news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb Alpha Chi Inducts 40 New Members and Surprises Honorary Member

The five officers of Alpha Sigma Chi stand on stage during the induction ceremony

GWU President Dr. William Downs Selected on Scholarship, Character and Friendship to Alpha Chi

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—At the 49th annual induction ceremony, the Gardner-Webb University North Carolina Zeta Chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society welcomed 40 new members and surprised GWU President Dr. William Downs with an honorary membership. The event was held on Nov. 14 in Blanton Auditorium.

To be inducted as an honorary member, Downs met rigorous standards of scholarship, character, and friendship to the organization. Lara Noah, executive director of National Alpha Chi, stated, “Our national governing board carefully reviews the credentials submitted by nominating chapters and appreciates the support and encouragement provided by our honorary members. We are proud that they have joined our Alpha Chi family.”

Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs receives honorary membership from Chapter Sponsor Dr. June Hobbs.

Alpha Chi, founded in 1922, inducts more that 11,000 juniors, seniors, and graduate students annually from all academic disciplines on more than 30 campuses. The national organization will celebrate its 100th birthday on 2/22/22, which is appropriately on a TUES (TWOS)day. Additionally, the Gardner-Webb Zeta chapter will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022.

During the program, Chapter Vice President Thomas Manning presented a preview of a video that he is preparing about the chapter’s history. The film will become part of Alpha Chi’s centennial oral history project, “Voices of Alpha Chi.” Manning’s presentation was an interview that Grace Burgin and Chapter Sponsor Dr. June Hobbs had with Dr. Bob Morgan, professor emeritus of French and mathematics, who was the chapter sponsor for 12 years. The interview, along with others, will be combined with a photo slide show.

The name Alpha Chi is the initial letters of the Greek words ALETHEIA and CHARAKTER, meaning truth and character. Induction into Alpha Chi is the highest academic honor bestowed upon any group of students at Gardner-Webb. The Alpha Chi colors of emerald green and sapphire blue signify victory and truth. The lighted candles that students receive from their sponsors during the ceremony signify the passing of wisdom from mentor to student. The GWU North Carolina Zeta Chapter of Alpha Chi was established in 1972.

Dr. Elizabeth Amato was the mentor for Michelle Lominac.

Dr. Carolyn Billings, pianist, played the processional, “Andante, Op. 102, No. 6” by Felix Mendelssohn and the recessional, “Sic Locutus Est” from Magnificat by J.S. Bach. Also participating in the program were Hannah C. Ray, Holly O’Brien, Maelyn Cranford, Faith Parandhamaia and Ashlyn Burdette, Eliza Gunson, Kimberly Cole, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Shawn Holt. Debbie Hill assisted with the program.

Mentors and Inductees

Dr. Elizabeth Amato, Michelle Lominac, of Conover, N.C., political science major         

Coach Michael Blum, Delaney Willette, of Conyers, Ga., business administration major

Coach Michael Blum, Trevor Wyatt, of Winston-Salem, N.C., math education major with youth discipleship studies minor

Rev. Rachael Bradley, Danielle Billups, of Dacula, Ga., photography major

Dr. David Carscaddon, Madilyn Nash, of Cary, N.C., nursing major    

Coach Jim Corn, Maria Jardim, of Goiania, Goias, economics/finance major

Professor Jennifer Costello, Brooklyn Tretter, of Huntingburg, Ind., nursing major with a minor in Spanish with focus on healthcare and minor in healthcare administration

Dr. Chris Davis, Meredith Jane Bridges, of Kings Mountain, N.C., English major

Dr. Gerald Gilsdorf, Travis E. Wright, of Kings Mountain, N.C., sport management major

Dr. Jeffrey Hartman, Allyson Hope Butts, of Concord, N.C., exercise science major      

Coach Kristina Henkel, Alyssa Church, of Wadsworth, Ill., accounting major

Coach Kristina Henkel, Alexandra Haasser, of Seffner, Fla., biology major

Dr. Brittany Hudgins-Graham, Andrea E. Wilson, of Asheboro, N.C., nursing major

Dr. Thomas Jones, Jenissa Lynn Schleifenheimer, of Birdsboro, Pa., biology major with pre-veterinary concentration

Professor Doug Knotts, Katie Jones Canipe, of Lattimore, N.C., art major

Dr. Sandra Mankins, Caleb Cook, of Hudson, N.C., accounting major

Dr. Arielle McKee, Ryan McGuffin, of Huntington, W.Va., English major with a general writing emphasis

Professor Robert Moore, Haley McNaughton, of Valdese, N.C., American Sign Language major

Dr. Erin Montgomery, Katie Townsend, of Sherrills Ford, N.C., nursing major

Rev. Rachael Bradley was a mentor for Danielle Billups.

Dr. James Morgan, Haila Kaylin, of Gaffney, S.C.         

Dr. James Morgan, Meghan O’Brien, of Cornelius, N.C., psychology major with minors in Spanish and religious studies

Dr. James Morgan, Brittany Stauffenberg, of Plano, Ill., psychology and sociology major     

Dr. Meredith Rowe, Blake Henkel, of Granite Falls, N.C., biomedical science major

Dr. Meredith Rowe, Madison Mintz, of Canton, N.C., biology major with a concentration in biomedical science

Dr. Meredith Rowe, Kathryn Wilson, of Connelly Springs, N.C., biology major

Professor Stacie Smith, Helena Isabel Berczes, of Henrico, Va., biology major        

Professor Stacie Smith, Marissa DiMatteo, of Granite Falls, N.C., biomedical sciences and psychology major

Professor Stacie Smith, Emma L. Rayfield, of Bessemer City, N.C., biology major    

Professor Stacie Smith, Nicole L. Riha, of Knoxville, Tenn., biology major with a concentration in biomedical sciences

Professor Stacie Smith, Victoria Baylee Short, of Bostic, N.C., exercise science major

Professor Stacie Smith, Chelsea Walters, of Connelly Springs, N.C., nursing major with a minor in health science  

Dean Mischia Taylor, Colby Varner, of Crouse, N.C., marketing major

Andrew Woods, Joseph Waller of Cherryville, N.C., psychology major                              

Dr. Bruce Moser, Caleb Etchison, of Stanley, N.C., music composition and music performance major

Dr. Bruce Moser, Annabeth Reed, of Franklinton, N.C., music major

In absentia:                                                   

Bien Gabrielle Rodriguez Gaddi, of Stanley, N.C., management major                                           

Jasmine Jones, of Tamuning, exercise science major

Gillian O’Brien, of Clemson, S.C., business administration major

Victor Putter, of Pretoria Gauteng, mathematics major

Grace Schiefen, of Mooresville, N.C., music education major                     

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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