Jackie Bridges

Assistant Director of University Communications

For 30 years, Jackie McSwain Bridges reported on the people of Cleveland County, N.C., for The Star, a newspaper in Shelby, N.C. During that time, she won three N.C. Press Association awards and was honored twice as The Star’s Journalist of the Year.

A native of Kings Mountain, N.C., Bridges is a 1985 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

She began working at The Star in October 1985 as a newsroom clerk, and in 1992 was promoted to Lifestyles Editor. In that position, she wrote profiles on interesting people and stories that focused on health and wellness; parenting and schools; nutrition and recipes; arts and entertainment; and religion and faith. She was responsible for editing engagement and wedding announcements, birth announcements, church events, calendar items and other information submitted by Star readers.

In 2006, she was promoted to The Star’s Special Projects Editor and planned, wrote and designed the newspaper’s specialty publications, including Your Health, Explore Rutherford and other seasonal sections. In August 2014, she was named The Star’s Senior Reporter, a new role that included business reporting and assisting the News Editor with planning news coverage, managing reporters and editing duties.

She came to work at Gardner-Webb in September 2015 as Research and Outcomes Coordinator with her primary responsibility being to connect with alumni and write profiles on their successes. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant Director of University Communications.

She married her high school sweetheart, Bruce Bridges (a 1984 and 2004 alumnus of GWU), in 1985, and they have two children and one granddaughter. She likes to sing at church, travel and go to the beach.