519 John Marshall Drive Huntington, WV 25703 p 304.696.6264 www.marshall.edu/foundation Managing Editor: Kristin Rhodes GRATITUDE Articles of WINTER 2019 Continued on next page > Fostering Relationships AT MARSHALL Happy Anniversary! On January 3, 1947, the Marshall University Foundation, Inc. was chartered as an independent non-profit organization to receive, invest, administer and disburse private resources on behalf of Marshall University. We are guiding the transition of students to donors through the creation of relationships with eager storytellers. They fervently believe devotion to lifelong learning yields personal growth and success, particularly through higher education. They are those who were afforded transformational opportunities and strive to perpetually enhance those offered. We are thankful for loyal supporters and visionaries, working together to create a future in which Marshall thrives. We are people sharing the product of dreams and fostering the circle of gratitude through each generation. As people begin their college journey, they face an odd time of transition. New responsibilities paired with personal and professional growth make students feel significantly older than their eighteen years. They begin learning to juggle the work/life balance and this adventure usually results in making a few new friends. Some of these friends are there for the present; they help with conquering goals of obtaining a degree. Other friends are there for life, and while those relationships might not be evident at first, the line of friend and family eventually blurs and life without them is unimaginable. The Marshall family is just that. “Both of us found that Marshall fostered the importance of relationships, which became a strong principle of our lives and careers,” said Verna Gibson. Both Verna, and her husband, Jim, agree that Marshall was a natural choice. Graduating from Point Pleasant High School, Verna visited Marshall several times during her senior year, while Jim lived in Huntington. Both studied in Marshall University’s College of Business and were active in the Greek community on campus. Jim rushed Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sig Ep), Verna rushed Alpha Xi Delta and with that, they built a Marshall family that would still be near to their hearts years later. “Marshall had approximately 3,000 students at that time, so we enjoyed a special closeness with both our fellow students and professors,” recalls Verna. Ironically, it was not until August of 1961, as Verna began her sophomore year that she and Jim would meet. “While we had both been to many Sig Ep functions the previous year, for some reason we had not met. My Alpha Xi sisters wanted a ride to hear the Parliaments (a very popular rock band), so I broke a date to take them. Shortly after arriving, we crowded into a large, old wooden booth and across from me sat Jim. We became engrossed in conversation, then danced with no one else,” said Verna. “By February, we were engaged and the rest is history.” This year, the couple will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary. Placing a high value on their education, Jim and Verna worked hard to fund their Marshall journey. Verna worked at the Smart Shop in downtown Huntington, where she says she found her love for the retail business and Jim worked at the Huntington Bank. Jim and Verna Gibson 72nd