March Madness here at the Webb

In case you are unaware, month of the year dedicated to basketball insanity is now upon us. Although, here in the Springs that used to Boil, we have had some incredible basketball being played since the season began. Both the women’s and men’s teams have played well and been able to pull out some great, exciting wins for the fans that consistently flock to the Paul Porter Arena.
The Women’s team was at the top of the Big South Conference my first two years, while going to the NCAA Tournament my second year, which was a great thrill for our school. However, after a rough season last year, they have a young team that is much improved and has great potential going forward. With a number of great performances and victories against key conference opponents and rivals, we’re hopeful about their chances in the Big South Tournament.
Whereas the women had great, championship-winning seasons recently, the men’s team has already achieved an incredible season this year, defeating Big East-member DePaul and rising to 2nd in the Conference. Obviously winning makes games fun to go to, but the school spirit and student support of the team (namely the “Holtmanniacs our student section) has grown immensely. Along with this, there is a greater sense of community at games as people from the surrounding community are increasingly involved in cheering on the team. (See this excellent video from videographer extraordinaire Jacob Boyles and the GWU Admissions Office.)

As the Runnin’ Bulldogs enter their final home game on Saturday, they have won 9 of their last ten games against stiff, in-conference competition and have a chance to be the #1 seed from the South Division going into the Conference Tournament. Needless to say, there is a lot to be excited about and we like our teams’ chances going forward. Hope you will join all of us here as we cheer on the runnin’ bulldogs going forward!

Highlights from last night’s incredible, thrilling overtime win against the #1 team in the Conference, Charleston Southern.

Until next time, take care!


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Snow in good ol’ Cleveland County!

In terms of snow, this winter has been especially kind, well too kind if you ask me, to my hometown of Hillsborough, my girlfriend’s town of Greensboro, and the whole Triangle/Triad area. We, however, had not had a snowflake since my Sophomore year (Freshman and Sophomore years included multiple snowfalls each by the way). But that all changed one Saturday not too long ago…

You would honestly think we college students had never seen snow before by the way people rushed outside, blasted music, and screamed for joy. It was a lot like running downstairs to presents on Christmas morning. It’s funny how little things like snow bring out the kid in all of us. And for me and many of my friends, immaturity and child-like behavior (to an extent) is something to be enjoyed and cherished before we enter the dreaded “real world.” Snowball fights sprang up all across campus from the parking lots by the apartments to the baseball game.

This led to Gardner-Webb being featured on Yahoo,, the Huffington Post, and other sites:

GWU/Dayton Baseball snowball fight

After walking around campus and seeing/participating in the spontaneous pandemonium that was occurring everywhere, relaxing by the fireplace on the student center terrace and surveying the scene seemed like a fitting way to enjoy most of the rest of the afternoon

I hope you had an enjoyable snow day, and if you didn’t I hope this blog allows you to experience one vicariously through me!


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I’m a hard, hard worker everyday…

As a student you commonly take on a number of different titles and associations throughout your 4 years, such as resident of (insert dorm here), Honors student, whatever major you settle on, etc. However, one title I had not figured on having during my time was “Gardner-Webb University employee,” but believe it or not, I actually am.

What I’m getting at is that there are a plethora of jobs on-campus for those who don’t have cars and want a job, qualify for work study, and those who don’t qualify for work study. There is an extremely long list of work-study and non-work-study jobs, so I’ll just mention some of the highlights here.

For example, by typing these words on this blog I am working for the Admissions Department. There are many paid and volunteer jobs with Admissions that involve giving tours, blogging, helping around the office, etc. Meanwhile, my other on-campus job is peer tutoring. I tutor History, Political Science, and Social Science core classes and get paid to do it so it’s great experience, I meet new people, don’t have to drive anywhere, and of course get paid. Other similar jobs include working at the Writing Center, being a TA for science majors, or being a Resident Assistant (RA), although being an RA has greater financial perks to go along with the greater responsibilities and time spent.


One of the many perks that come with on-campus jobs include great bosses who provide coffee to sleep-deprived college students

Lastly, work study jobs are available for a variety of campus needs and different people with different skills and interests. Whether its refereeing intramurals, helping out with Technology services for those who are tech savvy, or working at the Broyhill Adventure Course and the climbing wall in the Student Center for the outdoorsy types. There really is an abundance of opportunities. I’ll close with this video the Adventure course/Adventure Recreation people put out last year in honor of the Hunger Games (part of which was filmed in Cleveland County by the way) featuring fellow blogger extraordinaire Darelle Dupree Dove.

Thanks for reading,


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The First Installment of Madison’s Last Semester Bucket List

It’s a new year, new semester, and my last semester! I would have to describe the feeling of beginning my last semester as incredibly bittersweet. There is both excitement and sadness in finishing an amazing chapter in my life.

In order to make the most of our last months at GWU, seniors commonly develop a bucket list to ensure they take advantage of as many opportunities as possible before they leave. I’ve been fortunate to participate in many activities throughout the last 4 years, however there are still a few opportunities that I have not yet taken advantage of. As you’ll see below, I am developing a list myself and will frequently update my progress at completing these tasks or adding others. Some are more specific and others are more general day-to-day things.

