Gardner-Webb Officials Announces Winners of Full-Tuition Ignite Excellence Scholarships


Eight Students receive $31,220 each in recognition of exemplary academic achievements, one of whom is CCCHS senior Shelby Watkins, pictured above.

Jackie Bridges

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Admissions officials at Gardner-Webb University have announced the 2021 winners of the Ignite Excellence Scholarships. Selected from a field of 200 finalists, each of the eight recipients receive a full-tuition scholarship that honors their exemplary academic achievements. The award covers the cost of tuition for fall and spring semesters and is valued at $31,220 per academic year.

“Our Ignite Scholars were so impressive this year especially with so much interest in the scholarship program from our prospective students,” shared Julie C. Fleming, assistant vice president for Undergraduate Admissions. “Our scholars are a diverse group of future Runnin’ Bulldogs, coming from four states and with interest in a variety of programs from nursing and biology to Bible studies. We look forward to the contributions they will make, and the success they will have at Gardner-Webb University.”

One of the winners is Shelby Watkins, of Manchester, Tenn., a senior at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester.

Watkins, who visited Gardner-Webb on a recommendation from her uncle, is ecstatic about receiving the scholarship. She has also stayed on campus twice as a participant in the Honors Experience in 2019 and 2020. The Honors Experience is a one-week college immersion for academically gifted and talented ninth- through 11th-grade students. Students who are accepted into the Honors Experience are automatically invited to participate in Gardner-Webb’s Ignite Excellence Scholarship competition.

“They were both awesome experiences, and I would recommend the experience to any person interested in Gardner-Webb,” Watkins said. “I loved being able to learn new things and make friends that I am still in contact with today! The event solidified my decision to go to GWU, because it seemed like an amazing place to be. Gardner-Webb had my intended major, a family-like atmosphere, and professors that I knew would support me in my dream.”

About GWU Admissions

Gardner-Webb offers merit and needs-based scholarships, grants and other financial aid opportunities to meet students’ unique needs. The Office of Financial Planning is dedicated to providing students and their families with friendly, efficient, and responsible financial services, while complying with all federal, state, and University policies. For more information about the admissions process, email [email protected].

About the Honors Experience

The Honors Experience will be July 18-23, 2021, on the Gardner-Webb campus in Boiling Springs. Participants spend a full week living in dorms, traveling to field experiences, and attending classes. Those who attend are automatically qualified to compete for a full-tuition scholarship to Gardner-Webb. Email questions about the Honors Experience to Mindy Robinson, coordinator for Community Engagement and Student Ministries at [email protected].

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at