Gardner-Webb’s Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship to be Renamed Following Professor’s Donation

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Dr. Don Caudill Honored During Recent Celebration 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University held an expression of appreciation event to announce that the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, a part of the Godbold School of Business, would be named in honor of the parents of Dr. Don Caudill.  Caudill, who serves as professor of marketing at GWU, made a significant financial gift to the center.

Caudill, who was born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, has honored his parents by designating it the “Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship.” He desired to pay homage to his humble upbringing, where he learned valuable lessons as a young man by seeing his parents work hard for little pay.  “While our family was considered poor,” said Caudill.  “We never were without food, clothing, or shelter.  I feel I’m a better person for having learned early in life the value of hard work and the dignity it brings.”

Caudill, a devoted Christian, went through a life changing experience in 2011 that helped convince him that he needed to do more for Gardner-Webb.  “During emergency surgery for a terribly inflamed appendix, I had an epiphany,” said Caudill.  “I believe God impressed on me to downsize, give away more and live a simpler life.  I created a mantra that now guides my life: work hard, live modestly, give generously, and laugh often.”

During the event, Dr. Frank Bonner, president of Gardner-Webb, called Caudill the complete package.  “Where do you find the time,” said Bonner to Caudill.  “His accomplishments include a teacher, a researcher, an entrepreneur, an authority on marketing, and he has even published nearly 100 articles and presented over 50 papers at various events.  His unfailing dedication to Gardner-Webb is made even more evident by this gift.”

Provost and Senior Vice President for GWU, Dr. Ben Leslie compared Caudill’s actions to the movie and novel Pay It Forward, where a boy conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward through good deeds.  Leslie said, “Don’s gift can only extend the reach of the center and its journey.  This could be referenced as redemption of commerce through reflection of Christian leadership, which creates a strong foundation.”

Caudill received the University’s Community Engagement Award in 2012 for his extensive civic service and leadership, and for translating that passion into innovative service-learning projects. During one semester, Caudill’s students contributed over 1,000 service hours to 23 non-profit agencies.

More information about the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship is available by following the links at 

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 specialized major and minor programs, a comprehensive academic experience grounded in a Christian environment of service, leadership, and intellectual freedom.