news-category: In Memoriam

Gardner-Webb Remembers Former Board of Trustees Member, Rodney Allison

Rodney Allison, left, supported the Godbold School of Business and Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. During one event sponsored by the center, he and Walter Dalton, right, former N.C. lieutenant governor, led a discussion on entrepreneurship.

Alumnus Supported the University’s Goals to Serve Students and the Community

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A former member of the Gardner-Webb University Board of Trustees, Rodney Brian Allison, 63, passed away on Friday, June 9, 2023, at his home. Born in Durham, N.C., Allison was a 1982 alumnus of GWU, earning his Bachelor of Science in business administration.

As a Trustee from 2016 to 2021, Allison enjoyed his time advising the University on many goals and achievements to help serve the Gardner-Webb community. He was also a member of the Presidential Search Committee in 2018-19 that chose GWU President Dr. William M. Downs as the University’s next leader.

“I remember meeting Rodney Allison for the first time back during the presidential search process,” Downs reflected. “He had this big, booming voice that was full of both authority and positivity… you could just hear it in that voice how much Rodney loved his alma mater. We’re going to make Gardner-Webb ‘one of the greatest Universities in the Southeast,’ Rodney would tell me.”

Downs continued, “He was enthusiastic and supportive of GWU, and I’m so grateful for the many occasions on which he took the time to be friendly and generous to my family. Upon hearing the news of his passing, I went back to read our last text messages to each other… he had written one previous year to wish Kim (Dr. Downs’ wife) a happy Mother’s Day. Always thinking and doing for others … that was Rodney Allison. We shall certainly miss him.”

A successful commercial realtor in the Durham area, he spent the majority of his professional life with Property Advisory Services. He served as president of the firm for at least 30 years. Allison supported the Godbold School of Business and Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship by participating in educational programs. During one event, he and Walter Dalton, former N.C. lieutenant governor, led a discussion on entrepreneurship.

Allison was also an active member of The Summit Church-North Durham Campus. He was a member of the Building Search Committee for the North Durham Campus.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Kim Vaughan Allison, two daughters and two grandchildren.

A funeral service was held on June 13 at Guess Road Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Preston Robert Tish Brain Tumor Center here.

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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