Gerald Gibson tapped to reconnect with Communications alumni

Communications assistant professor Gerald Gibson was recently named the School’s coordinator of alumni affairs, a new position aimed at reaching out to and reconnecting with alumni.

Gerald Gibson

Gibson, who will be working with Internship Director Nagatha Tonkins and Assistant Director of Career Services for Communications Ross Wade, will be in charge of planning social events for alumni, such as organizing receptions and sideline events during Homecoming weekend and bringing guest speakers to classes throughout the semester. In addition, Gibson says he will be responsible for contacting alumni for the annual Fellows Program trip to Atlanta in October to ensure there is a good turnout for the dinner with students.

Gibson says he is pleased that he will be interacting more with School of Communications alumni because the contact allows him to catch up with his former students and to learn from them how to prepare better his current students for the ever-evolving job market.

“(This job) is an added bonus because students become friends at some point when they graduate and very often you view them like extended family,” Gibson says. “It’s always good to see that people have found things that give joy in their lives. But it’s also a good chance to know what the industry is doing and how things are changing.”

Kenn Gaither, associate dean of the School of Communications, said that Gibson was a natural choice for this position not only because of his personal connections to alumni but because he also knew what the school was like when it was still part of the university’s English department.

“One of the things we recognize is that we’ve grown so much in the last 10 years,” Gaither said. “There have been all these changes and one of the constants has been our faculty. And Gerald Gibson has been here through the changes that many of us have only heard of.”

And while Gibson has seen the university grow and change during his 20 years at Elon, he said he wants to watch it continue to change and to impact future alumni.

“I’d love to do this for the rest of my time at Elon,” Gibson said. “I take great joy in seeing people after four, five or eight years. I’m energized by that. It can make the semester great for me to know that these folks are out there and what we did at Elon made a difference.”

— by Addie Haney, ’14