Honors Program at GWU Provides Unique Opportunities

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Emily DeVries (’16) Experiences Academic, Professional and Spiritual Growth

After one visit, Emily Christine DeVries (’16) of Mooresville, N.C., decided to trust her instincts about Gardner-Webb University.

“While I had toured many other universities, when I stepped foot on Gardner-Webb’s campus, I experienced something unique, a sense of reassurance that this place could become my home,” DeVries recalled. “I was impressed by the community I witnessed in one afternoon on campus. Although I was still hesitant about the unknowns that the college experience presents, I enrolled at Gardner-Webb.”

She also applied and was accepted into The University’s Honors Program, an enrichment option for academically-qualified students of all majors. The program offers opportunities for student-centered learning, cultural enrichment, community involvement, research, extra-curricular learning and participating in the activities of the North Carolina, southern regional and national honors organizations.

“To anyone unsure about applying for the Honors Program, I would highly encourage him or her to consider it,” DeVries asserted. “From annual camping trips along the New River, where I met some of my best friends during freshman year, to regional and national honors conferences, where I had the opportunity to present my own research and work in a professional setting, my experience with the Honors Program has been phenomenal and incredibly beneficial to my college career.”

Participating in honors activities has helped her to grow intellectually and develop skills in leadership and teamwork.

“My proudest moment as an honors student was when I traveled with Gardner-Webb to the Southern Regional Honors Conference in Savannah, Ga.,” she related. “I helped to make a presentation about a Gardner-Webb Honors event to faculty and students from other university honors programs. It was such a great experience to stand beside my friends and fellow honors students and share the great work we’re doing, while also inspiring other honors programs with new ideas.”

She’s also had opportunities to serve in leadership positions on campus, including vice president of Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honors Society; senior class vice president of the Student Government Association and chair of special events committee; Student Recruitment Ambassador and member of the Communications Creative Team; and a member of the communications committee for Relay for Life, an event held to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

DeVries credits her success to the exceptional Gardner-Webb faculty, who are invested in academics, but their attention to students extends beyond the classroom.

“I’ve had a professor invite us over for s’mores and pizza to celebrate the end of a great semester,” she observed. “My freshman year English professor hosted a Bible study for the girls in my class, which was super cool. I’ve seen professors perform at open mic night, or I’ve traveled to different cities with professors and faculty, who gave up their free time to go with us.”

She invites others to come for a visit and experience Gardner-Webb for themselves.

“The community here is incredible—faculty, students and staff,” she praised. “Gardner-Webb has provided an environment that both nurtures and challenges me in academic, professional and spiritual aspects of my life, and much of that is credit to the relationships that I have established during my time here. I would encourage anyone to consider Gardner-Webb when they are searching for their college home.”