LRU News

LR partners with the city of Hickory in education

Fri May 9 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — It’s simple: if you’re employed by the city of Hickory and you’d like to earn a master’s degree, you’ll get a discount at Lenoir-Rhyne University—and the more employees who take advantage of the program, the deeper the discount—up to 20 percent.

That’s the message Hickory employees got when the city formalized its agreement with hometown university, Lenoir-Rhyne’s LR Partners program. It’s a three-year strategic relationship, which begins in the summer of this year.

“LR’s goal is to equip Hickory employees with the qualifications necessary to take their careers to the next level while providing the city with a newly enhanced workforce consisting of the best and brightest from within its own ranks,” said LR’s Associate Director of Graduate Studies Mary Ann Gosnell.  “This is a tremendous opportunity for the employees, this university and our community.”

There are several benefits to becoming an LR partner. There’s the discount, which begins at 10 percent for the first year and can rise as high as 20 percent in year two if Hickory employees purchase 82 or more credit hours over the course of the first year.

At least 75 Hickory employees are eligible to take advantage of the LR Partners program, according to Hickory’s Communications Director Mandy Pitts.

“We are fortunate as a community to have excellent public servants working for the City of Hickory,” said Hickory City Manager Mick Berry.  “The partnership with Lenoir-Rhyne University is a great opportunity for our co-workers and also an extension of our commitment to the university’s continued growth and education.”

In addition to the discounts available LR will also waive its admission fee and the university will not require the standard admissions tests (like the GRE, GMAT or the MAT) if the prospective student has at least six years of professional work experience.

This is in addition to the city of Hickory’s longstanding tuition assistance program, which reimburses city employees’ tuition costs up to $2,000 per fiscal year as long as particular standards are met.

At this time Lenoir-Rhyne offers 22 graduate programs across three campuses—and that number grows every year.

Lenoir-Rhyne will be holding its next information session about the LR Partners program on Wednesday, May 14. The session is a lunch and learn where city employees will be able to drop by, grab some lunch, which will be provided, and learn more about the LR Partners program. The session is being held in the Hickory City Hall’s first floor meeting room at noon.

For more information contact Mary Ann Gosnell at or Hickory’s Employee Relations Manager Claudia Main at

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