President Lindgren and Board of Trustee member
Robin Anne Floyd congratulate Dr. Gibbons
Randolph-Macon College’s Society of Alumni celebrated the work of Dr. John H. Gibbons
’49 by awarding him the Distinguished Alumnus Award during a reception at the Congressional
Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland on Tuesday, February 5, 2008. The award was presented
by Board of Trustee member Robin Anne Floyd ’85 and President Robert Lindgren. Frank
Murphy, chair of the R-MC Parents Association, served as emcee for the evening.
Dr. Gibbons is internationally respected for his contributions to physics, energy,
the environment, technology and public policy. He served as the chief advisor to
the President of the United States on matters of science and technology from 1993-1998.
As senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State, he assisted the Secretary of
State in revitalizing science and technology capabilities. He also served as head
of the U.S. congressional office of technology assessment, advising congressional
committees on issues involving science and technology on society. In December 2007
he was appointed by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to the newly created Commission
on Climate Change, whose main goal is to significantly reduce emissions in Virginia
Gibbons’ professional career began at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee,
where he spent 20 years leading research in nuclear geophysics and astrophysics;
he also directed its environmental program. In 1973, during the nation’s energy
crisis, he was appointed as the first director of the Federal Office of Energy Conservation;
there he initiated work on energy efficiency and directed public awareness programs
about the need for energy conservation. From 1974-1979, Gibbons joined the faculty
at the University of Tennessee where he taught physics and directed the university’s
energy, environment and resources center. In 1998 he taught at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT).
In recognition of his contributions in science, technology and public service, Gibbons
has received six honorary doctorates and many distinguished awards from within the
United States and from the governments of France and Germany.
Gibbons is a 1949 graduate of Randolph-Macon College with a bachelor’s degree in
chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from Duke University in 1954.