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Eastern Kentucky University has certainly left its mark on the Gibson family, with several generations of Gibsons earning multiple degrees from the institution. Now the Gibson family is leaving their mark on the Campus Beautiful.

To ensure their father and grandfather’s legacy will live on through future generations of EKU students, the Gibson family made a generous donation in memory of Dr. Charles H. Gibson, Jr. to establish an endowed scholarship and to renovate the conference room inside the Graduate School offices in the Whitlock Building. The conference room was officially named the Dr. Charles H. Gibson, Jr. Conference Room at the dedication ceremony on Friday, Nov. 13.

Dr. Gibson served EKU as the dean of the graduate school program from 1973 to 1985, promoting the benefits of graduate work and ensuring students were supported in the next step of their educational careers. Dr. Gibson lived his life intentionally, always seeking to help others and make life better for those around him. One way he helped improve lives was through his passion and dedication for higher education.

“A graduate education is a transformative experience,” said Provost Dr. Jerry Pogatshnik, former dean of the graduate school program. “More students will have this experience thanks to the scholarship your family has established.”

The endowed scholarship will help Eastern undergraduate students attend graduate school at EKU, easing the financial burden of a graduate degree.

Dr. Ryan Baggett, interim dean of the graduate school program, spoke of the legacy Dr. Gibson has left behind.

“To quote Sir Isaac Newton, I’ve seen further by standing on the shoulder of giants,” said  Baggett. “There are nine giants that have paved the way for the graduate school as it stands today, and your father is one of them.”

The graduate school program graduates nearly 1,000 students annually and currently houses 36 master’s degrees and 4 doctoral degrees. Dr. Gibson played a role in the steady growth of the graduate program at EKU.

“My father sought to convey to the students that if they were willing to put in the time and the commitment to putting forth their best effort, good results will happen, doors will be opened for you,” said Charles ‘Chuck’ Gibson III. “He led by example and put in the time and his own best effort. This was the cornerstone of what he believed.”

Dr. Gibson will always be remembered for the work he did to bolster the EKU Graduate School. The conference room now proudly displays his biography and photo as a part of the new renovation. Not only will students be given more opportunities through the scholarship, but will have technology and resources available to them through the conference room space.

“Imagine if every family paid it forward like the outstanding Gibson family has,” said Melinda Murphy, director of gift and estate planning, who worked primarily with the Gibsons to establish the scholarship and make plans toward the renovation. “What an improved world we would live in today.”

If you are interested in establishing a similar legacy at EKU and creating a scholarship to help more students obtain a life-changing degree, contact the Office of Development at 859-622-GIVE or