The name Alan Wingard has been synonymous with the arts at Shorter University for more than four decades, including 26 years as Dean of Shorter’s School of Fine and Performing Arts. Effective July 31, he will step down from the administrative role, and the University will name him Dean Emeritus of the school in recognition of his significant contributions to Shorter University and its students.
Dr. Wingard will continue teaching classes through his role as Professor of Music on the music faculty. As Dean Emeritus, he also will serve as community liaison on behalf of Shorter’s fine arts programs.
“When I came to Shorter 43 years ago (nearly 44 now), my work was all about the students,” Dr. Wingard said. “Now, all these years later, it still is. As they near retirement, deans very often return to the classroom to finish out their careers, and that is what I will do.”
Shorter University President Dr. Don Dowless expressed appreciation for Dr. Wingard’s contributions to the University and its fine arts programs. “Shorter University is blessed to have faculty and staff members who view their work as a calling and who give of themselves sacrificially because they want to make a difference in the lives of young people. Alan Wingard is a prime example of that servant spirit. He has positively impacted countless lives through his work in the classroom, as a conductor, and as dean. We are grateful for the difference he has made in the life of Shorter and our students, and we look forward to continuing to serve alongside him as he takes the role of Dean Emeritus.”
Dr. Donald Martin, Shorter’s Executive Vice President and Provost, said the Dean Emeritus role is a fitting honor for the veteran educator. “Dr. Wingard’s contributions to Shorter University over the last four decades are both invaluable and innumerable. Throughout his career he has maintained a great rapport with both faculty and students and has helped to create an atmosphere of enthusiasm in his area of responsibility. Dr. Wingard is an esteemed colleague who exemplifies the character qualities expected at a Christian university. We are certainly honored to have a person of such caliber as a part of the Shorter family. It is a distinct privilege to bestow upon Dr. Wingard the title of Dean Emeritus, an honor that he certainly deserves.”
Dr. Martin added that Dr. Wingard’s career has been marked by a dedication to the students who have studied at Shorter. “His care and concern for students goes well beyond the classroom, as he takes a strong interest in not only their academic progress but their personal growth as well.”
In 2015, Dr. Wingard was one of our longtime Shorter professors honored as Legends of Teaching Excellence by having scholarship funds established in their honor. When the Wingard Scholarship was announced, Shorter alumnus Cliff Duren noted the impact Dr. Wingard had on his life and career. Duren, a 2001 graduate of Shorter and six-time Dove Award nominee, is quickly becoming one of the leading composers and arrangers for many of today’s Christian choral publishers. “Since the day I met Alan Wingard as an 18-year-old freshman, I have always known that he believed in me,” Duren said. “He is not only a great teacher, but such a kind encourager. I could list many reasons why Shorter made such a lasting and positive impact on my life… and Alan Wingard would be at the heart of that list. A legend in his field and inspiringly loyal to the principles of Christian education, Dr. Wingard is so worthy of being remembered for his faithful service to Shorter University.”
In his more than 40 years of teaching experience, Dr. Wingard has taught and conducted children’s, youth, adult, and senior adult choirs in the church, school and community. He conducted the Shorter Chorale, the Shorter Mixed Chorus, and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. In 1992 and 1993, he conducted the Georgia Youth Chorale in concert at Carnegie Hall. He has led children’s choir workshops and festivals for the Alabama and Georgia Baptist State Conventions, and he conducted a 200-voice older children’s choir in Paris, France. He also led the Rome Boys Club Choir for 14 years.
In addition to his role at Shorter, Dr. Wingard serves as Minister of Music at Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, where he has served for more than 20 years. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Alabama, where he studied piano with Roy McAllister. He received the Doctor of Music Arts degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he studied piano with Dr. Maurice Hinson.
Additional information about the Legends of Teaching Excellence Scholarship established in Dr. Wingard’s honor is available online at www.shorter.edu/legends-scholarships.
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its list of best Southeastern Colleges. Shorter is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and four master’s programs. Learn more about Shorter at www.shorter.edu.