Honorarium, May 27th, 2010, for Mr. Abner Gibbs, 1835 - 1883

Abner Gibbs Elementary School and Westfield State College Honor:

Abner E. Gibbs, 1835 - 1883, Teacher, Principal, Community Leader

May 27, 2010


Dignitaries from left to Right: Margaret Adams, Principal; Dan Knapik, Mayor; Don Humasen, State Rep; Shirley Alvira, Superintendent; Joey, President Student Council, Barry Maloney, VP of Student Affairs, WSC; Kevin Queenin, Chairman Board of Trustees, WSC; James Martin-Rehrmann, Dean, WSC; Robert Allen, great grandson of Abner Gibbs; Gabriel, student Historian.

Quote form our Principal:

"Today, Westfield State College VP of Student Affairs Barry Maloney bestows a posthumous Honorary Doctorate of Public Service Degree to Mr. Abner E. Gibbs in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the education of Westfield's children.

"Mr. Gibbs graduated from "The State Normal School in Westfield" as Westfield State College was known then, in 1863. He served as the Principal of Westfield Academy and Westfield High School from 1867 until his death in 1883.

"Mr. Gibbs earned a reputation as an innovative, compassionate educator who transformed Westfield's public schools. In recognition of his contributions, city leaders named the 'modern' elementary school on West Silver street in his honor in 1914.

"We are pleased to welcome Mr. Robert Allen, who has traveled from California to Westfield to accept this honorary degree on behalf of the Gibbs family. Mr. Allen is a great-grandson of Abner and Francena Gibbs.

"I would like you to know that students, staff and parents have worked together to plan this extraordinary event as part of the school's 95th Anniversary Celebration.

"I would like to thank family members and everyone from the Abner Gibbs School, Westfield State Collage, and the City of Westfield who have supported our efforts to honor Abner Gibbs - 'the man, the school, and the legacy'"