TRIBUTE TO LEON GIBBS
Hugh Price and Bill Davis
August 1, 2020

In 2014 Leon Gibbs conceived of the idea of creating a scholarship at Amherst in honor of Asa J. Davis, the esteemed professor of history and black studies who was instrumental in launching the Black Studies Department and then served as its first chair.  The Asa J. Davis, Leon B. Gibbs ’63 Scholarship Fund was also created in honor of the 55th reunion of the Class of 1963.  Leon enlisted Bill Davis and Hugh Price, his fellow African American members of that class, as co-sponsors of the Fund.  

Formally established in 2017, the AJD Scholarship Fund is a permanently endowed fund.  Its income is used to provide financial aid to students with demonstrated need, with a preference for students of color in their junior or senior years and who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and as determined by the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, who administers the Fund in accordance with financial aid policies and procedures set by the Board of Trustees. Senior year students who express a desire to attend graduate schools of business administration, international public affairs and who wish to pursue graduate studies in international business/political science will be given additional preference for the Asa J. Davis Scholarship.  The first AJD Scholarship was awarded in 2018-19.

Sadly, Leon passed away on July 23rd, which was his 80th birthday.  As a lasting tribute to our beloved classmate and with the enthusiastic approval of Dorris Gibbs, his widow, Hugh and Bill have officially renamed it the Asa J. Davis and Leon B. Gibbs Scholarship Fund.  Henceforth the scholarship will be known as the Asa J. Davis and Leon B. Gibbs Scholarship.

Inspired by Leon’s vision and generous personal support, we are more than halfway toward his goal of raising $1 million by our 60th reunion three years from now.  Let’s all keep pulling hard on the oars and get it done by 2023 or, better yet, before.       

We also encourage you to read the obituary contained on these In Memory pages.  It provides a glimpse of the remarkable life he led, including the fact that he was a pioneer in international business long before African Americans regularly held positions of consequence and influence in the corporate world.