‘Biology Bench’ celebrates long-time Elon Biology faculty member Kathy Gallucci

Associate Professor of Biology Kathy Gallucci and her husband Jim Gallucci designed and constructed a new bench at Elon commemorating Gallucci’s retirement after 37 years at the university.

Outside McMichael Science Building sits a new landmark, honoring a long-time member of the faculty in Elon’s Biology Department.

In August, Associate Professor of Biology Kathy Gallucci will retire from Elon after serving the university for 37 years. As Gallucci begins her next chapter, she leaves behind a special piece of art to commemorate her nearly four decades teaching Under the Oaks.

Gallucci and her husband and sculptor Jim Gallucci designed, constructed and recently installed a “Biology Bench” at McMichael, home of Elon’s science and engineering programs. Jim Gallucci is nationally known for his metalwork, which can be found across the region and country. Gallucci has also designed several pieces on the Elon campus, including a sculpture in the Mooney Shade Garden and the arch on the path on Historic Neighborhood. Of all the impressive works he’s constructed over the years, Gallucci says this bench holds special meaning.

“I told Kathy ‘this is going to leave a mark,'” he said. “Life needs to have that zing, we all need to feel like we left our mark in some way, and that we could do it together is even better.”

This new bench contains symbols representing the many backgrounds found in the Elon Biology Department. Biology faculty say it’s the perfect piece to recognize Gallucci’s work at the university.

Kathy and Jim Gallucci pose next to the “Biology Bench” (photo by Elon Biology)

“While the bench represents all that Elon Biology offers, it also commemorates the many ways that Kathy has contributed to our department during her 37 years,” said Linda Niedziela, associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology. “She has been integral to the development of many of our major’s labs with activities that are still used in our courses today.”

Gallucci moved to Greensboro with her husband in the 1980s. She was originally hired as a part-time lab coordinator in Elon’s Biology Department in 1984. Since then, Gallucci has been an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor of biology at Elon.

In her 37 years at the university, Gallucci says she most enjoyed “witnessing the ‘aha’ moments when students learn new concepts and working with dynamic and supportive colleagues.” In retirement, Gallucci plans to “exhale, and then to read, travel and volunteer more.”

Now, Gallucci will be forever celebrated outside the building she called home for so many years at Elon.

“She has touched the lives of many students and is still in contact with a number of them,” Niedziela said. “Kathy’s impact on the department will be felt for many years to come.”