Gilbert meets students, faculty at open house


Rebecca Turnbull

President Jerome A. Gilbert speaks with students, faculty, and other members of the Marshall community during his office’s open house, February 4, 2016.

Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert hosted an open house Wednesday afternoon to give students and faculty the opportunity to meet and talk with him.

Gilbert said the event was a fun way for him to interact with people on a personal level and learn about their different interests and perspectives.

“I want them to realize that they can come and just shoot the breeze with me and talk about things that are going on and things that are of interest to them,” Gilbert said. “I’m curious to hear their ideas about the campus and about what we’re doing right at Marshall.”

Sophomore healthcare administration major, Alyce Crist attended the event and said it is important members of the campus community use opportunities like the open house.

Crist said attending such events will encourage people to communicate their ideas directly with the president, instead of simply taking their ideas or problems to social media and other outlets.

“It doesn’t do much good to tweet about it or put it on Facebook,” Crist said. “If you have a real concern or you want your voice to be heard, it’s really important to come out, because he will take the time to listen. That’s his job. He’s here for us and he’s super friendly.”

Junior finance major, Kelli Poling also attended the event and said she was excited for the chance to personally meet the president of her university.

“I was really eager to see what the guy making decisions that affect my future is like,” Poling said. “He was extremely polite and such a nice guy.”

Gilbert said he hopes the open house will encourage the students, faculty and staff he met to feel less reluctant to come up and talk to him when they see him around campus.

“They should feel free to come up to me and introduce themselves, because I would love to interact with them,” Gilbert said. “I’m not going to interfere with what they’re doing, but they can always interfere with what I’m doing.”

Gilbert said he was able to obtain a lot of good feedback and make connections with many of the people he met.

Ginny Painter, senior vice president for communications and marketing said the open house has been a great way for people to network and meet colleagues from across the university.

Painter also said members of the community also are encouraged to stop in and provide input.

The open houses are held from 3 to 4 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in Room 213 of Old Main.

The next open house will be next month, Wednesday, March 3.

The location has yet to be chosen.

Rebecca Turnbull can be contacted at [email protected]