Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb University is a four-year private university located 40 miles west of Charlotte in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, USA. The school has a total of 13 academic departments offering 45 major fields of study . Among the most popular of the school's 39 undergraduate majors are those in business at 33%, the social sciences at 15%, and education at 29%. The main campus is situated on nearly 200 acres, and there are an additional 16 satellite campuses located throughout North Carolina. Associates, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral programs are offered.

Student life

Gardner-Webb University is a friendly campus and home to many school-wide events. At the beginning of the school year returning students come back a week early and act as big brothers and big sisters for the upcoming freshmen. During orientation week students gather together in their orientation groups and complete activities together. Later these orientation groups become the freshmen student's University 101 class; a class intended to introduce upcoming freshmen to the University and how it works.

Homecoming is a time of celebration at GWU. Central to Homecoming Weekend is the parade down Main Street in Boiling Springs. The weekend is also full of special meals for alumni and students. One of the most popular traditions at Gardner-Webb is centered around the Friday night before the big Homecoming game students virtually "destroy" campus with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. The activity that is now condoned by administration is a major part of Gardner-Webb tradition. Although some students believe that it is a waste of time and toilet paper, most enjoy and partake in this tried and true Homecoming event.

Other popular events are the spring formal, occasional movies on the quad (the grassy area in the center of campus), and Octoberfest (an event where the community and college students come together as an alternative for trick-or-treating).


Gardner-Webb is home to numerous clubs, organizations, and honors societies. One of the largest clubs is Campus Ministries United (CMU), which is composed of a large group of students who strive to learn more about God and help others through various Christ-centered programs. Alphi Chi is a special invitation academic organization that promotes and recognizes scholarship and elements of character which make scholarship effective. Another popular club is The Dawg Pound, the students involved go to sporting events, sit in the student section, and sport red and black club t-shirts and painted faces to support their Runnin' Bulldogs. It was founded in 2001 by Lutz-Yelton residents Matt Hudler and Nic Watson.

Other clubs include the Honors Student Association (HSA), which is another special invitation academic club that encourages an atmosphere of challenged learning through advanced classes, special trips, and special academic opportunities. Student Admissions Association (SAA) is a group of Gardner-Webb students that love Gardner-Webb and are handpicked by their admissions counselors to share that love with prospective students through tours, Dawg Days, and overnight visits. Student YMCA (GWSY)is a branch of the Cleveland County YMCA that offers programs to help the Cleveland County and the Gardner-Webb community. Web Spinners is a theater club on campus that promotes interest in theatrical productions, specifically those at Gardner-Webb. They also try to foster personal development in the various components of stage performance and theatre.

Deaf Club is a club for the deaf students, the American Sign Language (ASL) majors, and other students interested in ASL or the deaf culture. Joyful Hands is a performing group that promotes understanding of sign language and the deaf culture. The group signs songs for the deaf and hearing communities. Residence Hall Association (RHA) is a club on campus that provides activities or services necessary to promote the welfare and interest of all theresidential students. All clubs are chartered by the Gardner-Webb University Student Government Association (SGA). The purpose of the SGA is to represent the rights and opinions of the undergraduate student body in a manner consistent with its' mission and constitution. SGA also works to promote positive relationships between the students, the faculty, and the administration.

Police on campus

Gardner-Webb University has a full campus police force on campus at all times. The men and women employed by the Gardner-Webb police office make hourly rounds on campus and offer various services to the student body and Gardner-Webb community. In addition to their normal police duties the "U.P.", University Poilce, sometimes help students in many ways not limited to assisting students with flat tires, dead car batteries, and they will provide an escort to students walking if the student is uncomfortable walking alone after dark. Barry Johnson, the Chief of Police at Gardner-Webb, makes sure that all the students attending know their phone number; it is posted on the side of all their cars.

Housing and residence education

The majority of full-time students at Gardner-Webb live in either the traditional dormitories or on-campus apartments. The two largest dormitories are Lutz-Yelton and Mauney (pronounced 'mooney'). These are men's dorms, each four stories high with two-person rooms and a single communal bathroom on each floor.

