Wingate University celebrates Founders’ Day

Jim Smith
Contact: Kim Williams
Communications Writer 704-233-8320

Wingate, N.C. – Wingate University will celebrate their annual Founders’ Day on Thursday, April 4 at 11 a.m. in McGee Theatre on campus. Jim Smith, the son of Budd E. and Ethel K. Smith, will be guest speaker. Budd E. was a president of the University for 21 years and Ethel K. was head librarian for many years. During their tenure, the campus more than doubled in size and the student population grew from 192 – 1,820.

Jim serves as the technical coordinator and airport subject matter expert for the Port Resiliency Program (PReP), a public-private partnership that seeks to improve the resiliency of airports and seaports in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Jim is professor emeritus of emergency and disaster management at American Public University System, which helped initiate his airport research with a series of four APUS Faculty Research Grants. He is the president of Smith-Woolwine Associates Inc., a consulting firm based in Floyd, Va. He serves as the corresponding member for aviation on ASCE's Committee on Critical Infrastructure. Jim's doctorate in environmental design and planning is from Virginia Tech. He is a professional engineer, who lives in southwestern Virginia and Newfoundland.

Wingate University
Wingate University, ranked as the 6th "best value" in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves nearly 2,700 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy, physical therapy and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.

To view current news, video and story ideas, visit

In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 22 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past six years. For more information, go to