Changing lives: Gardner-Webb and The Tucker Family United for Common Goal

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New Spacious Student Center Goes From Dream To Reality

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – When the new Tucker Student Center opens at Gardner-Webb University, current and future students alike will have the pleasure of enjoying this spacious, contemporary, and breathtaking building, in large part to the generosity of Robert and Carolyn Tucker.  A celebration with ribbon cutting, open house, music, refreshments, and tours will be held for invited guests on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 4:00 p.m.

It was on March 30, 2010 that these long-time university benefactors joined GWU President, Dr. Frank Bonner to announce the largest donation in school history.  The $5 million gift from the Tucker family has helped to make a new student center go from a dream to a reality.  The Center will be much more than a building, as it will provide opportunities for the Gardner-Webb community to come together and interact.  It has been called a place where the heart of campus life will take place.

The Tuckers are the owners of Shoe Show, Inc.  Founded in 1960 in Kannapolis, N.C., Shoe Show’s success has been based on a simple formula of providing quality products, service and value.  For 50 years, Shoe Show has continued to grow with over 1,100 locations in 36 states.  Stores also include Shoe Department, Shoe Dept. Encore, and Burlington Shoes.

When Carolyn Tucker spoke about her family’s support to GWU over the years, she said, “I’ve seen so many instances of young people, including my daughter Lisa, who went to Gardner-Webb and they were changed by being there.  That’s what I want to be on board with – an organization that is changing lives.”

Lisa Tucker is a 1989 graduate and former volleyball player for Gardner-Webb. She has remained committed to the University for two decades and currently serves as a trustee.  Lisa serves the family business as vice president.

Robert Tucker has been described as a brilliant businessman who has continued to appreciate the simple things in life.  When Robert has guests visit the Shoe Show offices, he often hands out a pack of crackers and a soda for the road to his special guests.  He also enjoys hunting and has a heart for helping others.

Carolyn Tucker called GWU a place of transformation. Now, Gardner-Webb will have a visual reminder of the Tucker family influence on this University with this monumental facility—a facility where lives will continue to experience change.

The Tucker Student Center becomes the new 110,000 square-foot building for students to fellowship on campus.  The facility will include conference rooms, common areas for group and study time, a small movie theater and three story climbing wall, restaurants, the campus book store, the art gallery and over 15 departments.