During his 18 years working at Pomona College, Neil Gerard has been celebrated for spearheading the creation and renovation of the Smith Campus Center (SCC), and for his participation in numerous campus clubs and events. Early this month, Gerard, Associate Dean of Students, Director of the SCC, and Director of Bridges Auditorium, was recognized on the international level as well.
Gerard received the Association of College Unions International’s (ACUI) Honorary Lifetime Membership award on March 1. ACUI, an organization that promotes community-building through education and on college campuses, presented Gerard the award in Chicago during a four-day conference.
“I’ve been actively involved in the organization for over 40 years,” said Gerard, who worked at several other institutions prior to his career at Pomona. He has been the ACUI president and the chair of multiple committees. Most recently, he chaired an international panel on rewriting the organization’s mission statement.
“It’s really special to be recognized by your peers like this,” Gerard said.
He mentioned that the award was presented to him by the current ACUI president, a woman whom Gerard has known for decades and has mentored in the past.
“It was a nice way to complete the circle,” he said. During his acceptance speech, he thanked the ACUI, the schools where he has worked, his colleagues, and his family.
Though he plans to retire at the end of the academic year, Gerard said he did not want to stop, but instead, to slow down. His plans include volunteer work, catching up with old friends, and part-time work at Pomona.
Gerard will also continue to contribute to ACUI.
“The 100th anniversary is in 2014 and I’ve been asked to be on the planning committee,” he said.
Pomona also received the Excellence in Innovations in Sustainability award at the ACUI’s conference in Chicago.