Greetings GWU Parents and Families!

The spring semester is moving right along. The campus had its first snow of the academic year this past Friday. The snow didn’t last long though it was beautiful to watch as it fell from the sky. Snow days always bring an excitement to campus.

The campus hosted Ignite Excellence this past week. Ignite Excellence is a scholarship interview day set aside for incoming freshmen. During the day I have the opportunity to speak with perspective students and their parents. I try to explain what it means to be student-centered. I thought it would be helpful to share this message with you too.

In the fall of 2009 the movie Blind Side opened at theaters nationwide. It was a story of a young teen, Michael Oher, who had spent most of his life drifting in and out of schools systems and foster homes. Until his path crossed with the Tuohy family from Memphis, TN. In short this family eventually took him in, provided a community, helped him transition and catch up educationally, laid a foundation for him to continue to play football, and gave him the resources needed to be successful at his current life stage and the future. 

And at this point you could be asking yourself the question, what does the movie the Blind Side, have to do with us or Gardner-Webb?

What I didn’t mention in my brief summary of the movie was the position Michael played on the football team. He was the left tackle. In the late 70s to early 80s the game of football began to shift, players where getting more athletic and faster. Therefore rushers were getting to the quarterback much quicker, which was disrupting the effectiveness of the quarterback. The most exposed side of the quarterback was often his left side (assuming most quarterbacks are right handed), known as his blindside. As the game transformed the role of the left tackle grew in responsibility and importance. And often the success of the quarterback was determined by the attention and commitment of the left tackle.

A value that is foundational to Gardner-Webb is our commitment to being student-centered. I see us as the “left tackle” for your student, their success is the true measure of our success as a University. By being student- centered we are committed to keeping the students, mission critical. We make decisions in light of what is wisest for our students’ maturation. Similar to the left tackle, we are aware that our preparation, consistency, and availability are keys to your student’s success.

If I can be of any assistance this semester please don’t hesitate to contact me. Our desire is to be the “left tackle” for your student. And last come visit the campus this semester.

Thank you,

Dr. Sarah A. Currie
Vice President of Student Development &
Dean of Students