The Spartanburg Methodist College Student Government Association presented Professor Barry Ward with a Founder’s Day Faculty Award on Thursday, October 23 during the college’s annual Founder’s Day Celebration, which featured guest speaker NY Mets Hall of Famer, and SMC alumni, Mookie Wilson.
The 2014 inaugural award was presented to a faculty member who represents and embodies the spirit and vision of Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister. SGA President, Adell Gordon, shared “the recipient of this award is one who is not afraid to try new things, puts the needs of students first, and is respected in their profession and by the student body.”
A 1979 graduate of SMC, Ward majored in Criminal Justice and earned an Associate in Arts. He continued his studies at the University of South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Science, and his Master of Arts from Gardner Webb University, as well as pursuing additional graduate work at Lander University and Winthrop University.
Ward returned to SMC as an employee in March of 1987 and over the years has held positions as Security Guard, Director of Intramurals, Director of the Student Center, Director of Men’s Housing, Director of College Work Study, Cross Country Coach and Professor of Health & PE. He has long believed in the merits of the extended-learning-classroom concept. He teaches by day, and in the evening shares his time and talents coaching intramural sports and each January he chaperones a ski excursion for students.
“Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on; ‘Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on; Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another’s tears, ‘Til in Heaven the deed appears – Pass it on. ” Although Dr. Henry Burton, Clergyman and Writer, is credited for this hymn/quote, Professor Ward has lived these words this entire life.
College life has been and is good for many SMC students thanks to the kindness of this gentle man who never forgot the kindness shown to him as a child. For you see this professor grew up in the loving arms of the Epworth Children’s Home. Kindness is all he has ever known and he passes it on daily…with jokes, fist pumps, poetry and a perpetually perky persona.
Ward once shared that he was blessed to call Epworth home, “I was fortunate to be able to draw upon my experiences at Epworth and build upon that foundation to motivate me academically and professionally. Without Epworth and SMC I probably wouldn’t be as confident, prepared and excited about life as I am,” said the 60 year-old, who is known to cartwheel and do backflips spontaneously down the halls of the Walker Building where he teaches.
Ward was also selected by his peers at SMC as the recipient of the 2010-2011 SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award and used the award stipend to expand his knowledge of health issues and shared that new knowledge with his students. A quote from his nominating materials reads “He creates an atmosphere where students learn life-saving and life-long lessons.”