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Wingate University ceremony marks 116th Convocation

8/30/2011
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Contact: Jennifer Gaskins
Director of Marketing & Communications
jgaskins@wingate.edu (704) 233-8117

Wingate, N.C. – Wingate University kicked off the start of a new year with their 116th Convocation ceremony held in Austin Auditorium. Byrns Coleman carried the traditional mace as he led the faculty dressed in academic regalia through the procession.

President Jerry E. McGee welcomed and encouraged the students that filled the auditorium. “About 620 of you were selected from more than 4200 applications,” he said. “We have extremely high expectations of you and we look forward to helping you prepare for a great life.”

This year’s incoming class joins the largest student body in the University’s history. The new students have an impressive academic profile. Their average rank is in the 27th percentile, with an average weighted GPA of 3.79 and 1529 average SAT score. “This is the strongest class in Wingate’s history - both in size and academic profile,” said Lindsay Kreis, director of admissions. “We are so proud that every single academic indicator has shown improvement over previous years.”

The most popular majors for first time freshman include: pre-pharmacy, biology, pre-med, athletic training, sport management and psychology. In addition to students from the United States, these students represent countries such as: Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, the Bahamas, Germany, France, the UK, Mexico and Sweden. Seventy-nine percent are from North Carolina. Other top states represented by students include: Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Dr. McGee continued his remarks. “Wingate University has spent 115 years or so preparing for your arrival,” he said. “As individuals you can accomplish very little in your lives, but working as part of a group, such as the one found in this room today, your success will have no limits.”

Wingate University has seen much growth to accommodate the increasing enrollment. For the second year in a row, Admissions had a waiting list of students.

In the past 15 years, 25 new buildings and athletic facilities have been built. Byrum Residence Hall, the newest residence for students, opened in January. The Levine College of Health Sciences, which houses the School of Pharmacy and Harris Department of Physician Assistant Studies on the main campus, opened the doors to students in May. Responding to demands in western North Carolina, Wingate began classes for an MBA program in Hendersonville this summer; and classes for the School of Pharmacy are beginning now.

Convocation came to a close with voices joined in unison. Students from around the globe joined faculty and staff to sing the Alma Mater together, as they began:
“In the land of Carolina
‘Neath the sky so blue
Stands our noble Alma Mater
Glorious to view…”

Founded in 1896, Wingate University is a comprehensive university with more than 2,300 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. The university offers 34 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 and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support they need to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life. The campus community offers in-class learning, out-of-class experiences, strong mentors, a competitive yet caring environment and rewarding community service opportunities for a complete educational experience.

In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports, and the University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past five years.

For more information, go to www.wingate.edu.