category: Faculty Emeriti - In Memory Of

Bettye McClure Carpenter

Professor Emerita of Psychology

Dr. Bettye McClure Carpenter
(1923-1987) was born in Shelby,
 N.C. She spent the first few years of her life in the western North Carolina near Rosman.
 Her family eventually settled in
 Shelby, N.C. After
 graduation in 1941 from the Shelby School System, Carpenter
 enrolled at Gardner-Webb 
Junior College for two years and
 then transferred to Meredith 
College, where she received 
her undergraduate degree in
 psychology. She continued her studies and earned a master’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Carpenter began her teaching career back home in Shelby. She taught first grade for several years and served as the supervisor for Exceptional Children in the school system from 1953 -1965. The following semester Carpenter joined the faculty at Gardner-Webb where she taught child psychology.  

She also had a private practice in clinical psychology in the Rutherfordton, N.C., area. Her after-school hours and summers kept her busy working in the public schools as a speech therapist. Carpenter holds the honor of being the first to incorporate speech programs in a school system in western North Carolina. She received an award and statewide recognition from the governor for her achievements and contributions to speech therapy. 

While at Gardner-Webb University, Carpenter earned her doctorate in psychology from Nova University and served as president of the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. She retired from teaching in 1985 and was appointed faculty emerita of psychology at that time. 

Carpenter’s brief retirement enabled her to enjoy her two favorite activities, oil painting and gardening. She remained active in the community and had plans of serving as a Southern Baptist Missionary. Carpenter was awaiting her mission appointment when she succumbed to cancer in 1987. 

Sources: Wally Carpenter and Lansford Jolly 

– James Heffner 

-Revised in May 2022 

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