The late EOU President David E. Gilbert received a fitting tribute Friday evening.
The old Ackerman gym was dedicated as the David E. Gilbert Center and will serve as a center for EOU and community events and activities.
Gilbert served admirably as Eastern’s president from 1982 to 1997 but began his career at Eastern much earlier, in 1968, as a physics professor. Gilbert died Feb. 27 in Enterprise 2 1/2 years after suffering a stroke.
In comments at the dedication, Eastern President Bob Davies noted Gilbert’s legacy and how it serves as inspiration today. Davies, in his fourth year as Eastern president, remembers how Gilbert assisted him when he became president in 2009. Even today, when Davies faces a difficult decision concerning EOU he thinks of Gilbert. “I ask myself, ‘What would Dave do?’ Davies said.
Gilbert successfully guided Eastern during a tumultuous time in higher education but was able to help Eastern become a model for small regional universities. Naming the center in his honor is a fitting tribute to a man who left his mark on the region.