Decker is a popular women's dorm located right on the central quad area with single, double, and triple rooms and community style bathrooms. The large loft attic in Decker can accommodate three girls. Decker is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a girl who committed suicide in 1955 and was the subject of the 2006 film, "The Legacy: A Ghost Story", which won the Gold Award at the 2006 Aurora Film and Video Festival.

H.A.P.Y (Hoey Anthony Padgett Young) and H.A.P.Y. Wing are also female dorms. The main building sports suite style bathrooms(where four students share one bathroom), while the wing has one community style bathrooms. H.A.P.Y. is a recently renovated building on campus with nice carpet and furniture.

Stroup (pronounced "strap") is another dorm for the female studnets on campus. The building has community style baths and in each room there are sinks. The building is in line for some well needed renovations which students can expect in the near future.

Royster, formally a hospital in Boiling Springs, is a men's residence hall located across College Avenue and off the main campus. The building is one story and has one long hall with several small halls of the main one. Young men enjoy community style and private baths along with large rooms and high ceilings.

Nanney is a two story women's dorm that over the last few years has housed young men on the Gardner-Webb campus. It was originally built as a women's dorm and was converted back to a women's dorm in August of 2008. The building has carpet and long rooms with built in closets. Because of the building's history as a female dorm, bathtubs can still be found in the dorm's bathrooms.

Honors house is a newer addition to the dorms on Gardner-Webb's Campus. The old white home served as overflow housing at one time but now houses students in single and double rooms with private and suite style bathrooms. It is located farther from the campus and is the only dorm building to house both male and female students. The house is split in two parts with the girls occupying the first and second floor on oneside of the building and the male students on the first and second floors on the other side. The two sides are connected by a main lobby, kitchen, and laundry room. Honors house was originally set up as a dorm for honors students.

Myers-Spangler halls are two female dorms located further off the main quad area connected by an outdoor corridor. The buildings both have community style baths.

University Commons are the student apartments and are considered on campus housing. There are 7 complexes on campus located off of the main quad area across from Lake Hollifield. They have four bedrooms, two bath units, a kitchen, living room, and free laundry.


Gardner-Webb is a Liberal Arts College that focuses on teaching its students how to think logically about a wide range of subjects, and how to communicate their ideas confidently and without confusion.

Special academic programs

Degrees offered
Department/Program Degrees include1
The Broyhill School
of Management

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Information
  • Economics/Finance
  • Marketing

Department of Communication

  • Communication Studies
  • Journalism
  • Theater Arts

School of Education

  • Elementary Education
  • Middle Grades Education

Department of English
Language and Literature

  • English
  • English with Teacher

Department of Fine Arts

  • Art
  • Fine Art
  • Music
  • Composition
  • Elective Studies in
    Music Business
  • Music Education
  • Performance
  • Sacred Music

Department of Mathematical

  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics with Teacher

Department of Natural

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Sciences

School of Nursing

  • Associate in Arts degree
    leading to Licensure as
    Registered Nurse

Department of Physical
Education, Wellness, and
Sports Studies

  • Athletic Training
  • Health/Wellness
  • Physical Education with
    Teacher Licensure
  • Sport Management

School of Psychology
and Counseling

  • Psychology

Department of Religious
Studies and Philosophy

  • Biblical Languages and
  • Education Studies
  • Mission Studies
  • Religion
  • Religious Thought and

Department of Social

  • History
  • History with Teacher
    Licensure (Secondary)
  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Social Sciences with
    Teacher Licensure
  • Sociology

Department of World
Languages, Literatures,
and Cultures

  • American Sign Language
  • Engilsh as a Second
    Language with Teacher
  • French
  • French with Teacher
  • Spanish
  • Spanish with Teacher


  • This list does not contain Minors offered at Gardner-Webb

Gardner-Webb offers several special academic programs to students; some of these include the NOEL program, the Program for the blind and visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, Learning assistance, GOAL program, High School seniors, Honors program, ROTC, YMCA, and the Study abroad programs.

