Gardner-Webb University Pays Highest Academic Honor to Robert and Carolyn Tucker

Print Friendly

Honorary Doctorates Bestowed During Summer Commencement Exercises

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University bestowed its highest recognition of merit, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degrees, to Robert and Carolyn Tucker during its Summer Commencement ceremonies on Monday, Aug. 5.  The Tucker family recently donated $5.5 million toward the construction of the facility that bears their name, the transformational Tucker Student Center.  The gift remains the single largest donation in university history.

In 2010, the Tuckers joined GWU President Dr. Frank Bonner to announce the donation that marked the beginning of many other sizeable contributions by other donors towards the project.  However, the generosity of the family continued on Aug. 28, 2012 as Robert Tucker announced an additional gift in the amount of $500,000 during the official grand opening and ribbon cutting for the facility.   The Tucker Student Center is an 110,000 square-foot building that has become the heart of campus life, particularly for student fellowship and activities.  The center includes conference rooms, common areas for group and individual study time, and many options for entertainment and recreation such as a small movie theater, a three-story climbing wall, multiple restaurants, the campus bookstore, an art gallery, and over 15 university departments, including GWU Campus Ministries.

Bonner noted the Tuckers’ continuous desire to quietly support various philanthropic endeavors. “Throughout their lives, Robert and Carolyn Tucker have gone to great lengths to fly under the radar,” said Bonner.  “Their conviction is nowhere more apparent than in their extensive philanthropy, for which they have always sought to avoid public acclaim.  They have given generously to churches, ministries, and groups like the Salvation Army and Hospice.”

The Tuckers founded the successful business, Shoe Show, headquartered in Concord, N.C.  The company is over 50 years old and currently has over 1100 locations across the United States.  Their daughter, 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 on the GWU Board of Trustees.  She also works in the family business as a vice president.

“Robert and Carolyn’s love for God and family, an enduring commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and ways to advance God’s kingdom, as well as their outstanding professional achievements are a shining example to our students and to us all,” said Bonner.  “Gardner-Webb University is enriched by our association with the Tuckers.”

Since 1971, honorary doctorate degrees have been presented by Gardner-Webb University to more than 60 deserving individuals.  Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor programs of specialized study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.