news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Revives Celebration of Founders Day on Dec. 1

The Huggins-Curtis Building
The Huggins-Curtis Building

Activities Begin with Morning Convocation and Include Presentation of Inaugural Founders Medal

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University is honoring the dedicated leaders in its past by reviving the celebration of Founders Day with special activities on Dec. 1. A highlight of the day is the presentation of the inaugural Founders Medal. This award recognizes individuals who have contributed significant and distinguished service to the University. The community is invited to nominate individuals for the award by Sept. 24. A full list of criteria is available here.

Dr. William Downs
Dr. William Downs

“We stand on the shoulders of those giants who came before us,” acknowledged Gardner-Webb President William Downs. “Now into our 117th year as an institution of higher education, we certainly benefit from the labors and love of men and women who devoted so much to building this special place. Somewhere along our historical path the Founders Day concept fell into disuse, and we are honored in 2022 to be able to reestablish this important annual tradition. I truly believe that the more we learn about GWU’s past, the more excited we all will be about what can be accomplished in our future.” 

Events on Dec. 1 begin with a Founders Day Convocation at 9:25 a.m. in Dover Chapel and end with the annual Festival of Lights at 7 p.m. in Dover Theatre, followed by a reception in Tucker Student Center.

Throughout the day, the campus community and guests may visit the Pouryousefi Memorial Art Gallery in Tucker to view information and items from the University’s history.

Afternoon events start at 4 p.m. with a ceremony to place the Huggins-Curtis Building Historical Marker at Dover Campus Center, which is built on the site of the former main building on campus. At 4:30 p.m., the University’s Archivist will be available in the Pouryousefi Gallery to answer questions about the exhibit. The Founders Day Awards ceremony and dinner will be at 5 p.m. in Tucker Student Center.

Gardner-Webb’s beginning dates back to Dec. 2, 1905, when the Boiling Springs High School was chartered as a result of an initiative sponsored by the Kings Mountain Baptist Association (Cleveland County) and the Sandy Run Baptist Association (Rutherford County).

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 10 working days prior to the event.  Please call 704-406-4270 or email [email protected] with your request.

Founders Day Save the Date Graphic with historical photo of Huggins Curtis Building

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, 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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