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|Ellen P. Gibbs '32|
Some might suggest that Ellen Pauline Gibbs should be awarded the Lifelong Leadership Award for the many times she has visited the campus since her graduation in 1932. Even Ellen might acknowledge, as modest as she is, the Gibbs family has generated a proud tradition at Hiram College. A dozen relatives have attended Hiram, ranging from her brother, Earle (Class of 1920) to nieces, nephews, a son-in-law, a great niece, her husband, and cousins.
Others might say we should award Ellen Gibbs the Lifelong Leadership Award for perfect attendance during her 39-year teaching career. After receiving her Hiram degree she began teaching home economics in the Fairview Park, Ohio school system and never missed one day due to illness. Imagine…39 years of never calling in sick!
Others might suggest that we recognize her academic contributions. She taught home economics from 1932 to 1973, taking a two-year sabbatical to pursue a master's degree from Columbia University in 1940. In 1960, she collaborated in writing a home economics textbook, Your Home and You. The book sold well and in 1965, Ellen produced a revised edition that went into a second printing.
Ellen certainly merits an award for her lifelong devotion to the Media Community. She is the very model of a modern citizen. She is a devoted member of the Christian Church where, over the years, she has chaperoned and provided guidance for youth camps, retreats, women's groups, and other ecumenical activities. The library is one of her pet projects, and when the community needed a new library in the early 1980s, it was petite Ellen Gibbs who took on this large project to see that the levy was passed. We could probably make a bet that Ellen Gibbs has never missed voting in a general or primary election.
We at Hiram College salute Ellen Gibbs for all of these reasons, but especially for her lifelong devotion and support of her alma mater. Hiram College began its first organized fundraising appeal to alumni in 1936. The rationale for the campaign was to help struggling students during the depression to complete their Hiram education. The records document that one of the first graduates to respond was Ellen Gibbs. She sent a cash gift of $7.50…and every year since she has contributed to the College. That's 65 plus years of unselfish giving.
Ellen Gibbs has seen great changes in societal values, trends, and expectations, not all for the better; but her standards never waiver. She believes in church, community, and college. She is a philanthropist in the best sense of the word. For this lifetime of giving and sharing, a proud and grateful Hiram College salutes and presents the Lifetime Leadership Award to Ellen Gibbs.