting, pushing, and encouraging me to reach my goals.”

Alderman agreed. “I am thankful to have graduated from a university that has such high standards for its students and pushed me to not accept less than excellence,” he offered. “We chose this university because we felt a personal connection to the mission and goals, and we subscribed to the policy of becoming lifelong learners with a desire to use our service and leadership for the benefit of others. As we prepare to face new and exciting challenges in our lives, let us remember that we have the power to overcome adversity—with the help of God and through a spirit of friendship and cooperation with our fellow colleagues and with the Gardner-Webb University community.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).