Congratulations to Peggy Gilbert who was presented with a Faculty Excellence in Community Service Award by Missouri State University. Peggy has integrated community service into her classes throughout the years, and has lived out these values herself. After more than 40 years of service to MSU, she will be retiring at the end of this semester.
Peggy Gilbert, assistant professor of marketing, continues a 40-plus-year devotion to serving her community. This length of service has seen many projects and volunteer activities, but two main passions have provided direct impact to the betterment of disadvantaged individuals.
Many years ago, Gilbert befriended Arkansas educator, Tereze Harris, who shared Gilbert’s passion for student success. Together they founded the “ACE” Club to assist students living in the impoverished rural areas of southeast Arkansas. Gilbert’s involvement included leadership roles, designing logos and coordinating and donating student incentive items such as T-shirts, mugs and trophies. Continuing in its mission today, hundreds of students have participated in the program with renewed confidence in their personal and academic abilities and have graduated to become leaders in a variety of professions.
In 1985, Gilbert was a founding board member that established the Tereze Harris Scholarship Foundation, honoring the woman who spent her life teaching in some of the most economically disadvantaged areas in Arkansas. Gilbert personally funded the scholarship program for the first 10 years, providing much-needed financial assistance, encouragement and inspiration to many high school students.
Gilbert is also known for her involvement in assisting and defending the elderly against abuse and bullying. For more than 40 years, Gilbert has been “on call” responding to visitation and transportation needs as well as diffusing intense, confrontations situations involving a variety of elder-abuse circumstances. Calls for help come from her church, local hospitals and from those around the community who know of Gilbert’s fearless passion and devotion to assist elderly persons who are lonely, gravely ill, harassed, mistreated or suicidal. She travels to those individual’s homes, nursing facilities and/or hospital rooms caring for their needs at all hours of the day and night.
Gilbert has benefited many organizations and individuals, both by her personal efforts and through her academic teaching. Over a span of 30 years, her marketing and consumer behavior students have provided nearly 15,000 volunteer service hours to the Springfield community, even before Missouri State had a public affairs mission. Her passion and devotion to others, and her mission to stand for others when they cannot, has had an impact on countless lives in untold ways.
*taken from the 2014 All-Faculty Recognition Reception pamphlet.