The NOEL Program aids students with physical or mental disabilities such as visually impaired and blind, deaf and hard of hearing and various learning disabilities. Students in the NOEL program are assigned to a disability specialist who works with the students while they attend Gardner-Webb. These students are assisted through note takers, interpreters, lab assistants and tutors. They are also allowed extended testing time, technology adapted to their specific disability. Their disability specialist helps them to achieve good study skills and helpful test taking strategies.

The Program for the visually impaired gives orientation and mobility training to students to make the transition to Gardner-Webb. The audiovisual department, located in the campus library, provides technology and special equipment for all students.

The Program for the deaf and hard of hearing provided qualified interpreters for classes, campus activities and theatrical productions. Dorm buildings are equipped with specialized fire alarms and doorbell mechanism. Video phones are available for deaf students or students with deaf relatives.

The Learning assistance programs are available to students who need special assistance to make the transition to college level work. They may receive help through tutoring or other materials that help fit the student’s needs. The program offers interdictory level classes in reading, writing, and mathematics.

The GOAL (the greater opportunity for adult learners) program offers majors for adult students who wish to continue their baccalaureate degree.

The High school seniors program is for upcoming high school seniors interested in completing their senior year while attending college classes and earning college credits. This program requires parental consent.

The Honors program is for academically gifted students. The program provides challenging opportunities in class and out for students who are up to the challenge.

The Army ROTC program offers courses in military science, leadership opportunities and there is no charge for participating in this program.

The YMCA professional studies program is a culmination of the Cleveland County YMCA and the Gardner-Webb Student YMCA. The program helps undergraduate students get ready for non-profit careers.

The Study abroad program highly advocates for undergraduates to explore new educational experiences in other countries. Gardner-Webb participates in similar programs with schools in England, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, France, Spain, Hong Kong, Malta and Germany.


Dimensions is the university's weekly guest-speaker series. Every Tuesday morning students meet in the Lutz Yelton Convocation Center (LYCC) usually in Porter Arena for a dimensions program. Every student must attend 10 Dimensions programs each semester for 6 semesters. Past speakers have included religious leaders, motivational speakers, politicians, and athletes.

The Verge

The Verge is a contemporary worship service, held in Dover Theatre, on every Tuesday night. It is one of the most popular extra curricular activities on Gardner-Webb's campus. The Verge features different musical groups that perform throughout the service. A special Prayer time begins forty five minutes before each service; students pray for other students, the Verge service, the school, and the community. It is supported by Campus Ministries and run mainly by students.

Renovations and expansion

Every summer Gardner-Webb strives to make the campus and its facilities better for its students. Recent renovations include carpet and furniture in Lutz-Yelton and Mauney halls, suite style bathrooms in H.A.P.Y., and improvements to apartment complexes.

One major renovation occurred over the 2006-2007 Christmas break in which Gardner-Webb completely renovated the cafeteria, called "The Caf", by students. The room is now home to a food court type serving area, numerous plasma screen televisions around the lower level seating area, and private TVs for each table in the upper level seating area. During the summer of 2007 Gardner-Webb renovated the snack bar area in the downstairs of the Dover Campus Center. The new area looks like a sports bar and coffee shop restaurant. It is a place where students can use their meal plan or cash to purchase prepared foods and snack foods. The new area was given the name "The Kennel" in reference to the Bulldog mascot. The Kennel has television sets like the ones that are found in the "Caf."

The fall of 2007 will boast the revealing of Gardner-Webb’s biggest capital campaign and expansion plan in history. The new plan is three phases and includes the building of a new Student Center (that will include a movie theater, food court, recreation area, prayer room, ballroom, and offices for major student clubs and organizations), a new science and math facility, and a new fine and performing arts building. The capital campaign will need to raise an initial $16 million for the first phase that will include the building of the new Student Center.

