Gardner-Webb Archives Launches Digitized Version of Fay Webb Gardner Collection

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Historical Documents Spotlight Remarkable Woman Who Spent Her Life Supporting Others

An image of Fay Webb Gardner with her dogsBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb University Archives recently launched a digitized version of the Fay Webb Gardner Collection. In addition, a year-long social media campaign began in honor of  Mrs. Gardner’s 134th birthday. Materials from Series 1 of the collection will be shared on Fridays with the hashtag #FayWebbFriday.

Mrs. Gardner was the wife of former governor of North Carolina and U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, O. Max Gardner. Despite living in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., the Gardners never forgot their hometown, Shelby, North Carolina, and were ardent supporters of the junior college in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Their devotion to the college was recognized in 1942, when the trustees voted to name the school, Gardner-Webb, after them.

“We are so excited to highlight her, because she spent so much time supporting others,” observed Dr. Natalie Bishop, GWU associate dean of the library and university archivist. “She was such an influential lady who had an impact on her family and the community.”

Mrs. Gardner collected genealogical materials dating back to the early 1800s pertaining to the Webb, Andrews, Love, and Gardner families of Cleveland and Rutherford counties in North Carolina. A large portion of the collection documents her involvement in her husband’s political career and in her own organizations, such as the State League of Women Voters and Benjamin Cleveland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

the logo for the Fay Webb Gardner collectionCollection branding was designed by GWU alum, Michaela Killion (@michaelaraedesign). “I wanted to make her likeness the focal point of the logo to pay her a proper tribute,” Killion affirmed. “I went with a cameo style of her silhouette to give a nod to her love of histories and genealogies.”

Digitization of the collection was made possible by O. Max Gardner III and the O. Max Gardner Foundation. The public may access the collection at Follow Gardner-Webb Library on Facebook (@johnrdoverlibrary), Instagram (gwu.doverlibrary), or Twitter (gwudoverlibrary).

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at