Support Academic & Athletic Success

Bears Club

Bears Club support is essential to position our student-athletes to compete on the field, in the classroom and prepare them for success in life.

The Bears Club is the official fundraising arm of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics. Since 1946, the Bears Club has provided financial support to enhance the student-athlete experience, provide athletic scholarship support and fund capital improvement projects.

More than 1,000 alumni, numerous corporations, parents and friends are members of the Bears Club, and as members, they collectively provide crucial support to each of the university's 23 intercollegiate teams.

Ways of Giving

Your generosity helps support student-athletes and to continue to grow the rich history and tradition of Lenoir-Rhyne University Athletics.

  • Checks - Make checks payable to Lenoir-Rhyne Bears Club.
  • By Phone - Payment information can be provided over the phone by calling the office at Martha Wrike at 828.328.7007 or Aaron Bessey at 828.328.7946. 
  • Monthly Credit Card Deductions - Your gift can be paid through scheduled monthly credit card payments. Indicate your interest in scheduled monthly payments on the online giving form.
  • LR Faculty and Staff Payroll Deduction - Contact Donna Bowman in the Payroll Office at or 828.328.7185.
  • Pledges - Gifts over multiple years are accepted by the Bears Club. Donors can pledge their support to certain sport, capital project or scholarship fund by contact Andy Anderson at 828.328.7167.
Give Online

Bears Club support for athletic scholarships has helped me and every other student-athlete on this campus.

Taylor Prall '21, Women's Volleyball

Tax Benefits

  • Each gift to the Bears Club may be eligible for tax deduction based on goods and services received.
  • Please consult a tax professional about determining your tax deduction.
  • Donors have the option to waive all benefits and have their gift be 100% tax-deductible

Member Benefits

Bears Club members take pride and satisfaction in helping to provide a quality education for men and women who have chosen to attend and compete at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Membership Benefit Legacy Bear $5,000+ Piedmont Bear $2,500 - $4,999 Mountain Bear $1,500 - $2,499 Big Bear $1,000 - $1,499 Bear $500-$900 Bear Booster $250 - $499 Bear Friend $50 - $249
Support education of LR student-athletes x x x x x x x
Car decal x x x x x x x
Scoreboard e-newsletter and email updates x x x x x x x
Access to football pre-gram hospitality for $10 per person x x
Football gameday program recognition x x x x x x x
Invitation to Bears Club events x x x x x x x
20% discount on Bears apparel (gameday only) x x x x x x
Bears Club membership for children 12 and under* x x x x x
Complimentary basketball and football hospitality 4 4 4 2 2
Reserved football season tickets and basketball season tickets** 4 4 4 4 2
Gold Lot football parking pass on practice field x x x x
Bears Club Christmas gift x x x x
LR President's Society membership x x x
Invitation for two to the President's Box (upon request and availability) x x
Use of Moretz Gym and Racquet ball court x x
Sideline pass for one home football game (upon request and availability) x
Two season sideline passes for home football games (upon request and availability) x
Private dinner with the athletic director or head coach of your choice x
VIP away football trip (upon request) x
Total fair market value of benefits (for tax purposes) $740 $740 $740 $720 $370

*Bear Cub Club membership includes a free Cub Club t-shirt that provides free admission to regular-season home athletic events when worn.
**Donors wishing to designate their contribution toward a sport will not receive the benefits of tickets.

  • 2020-21 Bears Club Officers
    • Bob Fincher, President
    • Ben Bundy, Vice President
    • Ingrid Smith, Vice President
    • Ryan Edwards, Immediate Past President
    • Aaron Bessey, Director
    • Martha Wrike, Special Events Coordinator
  • Bears Club Council

    Dr. Fred Whitt - President
    Kim Pate - Vice President of Athletics

    • Jim Andrews
    • Perrell Bess
    • Sally Bradshaw
    • Daniel Brittain
    • Ben Bundy
    • Thomas Deal
    • Jamie Dickinson
    • Rhett Durham
    • Ryan Edwards
    • Marvin Everett
    • Bob Fincher
    • Billy Hilton
    • Noah Geoghegan
    • Tom Guthrie
    • Leslie Kenworthy
    • Marcus Kincaid
    • Pedie King
    • Becky Laney
    • Buster Mann
    • Roger Maxey
    • Brad McNeely
    • John Moretz
    • Steve Mull
    • Holly Penland
    • Jason Porter
    • Dave Robertson
    • Les Stewart
    • Ingrid Smith
    • Jameil Surratt
    • Marcellena Teague
    • Lolly Wiles
    • Leah Wiley
    • Matt Winters

    Honorary Life Members

    • Walter Cornwell '57
    • Vernon Hedrick '56
    • Thad Lineberger '60
    • Marcus Midgett '62
    • Bob Miller '58
    • Wilbert Seabock '50
    • Charles Snipes '58