Gary and Jo Ann White Establish Professorship in Biomedical Engineering Honoring Past Marshall Prez

Gary and Jo Ann White Establish Professorship in Biomedical Engineering Honoring Past Marshall Prez

Huntington - Gary G. and Jo Ann White announced Tuesday establishment of the Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert Professorship in Biomedical Engineering in honor of the 37th president of Marshall University.

Gary White, who served as interim president of Marshall University from December 2014 to January 2016, said he hopes this professorship will help cement the legacy of Gilbert while also continuing to propel the university forward in this unique and exciting field of study.

“Dr. Jerry Gilbert came to Marshall University at a critical time in our history, becoming Marshall’s 37th president after the unfortunate and untimely death of Stephen J. Kopp,” White said in a University-issued press release. “Under Dr. Gilbert’s leadership, Marshall continued to move forward. Among his many initiatives, Dr. Gilbert established the biomedical engineering program in 2018, combining the strengths of Marshall’s School of Medicine and its College of Engineering to provide students the opportunity to enter this new and exciting profession. Jo Ann and I are pleased to be able to honor Dr. Gilbert and his wife, Leigh, for their service to Marshall University and the region it serves.”

White was appointed to the role of interim president following the sudden death of longtime president Dr. Stephen J. Kopp. A Marshall graduate, White is a former member and past chair of the Marshall University Board of Governors, as well as an accomplished businessman and leader in the coal mining industry.

Gilbert succeeded White in January 2016 as the 37th president of Marshall University. A Mississippi native with a background in biomedical engineering, Gilbert made an immediate and lasting impact on the university.

“I thank my friends Gary and Jo Ann White for their generous gift to establish a biomedical engineering professorship in my name at Marshall University,” Gilbert said. “Having spent almost my entire career in biomedical engineering, I can think of no greater honor. This professorship will help Marshall attract high quality faculty to the program and place it on the path to becoming a leader in the field of biomedical engineering. Along with its highly esteemed medical school, the biomedical program at Marshall has enormous potential for growth in both the research and education arenas.”

The Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert Professorship in Biomedical Engineering will help support an engineering professor with a background and advanced education in biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences at Marshall University. Most importantly, the professorship will help attract high-quality faculty and support important educational and research initiatives in the department.

“My hope is that this professorship will enable us to attract a world-class chair for biomedical engineering,” said Dr. David Dampier, dean of CECS. “Dr. Jerry Gilbert has always been an inspiration to me. This gift provides a legacy that is both deserved and will preserve his memory. All gifts are valuable and provide needed resources for programs and this gift is directed to hiring a certain caliber of faculty member that Marshall may not be able to attract without the resources that are being provided.”

In addition to the educational opportunities, Gary White said he hopes the establishment of this professorship will help further propel the legacy of Gilbert at Marshall University. Under his direction, Gilbert rapidly increased the national profile of the university and helped the institution earn the prestigious “R2” research institution designation by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of High Education. He also oversaw the addition of multiple high-demand programs and was a champion for sustainability, diversity and inclusion initiatives at the university.

“Looking back on my six years at Marshall, I am very proud of the progress that was made in both research and student success,” Gilbert said. “Being ranked as a doctoral research university for the first time in its history was a significant accomplishment that will continue to raise the stature and quality of the university. There is no question that student success rates continue to improve as undergraduates have more opportunities for cocurricular engagement in research, community projects and other activities to augment the excellent classroom experience at Marshall. Our number one focus is always on the students.”

“In addition to establishing the biomedical engineering program, we believe Dr. Gilbert will be remembered for his visionary leadership and his many major initiatives,” White added. “We hope others will join Jo Ann and me by contributing to this professorship to honor Dr. Gilbert’s service to Marshall University.”