Rankings and ratings

Ranked, U.S. News America's best colleges, 2006, 2007, 2008 (Top Tier, Southern Region, Master's Level); Princeton review selectivity rating, 86 in 2006, 85 in 2007 (scores range from 60-99); Character-building college, Templeton foundation; Top 5, graduates with lightest debtload, 2006, 2007, U.S. News America's best colleges.

Historical timeline

1905-Chartered as Boiling Spring High School, a private boarding school established by the Kings Mountain and Sandy Run Baptist Associations.

1928-The institution was transformed into Boiling Spring Junior College.

1942-Renamed Gardner-Webb College, in honor of former governor of North Carolina O. Max Gardner (1929-33) and wife Fay Webb Gardner.

1947-O. Max Gardner, newly appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as ambassador to the Court of St. James, dies on the eve of his departure for England.

1971-Gardner-Webb receives full accreditation as a four-year school.

1970s-With talent-rich teams that included Artis Gilmore and John Drew, the Bulldogs ascend the junior-college rankings. Their reputation for athletic ability and aggressive play earns them an adjective, as they become known as the Runnin' Bulldogs, a nickname that has stuck. (An apocryphal account.)

1980-Gardner-Webb offers its first Master of Arts Degree in education.

1992-The Gardner-Webb board of trustees vote to establish the Gardner-Webb School of Divinity.

1992-Gardner-Webb loses in the closing seconds of the NAIA Football National Championship Game to Central State Ohio. The team, led by Coach Woody Fish, featured numerous All-Americans and future professional players including Gabe Wilkins.

1993-Gardner-Webb College becomes Gardner-Webb University.

1998-The Divinity school is renamed the Christopher White School of Divinity, in honor of the school's sitting president.

2000-Gardner-Webb Baseball Team advanced through 64 teams to the NCAA journey to college world series. 2000-Gardner-Webb athletics moves to NCAA Division I status.

2002-President Christopher White admits to giving instructions to remove an "F" from basketball star, Carlos Webb's, GPA to make Webb eligible for 2000-01 season. President White later resigned from his position from pressure from students, faculty, and alumni.

2004-Dr. Frank Campbell is named interim President of Gardner-Webb University.

2004-NCAA places Gardner-Webb on probation for "lack of institutional control". Effective March 4, 2004, and ending March 3, 2007.

2005-Gardner-Webb celebrated its 100-year anniversary as an educational institution.

2005-Dr. Frank Bonner (Ph.D., English, UNC Chapel Hill) is installed as the 12th President in Gardner-Webb's history.

2006-The men's soccer team, led by long-time coach Tony Setzer, defeated Stetson in overtime to claim their first conference title in soccer as a Division I school. Gardner-Webb would then defeat heavily-favored UAB in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament in penalty kicks. The historic season was brought to an end the next week as Gardner-Webb fell to the Clemson Tigers 3-1.

2007-Gardner-Webb President Dr. Frank Bonner announces that as of August 6 that year the university will become a Tobacco Free campus. The use of smoke and smokeless tobacco would no longer be allowed on campus; students, faculty, staff, and administration would be subject to fines and other penalties for violations.


The Gardner-Webb community was rocked by scandal in the fall of 2002 when ordained minister and Gardner-Webb president of 16 years, Dr. Christopher White, admitted to writing a memo two years before ordering a star basketball player's grade-point average to be calculated without the "F" he received for cheating in his religion class; thereby allowing the athlete to play. Without the change, Carlos Webb would have been ineligible in 2000-01, the season Gardner-Webb won the National Christian College Athletic Association championship. Under the University's Honor Code, a "cheating F" can never be removed from a student's transcript because it is a direct violation of the Gardner-Webb Honor Code. By removing the "F," president White destroyed the power of the honor code and the integrity of Gardner-Webb University.

The school's trustees affirmed Christopher White's presidency after a 10-hour meeting on September 27, 2002 though they demoted a pair of administrators, one the vice president of academic affairs and the other his assistant, who had criticized White's actions. Initially 3 faculty members also resigned as a result of the scandal. In the end, eight faculty members and administrators (later called "The Group of 8") suffered professional hardship due to demotion, resignation, or firing.

