news-category: Black History Month Gardner-Webb University Gospel Choir Shares a Message of Hope, Love and Unity By Office of University Communications On February 1, 2024 Group Has Been a Part of Campus and Community for Nearly 30 years By Isabella Brown, ’24, Intern for University Communications The Gardner-Webb University Gospel Choir has been an integral part of the university community for nearly three decades. The group was originally named the E. Jerome Scott Gospel Choir. Scott, a former GWU vice president and dean of Student Development, passed away suddenly in May 1995. Scott was known on campus and in Cleveland County, N.C., for his love for music and his ability to bring people together. The members of the choir continue to reflect the values of Scott by connecting people of every race, denomination, and age through worship. The choir sings on campus, in the local community, and at various events, delivering a message of hope, love, and unity to everyone who hears. Nadia Norman is the president of the Gospel Choir. Nadia Norman, president of the Gospel Choir, shares that the choir is a ministry that points people to God. “If you’re looking for a place of authentic worship, this is a place of community, fellowship, and authenticity,” she offered. “We are here to worship in whatever way God is speaking. Music connects everyone. Everyone loves music.” Norman also enjoys leading this community of singers. She wrote the club constitution, emphasizing its goal of creating unity. “I like that God has allowed me to be used as a vessel to connect with people of all different genders and races,” she shared. “It has allowed me to grow as a person and as a leader.” Za’kia Hamilton, a sophomore, music education major, and a soprano, shares that the Gospel Choir holds a special place in her heart. After coming to Gardner-Webb, Hamilton discovered the choir was a place to express her love for music and God. “I was a transfer student,” she said. “The community part was important.” Breeland Madison, a freshman and business management major who sings bass, describes why this choir community is so special to him. “I feel like friendships are genuine here,” he expressed. “Regardless of who you are, people who are really faith-centered are always trying to be better. Everyone I became friends with is genuine. We are all each other’s safe space.” The Gospel Choir practices in Dover Chapel on Sundays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. The Gospel Choir’s advisor is Dr. Joshua Cheney, assistant professor of music and director of Choral Activities at Gardner-Webb. The choir’s next concert will be on Feb. 29. For more information, email Norman. Writer Isabella Brown is a senior English Major. Black History Spirit Week This year’s national celebration of Black History Month focuses on the theme, African Americans and the Arts. During the month, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is hosting Black History Spirit Week, which is a great opportunity to learn, share, and honor the extraordinary contributions of Black individuals throughout history. Acquiring this knowledge fosters unity, understanding, and a deep appreciation for the diverse narratives that have shaped the world. Feb. 6 – 6 p.m., Education and Achievement Day. Wear gold to represent excellence, achievement, and success. Panel discussion featuring African-American alumni and professionals to highlight achievements and contributions to education and society. Tucker Student Center, Rm. 141. Feb. 7 – 6 p.m., Cultural Appreciation Day. Wear green to symbolize the rich land of Africa and growth. Cultural fair showcasing various aspects of African-American culture, including art, music, dance, and literature. Tucker Student Center, Third Floor Lobby. Feb. 8 – 6 p.m., Social Justice and Advocacy Day. Wear black to signify resilience, strength, and solidarity. Diversity Dialogue focused on social justice issues, activism, and advocacy. Tucker Student Center, Third Floor Lobby. Feb. 9 – 6 p.m., Legacy and Future Day. Wear a combination of red, black, and green to represent the Pan-African flag and the unity of the African diaspora. Tucker Student Center. Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, 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 Gardner-Webb.edu.