Gardner-Webb University Breaks Fundraising Records With its Ninth Annual Double Dawg Day

By Marianne Luedeman

Photos Courtesy of the GWU Office of University Communications

Gardner-Webb University recently held its ninth annual Double Dawg Day fundraising event, breaking university fundraising records by raising $1,404,689 for use with scholarships, academic programs, and athletics. 

This year’s fundraising event, which has been held annually since 2015, was the most successful in the event’s history. Outside of monetary records, the University also broke its record for most gifts received in a single day.

Additionally, Gardner-Webb University ultimately received contributions from 1,366 donors in every U.S. state and various countries, including Canada, France, United Kingdom, Sweden, Austria, United Arab Emirates, India, South Africa, New Zealand, and Thailand.

Double Dawg Day featured a special fundraising system where the donations of all outside donors would be matched by special donors who agreed to give dollar-for-dollar. Many stayed anonymous, but some notable matching donors included GWU Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing Noel Manning, Andrew Day, Randall Hall, and the Gardner-Webb Board of Trustees. 

Members of the GWU Football Team pose with the money fundraised during Double Dawg Day.

With the notable success of this year’s event, Gardner-Webb’s Vice President for Advancement Nate Evans shared that “we are truly grateful for our donors and their remarkable generosity. (Their) investments are catalysts for progress that raise the bar and help us pursue excellence.”

The fundraising event also allowed donors to invest in the specific departments or programs that mean the most to them. 

Among academic departments, the School of Divinity raised the most money with their total of $111,680. The Searight PACE program was second with $102,825 raised, and the College of Arts and Sciences came in third with $68,079 raised. The donations will be used to purchase instrumentation, equipment and provide scholarships to divinity students. 

In athletics, Gardner-Webb’s soccer program raised the most with a grand total of $188,425. Football came in second with a total of $186,199 raised and wrestling came in third with $154,095 raised. The additional funding will help equip the teams and support student athletes. 

Members of the GWU Wrestling Team pose with the money fundraised during Double Dawg Day.

A variety of programs across campus also benefited from additional fundraising challenges that were met throughout the course of the day. 

In a message to the donors, Gardner-Webb’s Assistant Director of Annual Giving Kanisha Fowler noted that the event’s tremendous success was “proof that Bulldog Nation stands strong and is connected across the country.” Fowler further added “thank you for helping us empower students, increase institutional aid and elevate the mission and vision of the University.”

Dr. William Downs, president of Gardner-Webb University, added that “for a university of our size, this magnitude of donor investment is exceptional and will certainly make a positive difference in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff. To say that we are thankful is an understatement.”

Officials from the GWU College of Health Sciences pose with the money fundraised during Double Dawg Day.

For questions about Double Dawg Day, Evans can be reached at [email protected] and Fowler can be reached at [email protected].

Additional resources can be found on the Double Dawg Day website, located at

Attributed quotes for this article are courtesy of the GWU Office of University Communications.