Opponents said White's action and the trustees' failure to punish him violates the spirit of Gardner-Webb's honor code. While the president's backers, including the chairman of the board of trustees, said they were convinced White did not violate the letter of any school rules and that he acted in a spirit of fairness toward Carlos Webb, who had been incorrectly advised he could get the "F" removed from his GPA by retaking the class. Trustees chairman Thomas Hardin said his board concluded that, while White's action was wrong, the president should not have been removed for a mistake made two years before. He said the demoted administrators were punished not for speaking out, but because in doing so they violated a student's right to privacy.

For nearly to two weeks students picketed on the corner of College Avenue and Main Street with signs calling for the president's resignation and questioning his integrity. Students were seen with copies of the Honor Code in their black frames taken from classrooms and the glass front busted and black tape over the poster. The scandal tore the Gardner-Webb community apart.

In early October 2002, Dr. Christopher White resigned as Gardner-Webb University’s president and the grade remained on the student athlete’s transcript. Gardner-Webb was put on NCAA probation for a five year period that ended in early 2007.


Gardner-Webb offers twenty-one varsity sports at the NCAA Division I level. In football, the Runnin' Bulldogs compete in the football championship subdivision (FCS). The 2008-2009 academic year will see the Runnin' Bulldogs transition to the Big South Conference for all sports. The football team joined the Big South as an associate member in 2002. Since joining the Big South, the football team has had a record of 38-28. The first two years that they joined the Big South Gardner Webb won two conference titles in a row. Since then they have placed third every year. The Gardner Webb football team has played some difficult opponents including Georgia Tech, Appalachian State, Mississippi State, Wofford, and Ohio.The Gardner Webb football team has produced many All-Americans and athletes that have made it to the NFL the most recent was Brain Johnston, drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 7th round.

As one of the varsity sports at Gardner-Webb, soccer is a sport that is rarely mentioned at the school. Unlike the football and basketball teams at Gardner-Webb, the soccer team never got any major recognition for its accomplishments. In the fall of 2006, the Gardner-Webb soccer team won its conference and made it to the NCAA second round (a link to the roster of players that were involved in winning the 2006 Atlantic Sun Conference follows ).

In 2008, Gardner-Webb University's recently created mens swimming team (a group of 16 freshmen and 2 sophomores) placed third at the 2008 CCSA conference, setting several school records and finishing closely behind College of Charleston and Davidson. The women also placed third at the conference championships.

Gardner-Webb sports requires dedication from not only the athletes and coaches, but also a committed strength staff. The athletics facilities for weight lifting and strength training are used on a daily basis to maximize athletes performance and to prevent injuries. The Gardner-Webb strength staff currently trains approximately 400 student-athletes. Teams are required to attend mandatory lifts and speed training while participating in a sport. The weight-training facilities are located in the GWU Football Center next to Spangler Stadium (Campus map). "In order to keep the athlete from adapting to the same training stimulus, causing a plateau effect, the program is changed every 4-6 weeks" (Bulldog Strength). The importance of strength training to [prevent injuries]is also a major part for a strength training staff. This includes instructing athletes on how to properly perform correct lifting techniques, prevention methods: such as stretching, warming up correctly and altering programs for athletes who are recovering from an injury to ensure proper rehabilitation and a speedy recovery.


Gardner-Webb has many opportunities for students to visit; students interested in attending Gardner-Webb can visit on one of many "Dawg Days." These days include tours around the campus, chances to meet the faculty and staff, and opportunities to ask questions of students and teachers who attend/work at Gardner-Webb University.

Notable alumni


  1. Gardner-Webb University Quick Facts web page. .
  2. Gardner-Webb University Police web page. .
  3. Gardner-Webb University History web page. .
  4. Washburn, Jim Tennessee Titans Administration web page. .
  5. Undergraduate Catalog. Gardner-Webb University:

External links

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