news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Welcomes Representatives of The Golden LEAF Foundation

Members of the Foundation’s Staff and Board Meet with Scholarship Recipients and Tour Campus

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb President Dr. William M. Downs and the Office of Advancement welcomed representatives of the Golden LEAF Foundation to campus recently. After touring the campus, they met with recipients of the foundation’s scholarships. Currently there are 15 Golden LEAF scholars at GWU and since 2006 nearly 100 students at the University have received financial support from the foundation. Since the Golden LEAF Foundation’s inception in 1999, more than $60 million in scholarships has been awarded to over 29,000 students. These scholarships are presented to students in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities.

“The Golden LEAF Foundation has done so much over the years to positively impact economic development in rural North Carolina communities, and we are grateful for the Foundation’s investment in GWU students who are indeed the future of our region,” shared Gardner-Webb President Dr. William M. Downs. “Our continued partnership with Golden LEAF is yet another example of our University being seen as a source of innovation, as a provider of expertise, and as a beacon of hope for a prosperous tomorrow.” 

From left, the Golden LEAF Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton, Board Chair Ralph Strayhorn, and GWU President Dr. William M. Downs talk to scholarship recipients at the luncheon.

Hamilton and Ginsberg were joined by other members of the Foundation’s staff—Scholarship Program Manager Arlena Dongilli, Government and External Affairs Coordinator Savannah Russell and Board Chair Ralph Strayhorn—for a luncheon with the current scholarship recipients. During the program, scholarship recipients shared their Gardner-Webb story, discussed their goals and career aspirations. They also got to hear directly from Hamilton, who shared more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, including the Rural Internship Initiative for scholarship recipients.

Gardner-Webb’s Golden LEAF Scholars:

  • Montana Sage Adams, freshman, exercise science, Robbinsville, N.C.
  • Alana Shay Black, freshman, psychology and sociology, Granite Falls, N.C.
  • Mindy Jae Brown, freshman, elementary education, Polkville, N.C.
  • Margaret Earp, senior, exercise science, pre-professional concentration, Lenoir, N.C.
  • Haleigh Taylor Fields, sophomore, nursing, Tar Heel, N.C.
  • Brycelynn Faith Glover, sophomore, psychology and sociology, Waco, N.C.
  • Emma Katherine Harrison, freshman, Christian studies and psychology, Robbinsville, N.C.
  • Rebecca Hawkins, freshman, nursing, Kings Mountain, N.C.
  • Jonah William Hill, junior, history education, secondary teaching licensure, Forest City, N.C.
  • Kaitlyn Marie Huff, sophomore, exercise science, Hamlet, N.C.
  • Carley Brooke Lawter, sophomore, elementary education, Mill Spring, N.C.
  • Andres Josias Leyva, freshman, business management, Mooresboro, N.C.
  • Julie Marie Marshall, junior, nursing, Mount Airy, N.C.
  • Angela Sanchez, freshman, criminal justice administration and Spanish, Shelby, N.C.
  • Chelsea Walters, senior, nursing, Connelly Springs, N.C.

About The Golden LEAF Foundation

Golden LEAF was created to receive 50 percent of the annual payments made by cigarette manufacturers to North Carolina under the historic 1999 Master Settlement Agreement that included 46 states. LEAF stands for Long-Term Economic Advancement Foundation. The endowment has funded hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and scholarships to support its mission to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities.

About Gardner-Webb

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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