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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

  • Dr. Joseph and Geneva Gibbons

CEC establishes legacy society after beloved professor and his wife

The College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) is excited to announce the establishment of the Dr. Joseph and Geneva Gibbons Legacy Society. The prestigious giving society will recognize donors who show an exceptional dedication to the college’s mission of creating an academic environment that reflects the communities we serve and where all members are valued and respected.

This society will not only celebrate the Gibbons’ impact but also serves as a testament to the power of philanthropy in transforming educational landscapes. 

Membership in the Dr. Joseph and Geneva Gibbons Legacy Society is bestowed upon individuals who contribute $10,000 or more to the CEC over their lifetime. As a token of the college’s gratitude, members will receive an exclusive invitation to the Gibbons Society Dinner each spring. The event, formally recognized as the CEC Alumni Awards and Benefactor Dinner, will honor both the annual recipients of the distinguished alumni and young alumni award. Additionally, Gibbons Society members will be prominently featured in college publications and enjoy exclusive event invitations offered by the CEC throughout the year.  

Dr. Gibbons served the CEC for 43 years from 1963 to 2006. He sadly passed away in the summer of 2023. In addition to his teaching and mentoring, he was the chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering for 15 years and associate dean for academic affairs. Gibbons was also CEC interim dean from 1999 to 2000. He retired with the title of Chemical Engineering Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Gibbons’ legacy extends beyond his administrative and academic roles and his wife’s lifelong devotion to the college.

“Joe was universally beloved by all who knew him but especially the students. He cared about them as people and cultivated a sense of belonging,” says CEC Dean Hossein Haj-Hariri. “This is why the first question to me from every alum who overlapped him was ‘How’s Dr. Gibbons? Tell him I said hi.’ That is a wonderful legacy to leave.”

Gibbons was a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as well as a member of numerous engineering societies. In 2005, he received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina. Among his many awards included the USC Educational Foundation Service Award and the CEC Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Joseph H. Gibbons Omicron Delta Kappa USC Outstanding Senior award is presented annually at the university’s Awards Day.

Gibbons and his wife also contributed to the establishment of Neva and Joe Gibbons Biomedical Endowed Scholarship and the Dr. Joseph H. Gibbons Scholarship in Chemical Engineering as well as foundations and a teaching award for chemical engineering professors.

An example of Gibbons’ impact on the college first occurred on Christmas Day in 1963. Gibbons and his wife drove to campus so he could gather materials to work on over the holidays. After finding several international students huddled together in engineering classroom poring over textbooks, the couple invited the students to their home for a holiday dinner. This began a tradition spanning five decades in which they routinely hosted students for meals and holiday gatherings.

“The Dr. Joseph and Geneva Gibbons Society epitomizes our college community’s lifelong commitment to giving, symbolizing the Gibbons’ enduring dedication to shaping our institution’s future,” says CEC Senior Director of Development Will Johnson. “It’s yet another fitting tribute to these remarkable individuals who’ve influenced all that were fortunate enough to intersect their journey.”

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