Calling Home

The Office of Student Development produces a monthly newsletter, “Calling Home,” to stay in touch with parents and family members.

The newsletter touches on important events and activities that you can participate in, such as Family Weekend, Homecoming, and Commencement.  It also provides information about academic and financial aid deadlines, holiday and break schedules, and resources to support your student through his or her academic journey and beyond.

August 2020 Newsletter

Dear Gardner-Webb Parents and Families,

Welcome!  On behalf of all our faculty and staff, I want to say how delighted we are that you have a child enrolled at GWU!  We eagerly await move-in day on August 17, the start of classes, and the beginning of what we are confident will be an amazing journey of academic and personal growth.  You have placed great confidence in us to deliver world-class academic programs and inspirational teaching within a caring Christian environment.  Be assured that we will do everything possible to live up to those expectations.  Runnin’ Bulldogs take care of their own, and you are family.

Clearly, this year’s start to the college experience is different than any other that we have experienced.  I want to be very candid and transparent about the adjustments we have made in the face of COVID-19.  We take this public health challenge seriously, and since February we have been working overtime to minimize risk and to keep our community safe.  We have opened a new on-campus Student Health Clinic.  We are requiring the wearing of face coverings in classes and anywhere else on campus where at least six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.  Classrooms will be held to 50% of their normal capacity, and more single or reduced occupancy rooms and apartments will be available to residential students.  Our dining hall and common spaces have never been cleaner, and our staff will be attentive to keeping them that way.  We have rigorous protocols in place to screen for symptoms, and we have the ability to isolate and quarantine if necessary.  We look forward to the day when these precautions will no longer be needed, but until then we will continue to prioritize the health, safety, and wellness of all.

While vigilant, we are bold about getting on with our lives.  The academic year ahead will be full of opportunities for learning and for some good collegiate fun.  We do hope that all Bulldog Parents will take advantage of chances to support us in those activities.  If the NCAA allows, we will move forward with competitions by our 22 Division I sports teams…football kicks off in Spangler Stadium under the lights on September 3!  We look forward to Homecoming in October.  We are eager to have our musical and other performing arts programs take the stage again.  Campus ministries will take no break from guiding students along their individual spiritual journeys.  Indeed, each and every week the excellence and energy of our students and faculty will be on full display…I warmly invite you to join us when you can!

When you do come to campus you are likely to see some big projects (some completed, some still underway) designed to upgrade GWU’s facilities and landscaping.  Be sure to take a look inside Decker Residence Hall.  Note the facelift being given to the Dover Campus Center.  Our venerable campus pool is also receiving a completely new structure.  A new videoboard should soon be in place at Spangler Stadium, which will enhance the experience for football, lacrosse, and Spring Commencement.  Our rose garden recently underwent major rejuvenation with the planting of 82 new rose bushes.  The place looks great, and now all it needs are you and your student!

Thank you, again, for choosing to join us at Gardner-Webb University!  We want you all to become Bulldog Parents for life!

Dr. William M. Downs, President