picture of Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson


Two Named Scholarships Honor Memory of Alumnus Thomas Gibson ’22

decorative arrow

Full of life and adventure, respectful and kind, and always seeking to pay it forward, are just a few ways Harry and Jeanette Gibson describe their son, Thomas Gibson. Thomas “Gibby” Gibson ’22 tragically passed away in July 2022 in an aviation accident. Faced with an unfathomable loss, his family and friends banded together to ensure his legacy of goodness will live on at Marywood through two named scholarships: the Thomas "Gibby" Gibson Aviation Annual Scholarship and the Thomas "Gibby" Gibson Aviation Endowed Scholarship. 

By establishing an annual scholarship in their son’s memory, Harry and Jeanette ensured that Marywood aviation students would receive immediate financial aid for the duration of the scholarship. They also began to think further into the future, wondering, “How can we have Thommy tied into something that goes on forever? Because in five years, except for some staff and personnel, nobody would remember who he is... Thommy would have wanted someone to benefit on his behalf, and if it could have his name on it, he would be proud.” Through establishing an endowed scholarship, Thomas’ legacy will live on in perpetuity.

Thomas Gibson embraced with father on left and mother on rightThe Gibson Family

Thom and his best friends from Marywood University called themselves the "Woodfellas." Two of his best friends, former lacrosse teammates Jared Chichizola ’21 and Patrick Dingwell ’21, stepped forward to help the Gibsons honor their son. On May 4, 2023, they held the first "Live Like Gib" Golf Outing and Dinner in Somers Point, N.J., which will be an annual event. When Jared, Patrick, and the other lacrosse teammates and friends graduated from Marywood, they made a plan to stay in touch by going on a destination golf trip. Unfortunately, Thomas passed away before they could all go.

In honor of their dear friend Thom, what started as an informal idea among friends to get together once a year and play golf quickly became something more with the advent of "Live Like Gib," which was met with a tremendous outpouring of support, from the communities at Marywood and in Scranton, to friends of the Gibson family, and everybody else who knew of Thom's legacy. Jared and Patrick never doubted they would raise the funds, because “Gibby’s legacy made everyone want to donate, so that part was never really hard for us. It was what drove it all…Gibby had a positive impact on everyone he met.” The tournament raised more than $40,000, which was instrumental in raising the funds to establish the Thomas "Gibby" Gibson Aviation Endowed Scholarship. 

Live Like Gib group photo of participants"Live Like Gib" Tournament group photo with rainbow overhead

Several other community events helped to bring Thomas’ scholarship to fruition. Marywood University's Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse teams hosted doubleheader home and away games, titled the “Gibby Games,” where all proceeds benefited the scholarship. A special fundraising project for the scholarship was also included in Giving Day 2023, Marywood’s 24-hour ‘Day of Giving’ campaign. Both the Gibby Games and Giving Day harnessed the power of the entire Marywood community and beyond, demonstrating how one singular gift can create ripple effects that open the doors of opportunity for students. 

Thomas lived by the motto, "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing," which inspired his friends, family, and supporters to join together in raising funds to honor Thom's legacy. In the future, the Gibsons and friends Jared and Patrick plan to continue fundraising efforts in his name to support aviation students and lacrosse programming.  

Scholarships support Marywood students today and for future generations. Make your gift to the EMPOWER campaign today!