|Holly and Garry Gilbert establish a scholarship endowment that will inspire students to use their talents to do work that informs, empowers and protects the public good for years to come.
Oakland University journalism
instructors Holly and Garry Gilbert are helping to fund students’ passions with a scholarship endowment and planned gift.
“We love the students here, and Oakland has been so loyal to us,” Garry said. “We wanted to find some way to give back to the University.”
Garry’s ties with Oakland date to 1990, when he was an undergraduate in the history department. He completed his master’s degree in history and began teaching at the University in 1995 while working full-time as a senior editor at a local daily newspaper.
Now, as the journalism program director, Garry influences the lives of Oakland’s aspiring writers, while also a member of the advisory board of the student newspaper. He served as a member of the board of the OU Alumni Association for 10 years.
“The opportunity to be able to come back to my alma mater and teach is really a wonderful thing,” Garry said. “It doesn’t get much better than this.”
“Garry is the biggest fan of the University. He never leaves the house without his OU gear,” Holly said.
Holly, who received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University, practiced journalism for almost 20 years before coming to OU in 1994.
She became an Oakland graduate student years later when she earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University in 2005.
Holly nurtures the program’s creative minds as the chief curriculum adviser for the journalism department and professional adviser for The Oakland Post.
“One of the perks of this job is being there at that moment when a student realizes that this is what they want to do,” Holly said. “There is an idealism that I hope rubs off on me from the students.”
Now, the couple is expanding their pride in Oakland with a gift that will last for eternity.
The Holly and Garry Gilbert Oakland University Endowment for Safeguarding the Public Interest was created to inspire students to use their talents to do work that informs, empowers and protects the public good.
"Professors like Holly and Garry Gilbert are who make OU a special place,” said Luke Fleer, regional development officer with University Development, Alumni and Community Engagement. “They are experts in their field and mentors to current students, alumni, as well as fellow OU employees. They both selflessly serve OU with their time, talent and treasure."
|“One of the perks of this job is being there at that moment when a student realizes that this is what they want to do.” — Holly Gilbert
The gift will provide financial support for full-time undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences who can provide a body of work in research, reporting, storytelling, etc. This work should empower the public by describing changing events, issues and characters in the world.
“We envision aspiring applicants from many majors such as political science, history or sociology as well as students studying communication and journalism,” Garry said.
The Gilberts will make an annual contribution to the fund in the hopes that it will be able to begin paying out within the next four years. Once the scholarship is fully funded, it will be awarded annually in perpetuity.
Holly and Garry have also named the University as a beneficiary to their estate.
The Gilbert Endowment for Safeguarding the Public Interest is open to contributions. Call (248) 370-4504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information on contributing to this fund.
— by Kelli M. Titus