news-category: GWU Commencement

Gardner-Webb University Honors Graduates During Fall Commencement on Dec. 11

two grads clasp hands above the rows of graduates

Events Celebrate Conferring of Over 360 Degrees

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University awarded over 360 degrees during the 2021 Fall Commencement Exercises on Saturday, Dec. 11. The ceremony was held in the Paul Porter Arena of the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center, located on the campus of Gardner-Webb University.

The event commemorated the achievements of students in traditional undergraduate, degree completion, and graduate programs of study who completed their degrees in the 2021 Summer and Fall semesters. Doctoral candidates from the College of Education and the College of Health Sciences received their hoods.

Emily A. Yelton, an elementary education major, earned the Senior Scholastic Achievement Award and the Degree Completion Program Academic Award was presented to Chadwick Brady Tate, a computer information systems major.

Dr. David Podgorski, a GWU alumnus, was the guest speaker.

The commencement speaker was Dr. David Podgorski, a GWU graduate with a degree in chemistry and an assistant professor at the University of New Orleans who has received numerous awards and honors. He told the graduates they were an inspiration to him and to everyone gathered for this occasion. “Today marks an achievement in your life that will always be with you,” he noted. “The circumstances that surround your achievement are unlike any other. You succeeded despite some of the most stressful and uncertain times that the world has seen. You succeeded despite a global shutdown. You succeeded despite interruptions to your daily routines and class schedules.”

He commended their perseverance and recognized the people who helped them along the journey. “Perseverance is the quality that makes even those things that seem impossible possible,” he offered. “Today we celebrate your efforts. However, today we also need to show appreciation to those that have helped us get here. Today is a time to thank those who brought you this far—those who molded you, enlightened you, and motivated you. These people may include your family, friends, or like me, my professors at GWU.”

After the ceremony, each of the four colleges—College of Health Sciences, Godbold College of Business, College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences—and the School of Divinity held recognition services to honor their graduates.

The 9 a.m. ceremony is available for viewing on The University’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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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