Here’s a few:
1.) Hike to and find the cave above the Broad River: As part of one of my New Years resolutions (well it’s been a resolution for many years) is to spend more time enjoying the Great Outdoors. Particularly in my last semester, I want to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and the open spaces that abound in this area.

2.) Play more Ultimate frisbee: In my younger, underclassmen days before I consistently played ultimate frisbee on the Quad nearly every day at 4:00 P.M. with the community of friends and classmates who frequently gathered to play pickup. However, in the last two years. as my workload and campus involvement has increased and I feel as though I’m too busy, my attendance at daily Ultimate games has sadly decreased,  until now

3.) Along with #2, Participate in our school ultimate tournament for all Alumni, Students, Community members

4.) I am a huge fan of eating and engaging in good conversation with friends, so I want to make sure to explore a number of local “hole-in-the-wall” places (Hamrick’s is first on the list- between here and Cliffside) to ensure that I have consumed all the wonderful Southern food Cleveland County has to offer.

5.) Increase my awareness of this area and our state’s Revolutionary history: Yeah, I’m a History major and a nerd who likes to visit historic sites/places/battlefields, and we have two famous Revolutionary battlefields and historic sites within 30 minutes in Cowpens, SC and Kings Mountain. I have already been to Cowpens, next on the list is Kings Mountain, along with Alamance and Guilford Courthouse which are closer to home. Alamance particularly holds a place near and dear to my heart since I was denied a field trip opportunity there in elementary school due to rain. Needless to say, I was crestfallen and plan to make up for this lost opportunity.

Until next post,


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Fall, Birthday, and Homecoming

Fall is cited by many people as their favorite season, and for good reasons I’m sure, but besides all the crisp weather, falling leaves, natural beauty, and flannel shirts that I enjoy as well, I have this deep-seated, selfish reason for enjoying fall and that is my birthday falls (see what I did there) in late October. So, for my birthday weekend, I was not only blessed with gifts from many loved ones, such as the INCREDIBLE cookies my girlfriend made me pictured below, but with their time and company which provided for many fun times and laughs for me and them that weekend.

Also, because my birthday was on the Friday that marked the start of Homecoming weekend at GWU, it was an even more eventful, but fulfilling weekend.

Homecoming presents us Gardner-Webbians with a plethora of activities, such as the always electrifying Powderpuff game between the women of the northern and southern sides of campus. And I when I say electrifying, I mean it, because my Freshman year, I remember distinctly the game being won on a last-second wide receiver reverse pass. So yeah, it’s a big deal. Meanwhile, there is an ultimate frisbee tournament for student and alumni alike, a dance, which this year included swing dance lessons since our theme was “Roaring Since the 1920s,” a parade, Halloween movies and of course, the football game, among many others. Although all these events are a lot of fun, the best part for me was that I get to spend good times hanging out with good friends from my first few years at GWU, especially from living on Lutz 3rd, friends still here, my girlfriend, and family. Yes, it was a great, humbling honor to be named our school’s Homecoming King for this year and it was fun to cheer the Runnin’ Bulldogs on to a win over VMI, but ultimately, my last homecoming/birthday weekend was made great because of the many friendly faces, both old and new, that I was blessed to spend time, enjoy good conversation, and have fun with.

The GWU Family Tradition- Me, my cousin Kimberly ('10), and sister Claire (Freshman)


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A Cornucopia of GWU Wildlife

For those of us who enjoy the finer things of God’s creation, Gardner-Webb provides (as my title suggests) a plentiful amount of green grass to sprawl out on and do homework, tall trees to climb or use for ENO hammocks, a on-campus “lake” and the Broad River nearby, and of course, everyone’s favorite, both the furry and not-so furry animals.

The longer I’ve been at GWU, the more and more I realize that Gardner-Webb seems to have its own zoo and is on pace to challenge Asheboro for the title of “Best Zoo in North Carolina.” For example we arguably have the largest population of geese per capita of anywhere this side of Canada, and so it becomes an adventure for many students (especially guys) to catch a goose and then relocate it to a rival dorm. When I lived in Lutz-Yelton (the premier residence hall in America), the goal was to leave a goose in nearby Mauney after they put one on our hall. Gotta love some healthy dorm competition!

However, although the list of wildlife goes on, a recent event on campus is what brought this abundance of animals to my attention as one day while walking through the quad I noticed three people standing unusually close while staring at something in the grass. Then, I saw something small and gray with a tail running around in the grass, which happened to be a baby squirrel!

Apparently this guy devours apples like it's nobody's business




Apparently the student who is now raising the squirrel was the first thing it saw when it opened its eyes so it essentially sees him as a motherly figure now, and he just brought it out on the quad to let it run around and let people see it. Needless to say, this was just one o many random, hilarious things I have seen on campus and people haven’t soon forgotten it seeing as there is a GWU Squirrels Twitter account now (@GWUSquirrels). With all these animals running around campus, its safe to say there is now a fierce competition beginning for the future of our school’s official mascot.

