After serving Alcorn State University for nearly three decades, a familiar face in the Office of Alumni Affairs is ending her career at the University.
Janice Gibson, director of Development and Alumni Affairs, retired from the University at the end of December. In her 27-year career, Gibson has held positions such as executive administrative assistant in the ASU Foundation, Inc. and executive administrative assistant to the vice president of Institutional Advancement. She was promoted to director in 2012.
Gibson retires in good spirits and on good terms with the University. She has high hopes for the next person that fills her position.
“It is a great feeling to leave Alcorn on good terms, start a new chapter in my life, and allow someone else to learn and grow as I have,” said Gibson.
Her career began in 1993, shortly after graduating from Alcorn. She recalled meeting the former director of Alumni Affairs, Charles Davis, and how he set her on the path that she recently completed.
“My first job at the university happened by chance. I was on campus inquiring about graduate school and met Mr. Davis, who encouraged me to apply for the secretary position available in his office. I applied, got a very intensive interview with Dr. Walter Washington and his vice presidents, and was offered the job after a few days. I knew that the expectations of working with the University’s alumni were high, and I was ready to take on my new job.”
Watching older and younger alumni contribute to the university's betterment was the highlight of Gibson’s career. She’s thankful to have played a significant role in the alumni’s participation.
“My time at Alcorn has meant so much to me. I am so proud of all that has been accomplished at Alcorn and our alumni affairs program's growth. Over the years, I have seen an increase in young alumni participation and giving. It’s been an honor to be at the University and to work with such great people. I am extremely grateful for the University’s alumni and friends who have given so much to Alcorn. They’ve made the job rewarding. So many have given their time, talents, and resources for the betterment of our University. For that, I am grateful.”
Alumni from around the nation praise Gibson for her kindness and hard work. Anthony Tuggle ’93, president of the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association, commends Gibson on a job well done.
“It was a delight working with Ms. Gibson,” said Tuggle. “She always was professional, and she helped the Alumni Association reestablish a better relationship with the University and Alumni Affairs. I know that she won’t be far if we need her. I applaud her for all that she has done for Alcorn and us.”
Dr. John Walls Jr. ’68, former president for the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association, applauds Gibson for being a great leader and assuring the needs of Alcornites were met during events.
“Whatever task she was asked to perform, she performed it with a smile and gave 100 percent,” said Walls. “Her helpfulness and accommodating attitude towards Alcornites across the nation will never be forgotten. She was truly the stabilizing force for those activities. I will truly miss her and extend best wishes on her retirement. Alumni weekends will not be the same without Ms. Gibson.”
Alcorn provided Gibson with quality experiences that included furthering her education and building lifelong relationships.
“I have enjoyed my experiences at Alcorn. I have met a lot of people and have made many friends along the way. The University allowed me to further my education, and I have gained valuable knowledge by attending professional development conferences. At Alcorn, you are a part of one big family.”
Becoming a hard worker and realizing how critical the work-life balance is to one’s health are two of many lessons that Gibson learned while employed at Alcorn.
“The most valuable lessons I’ve learned are to develop a strong work ethic and remain focused on completing the job. Also, I’ve learned the importance of maintaining a work-life balance where you can live a healthy and satisfying lifestyle and enjoy your job.”
Alcorn holds a special place in Gibson’s heart. She will miss everyone she bonded with at the University and beyond.
“I will miss my hardworking extended family in Institutional Advancement, the alumni, and especially my alumni parents and siblings that I know will always support me. I have been blessed over the years with calls, cards, emails, and text messages of thanks and encouragement. I’m going to miss my colleagues, our students, and doing work that makes Alcornites eager to support special campaigns and volunteer upon request.”
So many memories have been made over Gibson’s tenure. She recounted some of her favorite moments at the University.
“Some of my most memorable moments were organizing Golden Class reunions, working on activities that made the return of the Soul Bowl to Alcorn successful, and working long hours with Mr. Marcus Ward to unveil the Medgar Evers statue on campus. That was a phenomenal day in Alcorn’s history. I’m also grateful to have worked on the Alumni Hall of Honor's rededication at Belle Lettres Hall. I get excited when I see Alcornites progressing in their chosen endeavors. I was proud when Dr. Felecia M. Nave was named Alcorn’s first female president.”
New horizons await Gibson as she prepares for life after Alcorn. She’s excited about her post-retirement future.
“It’s been a privilege working for and representing Alcorn State University. I plan to enjoy life with my family and friends, dedicate more time to church ministries, and ultimately take on new work opportunities to continue to utilize my talents and skills. I will always support Alcorn. Purple and gold forever!”