Memorial Service Saturday for Former ECC President Dale Gibson

Pictured left: Dr. Dale Gibson, president of East Central College from 1990 to 1999.

UNION, Mo. - Dr. Dale Gibson, president of East Central College in the 1990s, died Saturday, August 9, following a brief illness. He was 81.  

A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 16, at 2 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Washington, MO.

“The East Central College community mourns the loss of Dr. Gibson, and we express our sympathy to his wife and family at this difficult time,” stated ECC President Jon Bauer. “Dr. Gibson was the first president for whom I worked, and over the course of four years working together, it became clear to me that his paramount concern was always what was best for our students. He approached every decision with that question in mind, and I can think of no more rewarding legacy than that.”

Gibson began his tenure as the third president of East Central College on February 12, 1990, when the college’s enrollment totaled 2,915 students. He served in that capacity until his retirement in June of 1999.

In his nine and one-half years at ECC, Gibson took steps to expand the college and increase access to higher education for community residents. Vocational-technical training offered by the college and Four Rivers Career Center was coordinated to eliminate duplication of programs and allow high school students to more readily access an associate degree. 

In addition, customized training for business and industry was expanded. In 1996 the college passed a $7.8 million bond issue to fund construction of the Auditorium/Classroom Building. The college also leased space in Washington, Sullivan and Rolla to expand programs and services to the entire college service region.    

Prior to coming to ECC, Gibson served as the chief executive officer of the Gillette Campus of Northern Wyoming Community College for seven years. In 1983 he worked in Amman, Jordan, where he helped to reorganize the community college system as a United Nations education consultant. From 1974 to 1982 he was president of South Oklahoma City Junior College. Before that position he was president of Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas, for five years (1969 – 1974).

A community college graduate, Gibson was an educator for more than 40 years. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Leavenworth High School in Kansas. He also held positions as director of guidance and counseling, and journalism and English teacher at schools in Oklahoma and Kansas.

He earned a doctorate in student personnel/higher education administration from the University of Tulsa.

Following his retirement Gibson and his wife, Sally, continued to reside in the area. He is survived by his wife and their five children.

Memorials can be made to the Prader-Willi Association, Peace Lutheran Church or the American Diabetes Association.