The Wingate Incubator of Excellence

Staff Writer: Madelyn Cherry

Chances are, if you are reading this, you attend Wingate University. Congratulations! You made it to the incubator of excellence. The hard work is done and now everything you do from now on will scream excellence. You no longer have to work for a thing, and life will be handed to you because you chose the only correct path, the path to Wingate University. 

As nice as that would be, it’s actually just the opposite. Hard work is the hallmark of Wingate University. So many high achievers have spent hours and sleepless nights working hard at their special skills in order to be the absolute best. Those people happened to find their paths directing them to Wingate University which has shaped their path even further and has led them to amazing opportunities. What made Wingate pull all of these outstanding achievers? How did Wingate win their hearts over? What about Wingate University is just so special that its magnetic energy draws in the best of the best and makes them even better? [And yes, you should be flattered that you are the best of the best. Wingate University was founded in 1896, and changed a lot over the years to evolve into the school it is today. Formerly known as Wingate College, Wingate is a Judeo-Christian institution and still follows those principles today.] The main campus is located in Wingate, North Carolina, about a 45-minute drive from Charlotte, North Carolina. The school may be located in a rural area, but that doesn’t stop students from finding their way there. Wingate offers 37 undergraduate degrees as well as eight master degrees and five doctorate degrees with locations in Charlotte, Hendersonville and Wingate, North Carolina. 

It could be that the location factor makes students want to attend Wingate, but for a lot of students, it is the athletic programs that draw students in. For Finja Schierl, it was cross-country, track and field and the triathlon team that brought her all of the way here from Darmstadt, Germany. Schierl won the USA Triathlon Collegiate Regional qualifier at Smith Mountain Lake with a time of 1:01:54.9. Schierl also competed in the 2021 World Triathlon Junior Championships in Quarteira, Portugal. She joined the Bulldog cross-country team for the NCAA Division II national championships in Saint Leo, Florida on Saturday, November 20. With all of her achievements, Schierl still found herself drawn to Wingate University. 

Not only do athletes find their way here, but incredible writers like Luke Tucker also are pulled into the Wingate excellence incubator. For Tucker, he has been a freelance writer for a blog for the Carolina Panthers where Tucker gets over 80,000 views on his posts. “One professor I had in particular, Mr. Scott Smith, pushed me outside of my comfort zone and made me write about things that I really hadn’t before. It was a challenge for sure. But it forced me to write about more than just football. Now I am writing news stories based on press releases, so Mr. Smith pushing me has taken me way further than I ever thought I’d be.” Because of Wingate, he was given an incredible opportunity to intern for WBTV where he writes stories for their website. One of the stories that he has written within this past week is linked here

Luke says that he has always been a good writer, but Wingate University shaped his writing to a different level. If he never had attended Wingate, where his mom also attended, he would not be the writer he is today. 

Yes, there are some incredible students at Wingate, but the faculty is also incredible with a long history of education and work experience behind them. Scott Smith, who recently became a full-time professor at Wingate University has his own unique background. He previously worked for The Sporting News. He has interviewed countless famous athletes and coaches and has gotten once-in-a-lifetime opportunities as a sports reporter. For Instance, Smith shared a story of the time he rode along with Micheal Jordan as he was playing a round of golf and got to interview him for the first nine holes he played. Smith has always been a go-getter and he landed here at Wingate University to share his knowledge with the rest of us.

Another Wingate professor, the chair of the communication department, Dr. Frasca, is an Academician and a journalist. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and he has written many history articles that are highly respected in the academic world. When asked why he was drawn to Wingate, he said originally, the weather drew him and his wife to Wingate, but he would quickly learn that what drew him in most are “the people I work with and the people I work for. They all have functioning moral compasses and are cordial in their conduct,” said Frasca. He believes that students are drawn to Wingate because of the proximity to Charlotte, excellent sports, and a beautiful campus. 

“Once they are here, we believe every student has a chance to be a high achiever because of a logical and comprehensive university core and carefully designed majors, most of which offer students a lot of flexibility to select courses that help them attain their goals,” Frasca said.

Recent graduate, Donny Chiarel, agrees that Wingate helped him achieve his goals. Within months of graduation, he found himself at Long Island University as the Assistant Director of Media Relations. Chiarel has always been a high achiever, but during his time at Wingate University, he was very involved in commentating athletics and he always dreamed of working in sports broadcasting. He even had his own podcast where he discusses sports. Now, he is on the journey of living out his dream after landing an incredible position right out of college that will take him in the direction he dreams to be headed in. 

It is safe to say that Wingate University incubates excellence, but I believe we can come to a conclusion that a lot of the hard work is done before and after one’s journey at Wingate. I guess it is safe to say that Wingate attracts excellence and fosters interests and passions to

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