The institution first opened its doors to students in 1907 as a boarding high school operated and supported by the Kings Mountain and Sandy Run Baptist Associations. As a high school, junior college, senior college, and beginning in 1993 as a university, the school has sought to provide quality education in a Christian environment.
A brief chronological history of Gardner-Webb leads to an understanding of the University as it is today and to an appreciation for all that has contributed to its growth and development.
Gardner-Webb University, a private, Christian, Baptist-related university, provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate education that is strongly grounded in the liberal arts while offering opportunities to prepare for various professions. Fostering meaningful intellectual thought, critical analysis, and spiritual challenge within a diverse community of learning, Gardner-Webb is dedicated to higher education that integrates scholarship with Christian life. By embracing faith and intellectual freedom, balancing conviction with compassion, and inspiring a love of learning, service and leadership, Gardner-Webb prepares its graduates to make significant contributions for God and humanity in an ever- changing global community.
A tradition at many schools, colleges, and universities, Homecoming is a distinctive event at Gardner-Webb. Each fall, on a home football game weekend, students, faculty, staff and friends return to catch up on the changes, renew friendships and check out the current group of students. Special events such as an exciting game of football, dance, alumni reunions, banquets, and athletics galore (golf, tennis, soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball) all happen on this weekend.
A Queen is chosen for Homecoming. The Student Government Association (SGA) is responsible for the election of the Queen. Those who receive the highest number of votes of the senior class will represent the senior class as senior class attendants. SGA will be responsible for setting petition deadlines and for taking photographs of each eligible candidate in the election of the Homecoming Queen. Candidates/attendants must maintain a minimal cumulative GPA of 2.50 and may not be on disciplinary probation at the time of election to their respective court. The Queen must be a member of the Gardner-Webb University senior class. For additional guidelines for Homecoming, please refer to the Traditional Undergraduate Club and Organization Handbook
A keenly anticipated social event is the Spring Formal. The formal dance takes place at the end of Spring semester. There is lots of food, decorations and fun for all who attend.
This special event is held on a weekend during the Fall and Spring semesters that includes a home athletic event. It is a wonderful opportunity for parents and guardians to spend quality time with their students, meet the faculty, attend a concert, picnic on the lawn, browse in the Campus Shop, cheer on the Runnin’ Bulldog athletic teams, meet the University President, and attend a student-led family worship service.
The bell used in formal convocations is a replica of the Liberty Bell. It was first rung in the Fall of 1970 to inaugurate the senior college status of Gardner-Webb. The bell is rung to signify the opening and closing of the academic year and to mark formal academic occasions.
During the Christmas season at Gardner-Webb, we call upon others in the community to join us in ushering in Advent and anticipating Christmas. Our traditional celebration, featuring the University choirs, is held in late November or early December and is called Festival of Lights.
This annual event is sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement as a means of fostering personal presentation, maturity, poise, and public speaking in an appropriate competitive setting. Participation is limited to females between the ages of seventeen to twenty-four who are single and currently enrolled on a full-time basis in the undergraduate day program. Please note that this event does not serve as a preliminary for any other pageant and is not officially sanctioned by any professional organization or pageant.
At the foot of the mountainIs our College; proud she stands, serving all who want her service,Blessing all with outstretched handWith our hands we will serve thee,Gardner-Webb, our College fair; In our love we will uphold thee; Our wealth we’ll gladly share.
Alma Mater, Alma Mater,We sing our love to thee,We pledge our hearts in deep devotion, Our faith, eternally