Gardner is an Associate Professor Emeritus at the Cleveland State University Chemistry Department as of two years ago. After working for Standard Oil, he went on to earn his master’s and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He would lead Cleveland State University’s Chemistry department from 1968 to 1985. During his lifetime, Gardner became a champion for Black students and pushed for Black studies and multi-racial courses in the curriculum at CSU. Gardner also worked in molecular technology during his tenure at CSU. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.