GWU reaches goal in fundraising campaign
In the largest-ever capital campaign in University history, Gardner-Webb has announced that the Higher Ground Campaign exceeded its goal by more than a million dollars. Publically launched in 2010 with a $45 million goal, the campaign officially ended with a total of $46,052,250 raised, making it the University’s most successful fundraising endeavor to date.
Officially launched in July 2006, one year after the inauguration of Dr. Frank Bonner as president, the campaign to achieve higher ground in Christian higher education proceeded through a silent “leadership” phase during which $33 million was raised, matching the largest amount ever amassed by a single campaign at Gardner-Webb. Then after the campaign went public in 2010, new friends joined in with fervor and seasoned supporters redoubled their efforts to catapult the University to unprecedented heights.
Looking back on the campaign and all it accomplished, Bonner emphasized those friendships as the most significant aspect of the Higher Ground experience.
“Even beyond the funding itself,” Bonner said, “The campaign enabled us to establish and strengthen relationships with people who choose to support us because they understand and identify with the mission of Gardner-Webb. That’s been very gratifying, to see the way the University’s core values emanate from everything our donors say and do in support of Christian higher education. Words cannot express our vast appreciation for them."
Bonner said it has also been a joy to watch the various campaign projects come to fruition. The campaign’s flagship project was the Tucker Student Center, the 110,000 square-foot student development facility that symbolizes the University’s enduring commitment to its students. A new science wing and other building improvement projects were made possible by Higher Ground contributions. New championship-class athletics facilities, like the GWU Football Center and John Henry Moss Baseball Stadium, were also fueled by the campaign.
The Dover Theatre is being renovated and expanded to include the new Loy Scene Shop, which is currently under construction. Plus, dozens of aesthetic and functional enhancements—including the new Bridges Gate at the Stadium Drive entrance, expanded parking, and new landscape design—have enriched the campus experience for students and visitors alike.
University officials said millions of dollars have been raised since 2006 to bolster student financial aid and endow dozens of new scholarships. Donors also gave in support of undergraduate research, faculty development, service-learning initiatives, international study opportunities, and to strengthen the University’s Christian foundation.
“I have never been more proud of Gardner-Webb, more hopeful for our students, more confident in our mission, and more grateful for those friends who have endorsed that mission through their prayers and generous support,” Bonner said. “The view forward from Higher Ground is exciting, indeed.”
Gardner-Webb media relations contributed to this report