news-category: Tucker Scholarship

Nominations for Tucker Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength Scholarship Due by Oct. 31

A collage featuring the presentation of the Tucker Scholarship, from left, Leah Carpenter, Kyndal Jackson and Kylee Morris
The Tucker Scholars: From left, Leah Carpenter, Kyndal Jackson and Kylee Morris

Non-Family Mentors Invited to Recommend High School Seniors for Depth of Character, Faith, and Service

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The deadline to nominate a high school senior for Gardner-Webb University’s most prestigious award—the Tucker Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength Scholarship—is Oct. 31. Established by the Tucker family, long-time supporters of the University, this eight-semester full-tuition/room and board scholarship, is awarded annually to one high school student who best exemplifies the attributes highlighted in Mark 12:30-31: “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Before they can receive an invitation to apply, students must be nominated by a non-family mentor, such as a minister, teacher, coach or spiritual mentor. A candidate should be a current high school senior who is a first-year applicant at Gardner-Webb University for a bachelor’s program. Nominations should describe the applicant’s depth of character, faith, and service-driven life.

From left, the first recipient of the Tucker Scholarship, Leah Carpenter, receives a plaque inscribed with Mark 12:30-31 from Carolyn and Lisa Tucker. This top GWU scholarship is made possible by the generous support of the Tucker family, who exemplify these same principles and values in their personal and professional lives

In a recent podcast with Gardner-Webb President William Downs, the first three Tucker Scholars each said they were humbled at being chosen for the honor. Nominated for the various ways they had served in their communities, they continue to serve in different ways on the GWU Campus. Leah Carpenter, the first Tucker Scholar, was nominated by her youth pastor, who said that Carpenter helped everyone in the church and community, and “her love and her light just radiates.” A native of Stanley, N.C., Carpenter demonstrates kindness and compassion as she works in her clinical assignments for nursing.  

Kyndal Jackson, the second recipient of the Tucker Scholarship, poses with her family at the presentation.

Kyndal Jackson, of Gaffney, S.C., the second recipient of the Tucker Scholarship, was also nominated for participating in several community service clubs and projects at school and in the community. Her school counselor described her as a person who is passionate about her walk and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She enjoys participating in mission trips and ministry opportunities.

The newest Tucker Scholar, Kylee Morris, of Morehead City, N.C., was one of 160 students nominated last year. Her coach described how Morris gave up her position on the varsity basketball squad, to play with the JV team, because the younger team didn’t have enough players. Since arriving on campus, Morris has made many friends as a member of the Gardner-Webb Marching Bulldogs.

Kylee Morris, the third Tucker Scholar

After a student is nominated, they receive an invitation to apply. The Tucker Scholarship application and essay deadline is Nov. 7. A student’s admission counselor will help them through the process. After Nov. 7, the University will review all complete applications and choose the top candidates to be invited to attend an interview. Gardner-Webb hosts interviews in late November. These interviews will help GWU determine the candidate that best exemplifies a Tucker Scholar.

  • Individual parts of the scholarship packet include:
    • Due by Oct. 31:
      • Nomination by non-family mentor.
    • Due by Nov. 7:
      • Application for the Tucker Scholarship: Each nominated student will be emailed information about the application for the scholarship.
      • Accepted undergraduate application to Gardner-Webb: Apply for admission here.
      • References: Minimum of two to include both academic and character mentors.  

For more information about the Tucker Scholarship, email Ben Flournoy, Senior Admissions Counselor.

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

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