Spartanburg Methodist College Student Government Association presented Professor Barry Ward, an alumnus of Epworth Children’s Home, with a Founder’s Day Faculty Award on Thursday, October 23, during the college’s annual Founder’s Day Celebration.
After graduating from Dreher High School and Epworth, Professor Ward graduated with an Associate Degree from Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) in 1979, then completed his bachelors at the University of South Carolina, and masters from Gardner-Web University, with additional studies at Lander University and Winthrop University.
Ward returned to SMC as an employee in March of 1987 and over the years has held positions from Security Guard to 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. Each January he chaperones a ski excursion for students.
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 back-flips 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. Kindness is all he has ever known and he passes it on daily…with jokes, fist pumps, poetry and a perpetually perky persona.”
Ward stays actively involved with Epworth. He “keeps an eye” on the higher education students from Epworth who are currently attending SMC. Also, he returns to Epworth every year for the alumni weekend and the Cook-out for Kids BBQ Fundraiser to give back to the place he called home as a child. Ward is truly a friend of Epworth, a distinguished alumnus and wonderful role model for the children who call Epworth home today.