GWU Master of Wealth and Trust Management Named for Brinkley Financial Group

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Financial Firm Based in Kings Mountain, N.C. Offers Founding Gift for New Program

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.— Thanks to the outstanding generosity of a University trustee and his wife, Gardner-Webb’s newest graduate program in business has a name: the Brinkley Financial Group Master of Wealth and Trust Management Program, set to open this fall exclusively in Charlotte, the nation’s second-largest banking and financial center.

The program is named in appreciation for the sizeable founding gift offered by David and Marie Brinkley of Kings Mountain, N.C. David is the chairman and president of Brinkley Financial Group investment firm, and the Brinkleys’ daughters, Kristie and Carrie, are GWU alumnae and former Runnin’ Bulldog volleyball standouts. Carrie and her brother, David Jr., are now Brinkley Financial Group investment advisors.

“David and Marie Brinkley, as well as their children, are outstanding friends and supporters of Gardner-Webb,” said GWU President Dr. Frank Bonner. “More than that, they believe in Gardner-Webb’s educational mission, and they recognize the tremendous opportunity we have to equip men and women of strong ethical conviction to be innovative leaders in one of the nation’s most dynamic and fastest-growing industries. We are grateful for their visionary support.”

“Marie and I believe God has blessed us, and we want to be good stewards of all that we’ve been given. We are excited to help make a difference in the lives of the many students who will benefit from this exceptional program,” said David Brinkley.

Brinkley added that the program’s emphasis on Christian ethical reflection played a role in their decision to invest. “A high standard of character and integrity is central to the Brinkley Financial Group philosophy. We’re not perfect, but we strive to serve our clients well, and that commitment to service and integrity will make Gardner-Webb’s program distinct.”

Set to begin this fall, the program is only the nation’s second master’s degree in wealth and trust management and the first in the Charlotte region.

“The Wealth and Trust Management Program was created for students interested in pursuing dynamic new careers in the wealth and trust management fields, and for those individuals who wish to advance within the financial industry,” said Dr. William Little, the program’s coordinator. Specifically, the degree will prepare graduates for careers in investment management, trust management, financial planning, private equity, securities and financial regulation, risk management, and other sectors within the financial industry.

To house the program, Gardner-Webb is transforming the second floor of its Charlotte Center into a financial laboratory and trading room designed to simulate a real-world trading and portfolio management experience. The laboratory’s range of technology will offer real-time market data including global securities, analyst commentaries, and financial ratios from around the world, teaching students to follow and interpret the market-moving events that investment managers use to make critical decisions.

For more information or to apply, call (704) 406-3997 or visit

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.