New fund honoring Gerald Gibson will focus on professional development

At Maryville College’s annual Founder’s Day dinner, Dr. Gerald Gibson and his wife, Rachel, received the announcement from Dr. Dan Ellis, right, that an endowment fund was being established in his honor.

At Maryville College’s annual Founder’s Day dinner, Dr. Gerald Gibson and his wife, Rachel, received the announcement from Dr. Dan Ellis, right, that an endowment fund was being established in his honor.

At the annual Founder’s Day dinner in mid-October, Dr. Dan Ellis, chairman of Maryville College’s Board of Directors, announced a surprise for Maryville College president Gerald W. Gibson and his wife, Rachel.

Ellis told those attending the banquet that the Maryville College Board’s Advancement Committee had recommended to the full governing body that a new endowed fund be set up to honor Gibson’s service at Maryville College as well as his commitment to professional development for faculty and staff throughout his tenure.

In April, Gibson announced that he would be retiring at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year. As president of the liberal arts college since 1993, Gibson has been credited with leading the College into its current state of historic strength and instituting a model of visioning and planning for progress.

At the banquet, Ellis reported that The Gerald W. Gibson Professional Development Fund would provide on-going annual funds to be awarded to individuals or groups to support projects that either enhance the College’s existing programs of distinction or contribute to the development of revolutionary programs or procedures that further enrich the college. Proposals for grants to cover release time, travel and conference fees, program start-up costs, etc., would be considered.

“We thought this would be a great way to honor Gerald while insuring that his legacy continues to help develop current and future faculty and staff,” stated Dr. Ken Tuck, chair of the Advancement Committee. “To review this possibility, we formed a special task force that included representatives from the faculty, staff, student body and the community. All believed that this fund would be very appropriate.”

Ellis said the Board “enthusiastically embraced this creative concept.”

“Gerald’s leadership has made a dramatic difference to this College over the last 17 years, and we wanted to honor him in a manner that would continue his legacy,” Ellis said.

People who would like to contribute to The Gerald W. Gibson Professional Development Fund are asked to call the Advancement Office at 865-273-8884 or email holly.ludlow@maryvillecollege.edu. Checks should be mailed to: Advancement Office, Maryville College, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804. Simply write “Gibson Development Fund” on the memo line of the check.

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