THE CAROLINA ANNUAL FUND
““II f feeeell
ttooggiivvee b baacckk.”.”
photo: sara d. davis
Randy Gardner at Boshamer Stadium, cheering on his beloved Tar Heels during their run to the 2007 College World Series.
Randy Gardner’s family
couldn’t afford to send
him to college, but in
1961, the Goldsboro native applied to Carolina anyway—and
was accepted. “It wasn’t a viable
option, but I wanted to be a part
of it,” he said.
More than 40 years later it’s
clear that the lack of a college
degree didn’t keep Gardner, now
retired, from succeeding in life.
And being a non-alumnus hasn’t
kept him from appreciating and
supporting UNC. He gives to
the Rams Club and is a lifetime
For more information about the
Carolina Annual Fund, visit
or contact Beth Braxton ‘ 88,
Director of Annual Giving,
member of the General Alumni Association. Two of his three children
earned their degrees here.
“I love the place, and it gave my
children a chance to be successful,”
Gardner’s giving reflects his
many passions. A devoted Tar Heel
sports fan, he made a substantial
gift to the renovation of Boshamer
Stadium. He also created a scholar-
ship to honor his wife, Vicky.
But he doesn’t just make large
gifts. He gives every year to the
Carolina Annual Fund. A huge
country music fan, he helped
the Southern Folklife Collection
catalog its many country music
holdings. He also supports the
Robert Ruark Society, named for
one of his favorite authors.
“I don’t feel like I owe anything
to the university,” he said. “I want
to give, and I’m surprised that
some people don’t. I just feel
compelled—not out of guilt, but
out of appreciation.”
To make a gift to the Carolina Annual Fund,
Make your gift unrestricted to be used where
it’s needed most, or designate it to any school,
department or unit on campus.