news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Marching Bulldogs Receive Lead Gift from David and Marie Brinkley

Softball Stadium Groundbreaking; Fall 2014

$10,000 Gift Designated to Assist in Relaunching Marching Band at GWU

Softball Stadium Groundbreaking; Fall 2014

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – In March, Gardner-Webb University announced plans to reestablish the University’s marching band under the direction of Dr. Mark R. Cole. Today, GWU comes one step closer to that day with a $10,000 gift from long-time university supporters David and Marie Brinkley.

“We are so very grateful to David and Marie Brinkley for their generous lead gift in support of the Gardner-Webb University Marching Band.  The Brinkleys certainly know good football, and they appreciate a good gameday experience.  The return of our Runnin’ Bulldog Marching Band in fall 2021 will make Saturdays in Spangler Stadium something special, and it will give our talented musicians a new stage upon which to showcase their skills.  GWU is indeed fortunate to have friends such as the Brinkleys,” noted GWU President, Dr. William M. Downs.

David and Marie Brinkley have provided GWU with financial gifts throughout the years with assistance for student-athletes, the Godbold School of Business and various other programs.

“First, Marie and I enjoy good music. We both come from a small town where the marching band was an integral part of Friday night football. Today, the bands are more sophisticated and talented. When we read about this, we decided to help launch this project. I encourage others to get involved no matter what level. We cannot wait to hear the Gardner-Webb Marching Bulldogs,” said David Brinkley.

Gardner-Webb previously fielded marching band programs in the 1940s, 1970s and most recently, from 2007-2017. Cole is currently recruiting musicians for the Marching Bulldogs, which will take the field in fall 2021, with hopes of having 75 members. Cole’s experience includes leading several high school marching band programs. During his career as a Navy musician, he served as musical director for the Midshipman Drum and Bugle Corps at the U.S. Naval Academy, director of the Navy Band Memphis, Tenn., director of the Sixth Fleet Band in Naples, Italy, and assistant director/associate conductor of the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C.

“There’s nothing quite like the sights, sounds, and pageantry of college football Saturdays here in the South,” added Downs.  “With the return of the Marching Bulldogs to Spangler Stadium, we will elevate the gameday experience for our fans and help create that 12th Man that all great football teams want on their home field.”

David and Marie have lived in Kings Mountain, N.C. for several decades, and have two daughters who graduated from Gardner-Webb as student-athletes. David is also a former high school football coach, and operates the Brinkley Financial Group investment firm.

The Gardner-Webb Bulldog Club will host the 7th Annual Bulldog Club Golf Tournament, on August 6 at Riverbend Golf Course in Shelby, N.C. Proceeds from the event will also benefit the Marching Bulldogs. If you have interest in supporting the return of the marching band at Gardner-Webb, contact Aaron Hinton at 704.406.4101 or You may also sponsor the band directly online at

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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