Former GWU Trustee Remembered for Contributions to the Community

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Nina Eloise Spangler Supported University Through Academic and Music Scholarships

Eloise Spangler in front of Spangler Gate
Eloise Spangler, center, stands with (from left) John Fraley Jr., Ken Mayhew, John Fraley Sr. and Ken Younger at the dedication ceremony in February 1991 of Spangler Gate, which was placed at the GWU entrance in memory of her husband, R. Patrick Spangler Sr.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A former member of the Gardner-Webb University Board of Trustees is being remembered for her contributions to the University, community and region. Nina Eloise Young Spangler of Shelby, N.C., passed away Sept. 24, 2017.

Spangler and her husband, the late Royce Patrick “Pat” Spangler Sr., were avid supporters of Gardner-Webb. He also served on the board of trustees. “Eloise Spangler is a dear friend, and she and her husband, Pat, have been friends of Gardner-Webb for many years,” remarked Woody Fish, GWU Vice President for External Affairs and Advancement. “They loved Gardner-Webb. Spangler Stadium, Spangler Dorm and Spangler Gate are named for the family.”

In appreciation for the Spanglers’ years of public service, the couple’s friends from across the Southeastern United States established the Pat and Eloise Spangler Academic Endowment Fund at Gardner-Webb in 1981. The fund provides graduate stipends for teaching assistantships. In addition, the Eloise and Evelyn Spangler scholarship at GWU supports music majors.

Professor of Music Dr. Patricia Sparti valued Spangler’s friendship and wholehearted support for the Department of Music. “The music scholarships she donated to GWU have helped many students to come to GWU to study music, and go on to have wonderful music careers, for God’s glory,” Sparti observed. “This will continue for centuries to come. She was a glorious person, so elegant, and was a one-of-a-kind lady. She loved the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength.”

Spangler was also a talented musician who played the organ. Her favorite songs were Broadway musicals and hymns. Besides enjoying music and theater, she liked to walk, golf and play tennis. Another one of her passions was playing bridge, and she was a member of several bridge clubs. She also loved to read, especially the devotions of Billy Graham. She was the oldest member of First Baptist Church of Shelby.

Spangler Stadium was named for Mrs. Spangler's father-in-law, Ernest W. Spangler
Spangler Stadium was named for Mrs. Spangler’s father-in-law, Ernest W. Spangler.

She was a former board member of the North Carolina Symphony and the Cleveland County Historical Museum. She also served as a member of the board of trustees of Mars Hill College and was a former member of Duke Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Board.

The family asks that memorials be made to The Pat and Eloise Academic Endowment Fund or the Eloise and Evelyn Spangler Music Scholarship at Gardner-Webb University, Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 997, Boiling Springs, NC, 28017, or First Baptist Church of Shelby, 120 N. Lafayette Street, Shelby, N.C. 28150.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at