(EDITOR’S NOTE — Each North Carolina Baptist college was invited to submit an article for a feature package in the Sept. 11 issue of the Biblical Recorder. Scroll to bottom to find links to all the stories.)
It has been an historic and bittersweet start of the school year at Wingate University. The fall semester began as the school mourned the loss of incoming freshmen Mi’Shawn Miller and Arielle Parker who were killed Aug. 14 in a tragic car accident.
A memorial service recognized the lives of these fine young people just as the rest of the student body was arriving on campus excited to begin the year.
Ten days later Wingate President Jerry E. McGee welcomed 670 students in the incoming class of 2014 at the 115th opening convocation. The group of first-year students makes history as the largest freshman class that has ever entered through the gate. Representing 11 foreign countries and 25 states, the class holds high achievements with an average weighted GPA of 3.6. Some of these new students are off and running as they prepare to compete on the new track and field team or new diving team starting this year.
The university also has also broken records in terms of total enrollment, which exceeds 2,300 at the main campus and the Matthews Campus for graduate and adult education. The number also includes 78 new pharmacy students and 21 physician assistant students.
During his convocation address, McGee encouraged the freshmen by relating a statement from recent alumni. “As you grow as a person your values change,” he said. “Life is not about the things you have but what you are willing to give. Alums always talk about the experiences here.”
He also gave an update on campus improvements, including the construction of a new residence hall to open in January. To handle the fall overflow, 100 students are living off-campus in university provided transitional housing four miles from campus. After the new residence hall is built, these students will move back on campus.
In other developments, the new Wingate University Levine College of Health Science building is under construction. The $16 million project, built by CM Black Construction of Concord, is scheduled to be completed fall 2011 to house the School of Pharmacy, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and future health sciences programs.
Over the summer, Wingate University finalized its plan to help the town encourage economic development by funding $58,000 for the Wingate town plan for 2020.
The plan will enable the university and the town to collaborate and promote economic development and improved quality of life for all residents. Details include creating accessible green space along with organized and controlled growth, housing options, four parks, a university-affiliated pharmacy, senior housing and more.
In other academic news, this fall the School of Business added a new master of accounting program to its graduate offerings. The accounting program is designed to prepare students for the CPA exam. Nine students are enrolled in the program.
Upcoming events for the semester include: Author Kelsey Timmerman on Sept. 21 and CNN News Anchor Fredrika Whitfield Oct. 28.
Other featured events are: Grammy Award Winner Kathy Mattea Sept. 25, The Blind Boys of Alabama Dec. 3, and Orpheus in the Underworld Nov. 19. For any information regarding these events please visit www.wingate.edu/culture or call (704) 233-8316.
Founded — 1896
Wingate offers 32 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, business, communication, education, fine arts, music and sport sciences. It also offers graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration. In addition, the school awards doctor of pharmacy and doctor of education degrees.