news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb University to Hold Expanded Spring Commencement on May 7 and 8

male student taking a photo at 2017 graduation, amidst the crowd, holding his diploma

Event on May 7 Features Speaker and Fireworks; Celebrations on May 8 Recognize Individual Graduates

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Officials at Gardner-Webb University are pleased to announce a return to in-person commencement services for the Class of 2021. Two days of celebrations are planned for May 7 and 8 in Spangler Stadium. In addition, students who graduated during virtual celebrations—held May 2020, August 2020 and December 2020—are invited to participate in the face-to-face events.

“We are so very excited about bringing Gardner-Webb’s grand Commencement traditions to a big stage at a new venue, Spangler Stadium,” shared GWU President Dr. William M. Downs. “Weather permitting, this is going to be the start of something special. I cannot wait to showcase the accomplishments of our graduates and to join them and their families in well-deserved celebration!”

graduation ceremony

The ceremony on Friday, May 7, will include a guest speaker, congratulatory acknowledgements for graduates, a tassel turning ceremony, and fireworks. On Saturday, May 8, a series of Recognition and Celebration events is planned for the University’s schools and colleges. Detailed information about both events, such as inclement weather plans and parking, is available on the FAQ page.

For Friday night’s commencement, guests of graduates are required to have tickets to attend, and up to six tickets have been offered to each graduate. Also during Friday’s program, academic awards will be presented and doctoral students will receive their hoods. The speaker will be N.C. Rep. and Speaker of the House Tim Moore, a native of Kings Mountain, N.C.

Speaker Tim Moore
Tim Moore

Moore, who represents Cleveland County, N.C., was first elected to the General Assembly in 2002. He is the longest serving Republican House Speaker in North Carolina history. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He then attended law school at the Oklahoma City University School of Law and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1995. After passing the North Carolina Bar Exam, he returned to Cleveland County. He resides in Kings Mountain and currently practices with his firm, Tim Moore, Attorney at Law, P.A. He has two sons, McRae and Wilson. Moore is a member of First Baptist Church of Kings Mountain.

On Saturday, each of the five separate events will include an academic processional, an opportunity for graduates to be recognized, walk across the stage, and receive their diploma folders. A reception will follow each recognition event where students, families and friends can gather to celebrate. Tickets are not required for Saturday’s recognition events. The schedule for Saturday’s Recognition and Celebration events will be:

  • 8 a.m.—M. Christopher White School of Divinity
  • 9:30 a.m.—College of Arts and Sciences
  • 11:30 a.m.—College of Education
  • 1:30 p.m.—Godbold College of Business
  • 3:30 p.m.—College of Health Sciences

The University encourages attendees to use the hashtag “#GWUGrad21” for social media posts including photos, tweets, and Facebook status updates. The commencement ceremonies will be live streamed on The University Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request ten (10) working days prior to the event. Please call 704-406-4270 or email [email protected] to make a request.

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