news-category: GWU Commencement

Gardner-Webb to Award Degrees in Spring Commencement Ceremony on May 2

More than 500 Graduates will be Honored for Achievements

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University will host its Spring Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in Spangler Stadium. Families and guests will celebrate the achievements of more than 500 students in traditional undergraduate, online, and graduate programs of study.

The program will include speeches from Gardner-Webb University President William M. Downs and President of the Student Government Association, Madi Mamoone. Greetings will be offered by Board of Trustees Chair Gary Smith.

CMS Interim Superintendent Crystal Hill
CMS Superintendent Crystal Hill

The commencement speaker is Dr. Crystal L. Hill, who became superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools (CMS) on May 19, 2023. She earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in 2008 from Gardner-Webb. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Hill leads the second largest school district in North Carolina and 17th largest in the country. Her decisions impact more than 140,406 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in 181 schools.

Before coming to CMS in May 2022, Hill was chief academic officer for Cabarrus County (N.C.) Schools, where she led the district in achieving the highest level of academic performance in history. She also currently serves on the Leading on Opportunity Council, an entity of the Foundation For The Carolinas, that uses strategy, policy and data to help its partners across Charlotte-Mecklenburg improve economic mobility for all. In 2020, she co-chaired the North Carolina State Board of Education Literacy Task Force. Hill’s appointment as Superintendent of CMS in 2023 was historic, as she is the first Black female to serve in that post.

During the ceremony, the Most Outstanding Graduate Medals will be presented to two students in recognition of their outstanding leadership, citizenship, and academic excellence. Senior Scholastic Awards will be presented to students who completed their academic careers with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The online scholastic award will be given to students with the highest cumulative grade point average. The Darlene J. Gravett Award will also be presented to a graduate student for scholarly research that has the potential to make an improvement to society. It is named in honor of Gravett, who was a long-time dean of the GWU Graduate School and Associate Provost Emerita.

Thursday’s commencement ceremony will be shown on the University Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Recognition Events

The celebration continues on Friday, May, 3, with each college and school honoring its graduates.

  • 9 a.m. – College of Business, Spangler Stadium.
  • 9 a.m. – College of Health Sciences, Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center.
  • 11 a.m. – College of Arts& Sciences, Spangler Stadium.
  • 11 a.m. – College of Education, Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center.
  • 11 a.m. – School of Divinity, Dover Chapel.

More information about Gardner-Webb Spring 2024 Commencement is available here.

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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