That’s all from the land where Springs Boil, the number of stoplights is only 1, and Students raise baby squirrels.

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I’m sorry for neglecting this blog for far too long now but no worries I am back and better than ever! So here’s a little taste of what I’ve been up to.

I think it’s a generally accepted fact that some of the best memories of fun times we have in college or anywhere else are the result of spontaneity. This was the case recently for my roommates and I, as we decided to take a weekend trip to the Mountain State Fair just outside of Asheville, NC.

Although first, I need to give you some background information. I currently live in an on-campus apartment with three other roommates, one of whom is from just down the street, another who is from Asheville, and one all the way from Munich, Germany. I have been lucky enough throughout my 3 (going on 4) years here to both live and become friends with some high-quality people from a variety of different places and backgrounds. Furthermore, because a number of my friends are from Cleveland County or nearby, I have been able to get to know my friends’ families well enough to the point that they become adopted family in my mind because of their hospitality, good cooking, and many other little, but important things such as where I should get my oil changed or my hair cut.

This has become the case with roommate Josh and his family, who we stayed with and were warmly received by when we went to the fair. As an example of little (or large in this case) things that make you feel at home, there are pets such as Josh’s cat, who is known as “Puff,” for good reason as you can see.

However, as great as adopted families, pets, and home-cooked meals are, the real reason we were there was for the pig-racing, mechanical bull-riding, and fried food eating extravaganza known as the fair! We participated in the usual fair activities of seeing all the animals, the prize-winning vegetables, and observed the mechanical bull-riding contest which offered a $200 prize to anyone who stayed on for 8 seconds, since we couldn’t get our German roommate Benedikt aka Hans to try it.

I bet some of y'all city folk didn't know hay could look that good, but that right there is the best hay in all of Western NC


I'm of the opinion that it's not a real fair visit without smelling the sweet aroma of manure and seeing all the animals

So, needless to say,  it was a quality weekend that consisted of everything a good weekend should have this time of year: good friends, good food, football, sleep, and the fair.

Until next time,


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Good times in and around the Springs that Boil

Welcome to this blog o’ mine! First of all, I hope when you clicked my name you were not expecting a girl’s blog because you assumed that Madison is always a girls’ name and in that case, well I’m sorry about that, but now that you’re here, you should read anyway!

Alright, last week was the first week where things started to feel normally busy again, from meetings to homework to happenings on and off campus. In other words, the “honeymoon/good to be back/how was your summer? phase” of the first few weeks is over and it will soon be back to the difficult task of balancing time spent with your nose to the grindstone and time spent on your own terms. Even with all the schoolwork and deadlines that are beginning to pile up, it’s important to not neglect quality time spent with friends and some of the great opportunities that you are presented with here at GWU.

For example, a few weeks ago I received an email from Dr. Gaskins, one of my Political Science professors and a prominent member of the Social Studies Department faculty (which is not as big as other departments, but what they lack in number, they make up for in great intellect), emailed a number of us saying that he had received around eight tickets to attend President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte. Regardless of anyone’s political affiliation or ideology, the chance to see the President of the United States speak was too good to pass up, and immediately a number of friends and I were lucky enough to get tickets! The two weeks leading up to the speech were filled with RNC and DNC watch parties, food, and discussion with peers and professors in the cozy confines of Frank Nanney Hall’s bottom floor that got us all geeked up and excited for the big event on Thursday night. There was only one problem, Mother Nature. Although we needed the rain, it went on too long and unfortunately, as many of you may already know, President Obama’s speech was moved inside (the day before) to the Time Warner Cable Arena on account of the threat of severe weather, thus invalidating mine and 50,000 some other people’s “community credential” tickets. Despite this somewhat disappointing result, all was not lost and we press on and make the best of it here at the Webb. This is because the fact that we were presented with this opportunity at all gave me an even greater appreciation for the quality of the academic life and academic community we enjoy here.

This once-in-a-lifetime offer was presented to us, without having to wait in lines for hours like many other dedicated souls did, but instead just by replying to an email! Pretty awesome right? I have been thrilled with how much GWU and the Social Studies Department in particular, make such an intentional effort to be engaged with events in nearby cities like Charlotte, Greenville-Spartanburg, and Asheville that further our knowledge and understanding of how the subjects we study are significant and applicable in the real world.  Despite the fact that most presidential candidates (with Newt Gingrich who came here in the Spring being a notable exception), or the president himself, are not consistently knocking on Dr. Bonner’s door wanting to give speeches in Boiling Springs, we still are blessed in the fact that we have faculty who care about our learning outside of the few hours a week we are in their class. Whether its just the mayor of Shelby, notable speakers from nearby, nationally, and internationally, NEEDTOBREATHE, or the most powerful man in the world, we continue to have great opportunities to expand our learning outside the classroom and to see how the knowledge we gain in class is applicable to the world we will be entering after graduation.


Well, I guess it'll make for a nice keepsake and a good story to tell future generations

More on the good times that continue to roll on here in Boiling Springs later, until then, in the famous words of Edward R. Murrow, “goodnight and good luck.”


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