From the Students: Christian University at Gardner-Webb

Gardner-Webb's Christian foundation is important to students
in unique ways. Hear from current students about what it means to them.

Jonathon Rhyne, Freshman Marketing/Journalism

“I know that on my bad days, I am loved by a bunch of people who I don’t even know… Here, people do care about you, and they don’t even have to know your name.” (More)



Hannah Ray, Sophomore English

“Everything falls under that umbrella of 'Why are we doing this?' and a Christian University has the responsibility to do it because they’re trying to glorify God in all that they’re doing.” (More)


Jeremiah Hamby, Senior Psychology

“It’s more than going to Church on Sunday; it’s living in a community of Christian believers in everyday life and being intentional, being vulnerable with them, and the atmosphere at Gardner-Webb has really shown me that…” (More)


Caitlyn Brotherton, Senior ASL

“That’s what college is all about: figuring out what you want to do and who you want to be, and when everyone around you is pointing you towards Christ, it’s a lot easier to be focused on him.” (More)

Research Experiences at GWU Helped Alum Jumpstart Career as Biologist


Benjamin Humphrey ’15

Benjamin Humphrey ’15 environmental science major, biology minor

“Working with Dr. David Campbell at GWU on my independent research equipped me with the tools, skills, and experience I needed. He was instrumental in jumpstarting my career, and I will always be grateful.”

Before graduating from Gardner-Webb University, Benjamin Humphrey ’15 was hired on the spot during an interview with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR). After starting the job, he asked his supervisor why she knew he was the right choice. “Her response was, ‘When I asked you about the research you conducted, you were able to clearly explain it on the spot without hesitation. You sounded excited to talk about it,’” Humphrey recalled.

Although the job was temporary, it opened a door and provided experience for Humphrey’s current job as a malacologist with Research, Environmental, Industrial Consultants Inc. (REIC) in Beckley, W.Va. A malacologist studies mollusks, which are invertebrates like snails and mussels. At Gardner-Webb, Humphrey studied aquatic snails in the Broad River and discovered that one species of snail, Elimia, had different shapes of shells. “Working with Dr. David Campbell at GWU on my independent research equipped me with the tools, skills, and experience I needed,” Humphrey assessed. “He was instrumental in jumpstarting my career, and I will always be grateful.”

Humphrey also appreciated the influence of other professors in the Department of Natural Sciences. “The greatest value of my GWU experience was the small class size that allowed me to connect with the faculty in ways you cannot at a large university,” he reflected. “Dr. David Judge’s invertebrate zoology class introduced me to this fantastic field of study. Dr. Stefka Eddins’ environmental chemistry class prepared me to work in the environmental consulting business. Dr. Joseph Oyugi’s ecology, vertebrate zoology, and conservation biology classes were fundamental in preparing me for the future. I still open those textbooks when needed. And Dr. Tom Jones, his botany class was challenging but always exciting.”

At REIC, he conducts freshwater mussel surveys to determine the well-being of these creatures that filter water. According to REIC literature, 38 of North America’s 300 species of mussels are now extinct with another 77 considered critically impaired, making mussels the most imperiled group of animals in the country. “I wanted to work as a biologist to protect, preserve, and conserve the rich array of biodiversity of North America,” Humphrey shared. “In five years, I would like to be working as a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”