Distinguished Service Award

Dr. C. Lorance Henderson

Dr. C. Lorance Henderson graduated from Western Oregon University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1962 and a Master of Science degree in 1965. In 1967, he earned a Master of Arts degree in School Administration from California State University. Gardner-Webb awarded him with a Honorary Doctorate in 1979.


During his career in education, Dr. Henderson served in various positions including teacher, coach, and principal. He is a former Superintendent and Director for the NC Schools for the Deaf.


Dr. Henderson is a former President of the Piedmont Council for Boy Scouts of America and has received the “Man of the Year,” “Silver Beaver,” and “Sliver Cross” Scouting awards. He previously served as chairman of the James Lake Task Force, trustee for the NC Clear Water Fund, and member of the Board of Directors for the NC Partnership for Children. He is a current member of The Friends of Lake James State Park Board of Directors. In 2008, Dr. Henderson was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Michael F. Easley.


Dr. Henderson has a distinguished tenure of service to Gardner-Webb where he has served as a Trustee since 1980. He is former chairperson of the Executive Committee and Education and Academics Affairs Committee. He was also a member of the Presidential Search Committee. Today, Dr. Henderson serves as the current chairperson for the Board of Trustees.


Dr. Henderson is a member of First Baptist Church in Morganton, North Carolina where he currently serves as a deacon and teacher for a men’s Sunday School class. He is a former chairperson for the deacon board and a pastor search committee.


Dr. Henderson is married to Betty Ledford Henderson, a 1953 alumna of Gardner-Webb, and they have two children, David and Julie, as well as five grandchildren.


Dr. Henderson shares, “I love Gardner-Webb University. There has never been a better time to be involved.”

Judy A. Farina

Although not an alumna of Gardner-Webb nor a large financial backer of the University, Mrs. Farina considers it a blessing to receive this honor. Her volunteer efforts are an act of service- to pay forward the gift of her son’s education (CJ Bryant, football scholarship recipient) and to do her part since Dr. Bonner is committed to keeping tuition costs down. With Coach Steve Patton’s approval, she started the “Parents of Gardner-Webb Football.”

Providing special teams meals, snack bags for long trips home, information for football parents, as well as organizing tailgate parties and a well-deserved team banquet, is for Mrs. Farina minor contributions compared to she has received. The smile on the boy’s faces as they sit down to a special meal prepared just for them warms her heart. She affirms that her son’s decision to attend Gardner-Webb was solidified when the football coaches, athletic trainers, and athletic staff, etc. welcome the family as soon as they walked through they door. They also welcome of Mrs. Farina’s 80-year old mother, Meamie as they called her, with such warmth, and because of this, she knows that God sent her here.

Mrs. Farina asks, “Is what I have done the norm at the collegiate level? No it is not, but I have found that Gardner-Webb goes beyond the norm looking for all the possibilities for their students and their families.”