Partnership Creates Expanded Access to GWU ROTC Program

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Isothermal Students to Participate in Gardner-Webb ROTC Program

Isothermal and Gardner-Webb officials gather to sign the ROTC agreement.
Photo: Mike Gavin/ICC

(SPINDALE, N.C.) – Isothermal students will now have access to the Army ROTC program at Gardner-Webb University.

Officials gathered Tuesday at Isothermal Community College to sign the participation agreement and memorandum of understanding. The program will allow Isothermal students to take GWU courses in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for two years before completing studies at Gardner-Webb and going on to the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant on active or reserve duty.

The program is set to begin in the Fall 2018 semester. Officials from both schools plan to begin recruiting students from area high schools. Students who have been out of high school for a period of time are also eligible to apply.

“As a retired colonel from the Army Reserve, it goes without saying I’m a strong advocate of ROTC,” said Dr. Frank Bonner, president of Gardner-Webb. “This is just a tremendous leadership program. It teaches leadership, quite frankly, more effectively than anything I’ve ever been aware of. It also teaches many management skills as well.”

Participation in ROTC at the high school level is not required to get into this program.

Students will enroll in a college transfer program at Isothermal and take a combination of Military Science and Military Fitness courses at Gardner-Webb for two years. During that period of time, they are eligible to apply for the Powers Scholarship that could pay for all of their Isothermal tuition.

Students who successfully complete those two years will then be eligible to sign a contract and scholarship with the U.S. Army that will pay for the remaining two years of the program at Gardner-Webb. In return, the student will serve four years of Army active duty or six years in the Army Reserve.

“This is an excellent way to come to ICC tuition free for its courses and to take a handful of courses at GWU at a reduced cost,” said Isothermal’s President Walter Dalton. “Beyond that the student has the opportunity to compete for scholarships that can lead to free room and board and free tuition at GWU, plus spending money of up to $550 per month while still in college.”

Dalton also pointed out the extensive benefits available to those who retire from military service including pension and various insurance benefits.

A ceremony was held to sign the agreements between the two institutions Tuesday. Joining Bonner and Dalton were Capt. Michael Meissner, ROTC instructor; Dr. Dolly Horton, ICC vice president of Student and Academic Services; Dr. Ben Leslie, GWU’s provost and executive vice president; and Dr. David Yelton, GWU’s associate provost for Arts & Sciences. The event was held at The Foundation Performing Arts and Conference Center on Isothermal’s Spindale campus.

For more information on the program or to enroll today, contact Kimberly Snyder at Isothermal at or 828-395-1660.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at

Release/photo provided by Isothermal Community College.