category: Advisory

Coronavirus Information: Academics, Athletics, Student Life, Event Updates

Academics, Athletics, Student Life, Event Updates

Gardner-Webb continues to prepare for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester. The Post-COVID Transition Taskforce met on June 19, and recommendations were received from four workgroups: 

Decisions were made on a number of items:


Beginning with Summer Session II, face coverings will be required in classrooms and labs for students and faculty. Students and employees should also wear them in public spaces or anywhere they are not able to practice appropriate physical distancing. An initial supply of face masks will be available to all students and employees at no cost. Face masks may be obtained from the following locations:

University Police

Campus Shop (Tucker Student Center)

Student Development Office (Tucker Student Center)

College of Health Sciences (front office)

Classrooms will be configured to operate at 50% of allowed capacity, so a room with a typical occupancy of 30 will only be allowed 15.  Course modifications utilizing larger classroom spaces, and enhanced instruction may be implemented as well. Students and faculty should stay at least six feet apart in classrooms and labs, even when wearing face coverings. 


The NCAA has approved the return of several student-athlete populations to take part in workouts and training (under CARA-related activities and protocols.) From July 13-20, Gardner-Webb will be able to welcome over 200 student-athletes who participate in football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Gardner-Webb has implemented an aggressive daily screening measure for student athletes, and this will continue throughout the fall semester.   

Events and Activities

Plans for the August commencement are going forward, with a decision still planned to be announced by July 1. Alternative dates and locations are also being considered. 

The July 31 Awards Ceremony is being modified into a virtual celebration. There will be no face-to-face ceremony at this time. 

The Opening Formal Convocation scheduled for August has been cancelled. 

All university Dimensions programs will transition into online delivery until fall break. 

The formal Inauguration of President William M. Downs will be transitioned into a modified event in October. More details will be forthcoming.

The WebbStock Music Festival and the Gardner-Webb Great Day of Service have been postponed until spring 2021, with a date to be announced later. 

Family Weekend is scheduled for September 26; a decision on moving forward or postponing that date will be made by August 1.

Student Life

Residence Life will endeavor to create new social norms for living on campus, with educational programs (regarding face coverings, physical distancing, personal health screening guidelines) and agreements for residential students based on each individual living situation.  

In order to increase physical distancing, Residence Life is developing and implementing strategies to expand the population of students across various campus living spaces. 

Orientation and student check in will also be modified with scheduled blocking, numerous check-in locations, and designated screening protocol measures.

Healthy Practices Outside of the Classroom

Both physical distancing and wearing face coverings go hand-in-hand. All university personnel, students and visitors should be prepared to wear face coverings when interacting with others on campus. A good rule of thumb, if you think you are going to interact with someone, you should both wear a face covering and practice physical distancing of at least six feet. 

Financial Support

The University is keenly aware of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. GWU has worked to absorb the costs associated with the many changes on campus, including the loss of revenue from the NCAA and from summer camps. Our students and families need support as well. In response, the University established a Student Emergency Fund in March and raised much-needed dollars from generous donors. In April, FLEX meal account balances were returned to students, and in May and June federal support funds in the form of the CARES Act arrived. As of June 15, Gardner-Webb University had disbursed $1,973,187 directly to students.

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