The Union College Board of Trustees recently named Dr. George Gibson as The George Thomson Professor of History. This honor is funded by the Dr. George Thomson Endowed Professorship, the first academic endowment of its kind to be established at Union College.
The endowment was funded through the foresight of Helen Emerson Battle, Mrs. George Thomson’s aunt. Through generous lifetime gifts and a subsequent bequest in her will, Mrs. Battle’s gift ensures the strong tradition of excellence Union’s history department has provided for more than a century.
Dr. George “Smoky” Thomson graduated from Southwestern Junior College in 1938 and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Union College in 1948. He enjoyed the distinction of being “one of Dr. Dick’s boys.” After serving at Campion Academy and Southwestern Adventist College, Dr. Thomson returned to Union as chair of the history department from 1965 until 1981.
The Dr. George Thomson Endowed Professorship provides the history department a budget subsidy to help offset the salary expenses of the named recipient, plus a stipend to be used for professional development. Union College administrators believe this gift will be a catalyst to inspire others to establish similar academic endowments in honor or in memory of relatives or highly respected faculty.
Dr. George Gibson, the endowment honoree, says, “I am very grateful to those who have been instrumental in planning and establishing this gift and the honor it denotes. Although I did not know Mrs. Battle, I truly appreciate her generosity and am honored to be able to use her gift to further enhance our department and the academics at Union College.”
To find out more about endowments, see our giving opportunities.