University of Vermont

Ceremonial Events - Commencement

Jackie M Gribbons Honorary Degree Recipient

Jackie M Gribbons photoHonorary Degree Recipient

Doctor of Laws

When Jackie Gribbons came to UVM in 1966 as dean of women, neither she nor the university realized that she would be the last person to hold that position. The academic organizational climate had changed nationally, and by 1975, positions as deans of men and women were fading as campus structures evolved. In every way, the change was serendipitous for UVM. Gribbons’s service and influence on campus spread wider and grew deeper.

Following her first tenure, Gribbons assumed the challenging position of UVM’s first coordinator of Title IX, responsible for bringing the university into compliance with this landmark federal legislation renown for ensuring equal opportunities in collegiate athletics.

For the next eighteen years, Gribbons’s talents would be called on in a variety of positions – assistant to the executive vice president, assistant to the vice president for administration, student grievance coordinator, associate to the senior vice president, and director of staff professional development. For many of those years, she was the highest-ranking female administrator at the university.

While she was still dean of women, however, Gribbons was instrumental in the creation of a graduate program in higher education and student affairs administration (HESA) that would become her outstanding legacy. As a charter member of the HESA faculty, in the College of Education and Social Services, she served as course instructor, faculty advisor, and coordinator of the program’s graduate internships. She is recognized nationwide for including in the HESA curriculum a campus practicum requirement for all graduate students. UVM’s HESA program has been ranked fourth in the country in the graduate preparation of higher education and student affairs administrators. When she retired from her administrative post in 1993, Gribbons continued to teach and advise in the HESA program until 2006.

She has held numerous leadership positions, including president of the National Association of Women in Education and membership on the board of directors of the Vermont YWCA. Not to be overlooked is her longstanding and tireless support of UVM’s women’s basketball program.

In addition to the wide recognition of her work – from the American Council on Education, Who’s Who Among College and University Administrators, the World’s Who’s Who of Women, among them – Gribbons has been honored by three awards named for her. The Jackie M. Gribbons Leadership Award, presented by the Vermont Chapter of the American Council on Education; the Jackie Gribbons Practica Supervision Excellence Award, presented by HESA; and the Jackie M. Gribbons Panhellenic Award, presented by Bowling Green State University.

Last modified March 22 2007 08:18 PM

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