By Katie Spiro, Gardner-Webb Media Student
“When Dr. Bonner introduces me at meetings and conferences, he says ‘This is the lady that does everything. I just show up.’”
The life of a university president can be rather hectic, yet Mrs. Glenda Crotts, Senior Assistant to Gardner-Webb President, Dr. Frank Bonner, seems to know exactly how to handle this task. Employed by the university for 31 years, Crotts has worked in the executive wing for the past 10 years and has served under the past 3 Gardner-Webb presidents. With a resumé like this, Crotts has rightfully earned the reputation as the lady in charge.
Interwoven as Crotts is in the University today, it would
appear that her lifestyle choice had always included Gardner-Webb, but Crotts
tells her story differently. “Originally, I wanted to go into pediatric nursing.
I volunteered all throughout high school at our local hospital,” said Crotts.
Born in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Crotts moved to Shelby, NC when she was 9. She considers Shelby her hometown. One year after graduating from Shelby High, Crotts married her high school sweet heart. She has one daughter.
As her plans shifted, Crotts began taking classes specializing in office skill sets. She began her employment at Gardner-Webb working within the university development and
advancement office, eventually leading her to the executive wing. “I didn’t
plan on staying and I had opportunities to leave, but I never desired to; Gardner-Webb is family.”
So what exactly is her job description? Crotts both prepares and defines the days of President Bonner, also serving as a representative voice in the event of his absence. “I
do anything from structuring his annual calendar to rearranging his daily
schedule if he has a cold.” An “evolution of a job description” has occurred
over time said Crotts, “There is never a day that is exactly the same.”
Crotts also stated that organizing the President’s calendar is only part of her job. “I must anticipate what he needs before he actually needs it; it is somewhat of a sixth sense!”
In speaking about President Bonner, Crotts spoke as if she was talking about a lifelong friend. “He is one of the most sincere and concerned administrators at Gardner-Webb. People do not realize how seriously he takes their suggestions and observations.” He truly listens and weighs all the options, said Crotts, never deviating from his methodical mindset and high moral standards.
Any secrets of the Bonner family? Crotts said yes, “They are
avid sailors and travelers.” Married for 42 years, Dr. Bonner and his wife
Flossie Bonner have 2 grown daughters and 6 grand children. As frequent
exercisers and runners, the Bonners can be seen in the early mornings at the
Shelby YMCA. “You must know though, his weakness is Key Lime pie,” laughed
As part of Gardner-Webb, Crotts cannot imagine her life
anywhere else. “Everyone has a tie that pulls them back. We are a huge family
that just keeps growing.” On her off days, Crotts finds it hard to separate
work from personal time. “If you put yourself here, it becomes engraved into
your life.” Watch out, says Crotts, or you just may get caught in the Webb.