Baptist-Affiliated Gardner-Webb University Names New President

Gardner-Webb University, a century-old Baptist-affiliated institution in Boiling Springs, NC, named Dr. A. Frank Bonner, as its 12th president on May 2, 2005.

A press release by the seminary stated that Bonner's appointment comes after a months-long search by the 10-member search committee.

Bonner, who joined the faculty as dean of the college in 1987, served as provost and vice president since 1992. He unanimously elected by the committee in a specially announced meeting of the board of trustees.

"Your search committee has for the past 13 months engaged in a nationwide search for the most able candidate to be president of the university," said Frank Beam of Shelby, chairman of the committee and the board. "After this thorough search we came to the conclusion that we had the most qualified candidate right here at the university."

Bonner, age 57, will take the new post on July 1, replacing Frank Campbell, the interim president whom has been in office since 2002. Campbell had taken over the presidency after the resignation of then-president Christopher White for whom the divinity school is named after.

Pleased to have found the new president before the semester closed, the search committee presented the new president to the students, faculty, and staff on Monday morning.

Renown in the university community as well as among the North Carolina Baptists, Bonner is a member of the Shelby Rotary Club, and has served on the YMCA board He has also been active in school affairs, and is now the deacon and Sunday school teacher of the First Baptist Church in Shelby, NC.

He has studied at the Furman University and obtained a M.A. from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The long-time educator, who had also served as a dean at Anderson College prior to joining Gardner-Webb, comes from a family of educators. His father, Dr. Francis W. Bonner, is retired after serving many years as vice president and provost of Furman University. His mother, Nilouise Bonner, is also a retired teacher.

Bonner is a native of Greenville, SC. He is married to Florence "Flossie" Black, also a Furman graduate and native of Chester, SC. She is a teacher in Shelby High School. Both are parents of two adult daughters, and grandparents of one grandchild.