Class: 1955Inducted: 2010
Donald Gehring is an example of success achieved through perseverance and tenacity. A 1955 graduate of Asbury Park High School, he attended Admiral Farragut Academy (AFA) for his post-graduate education. After AFA, he enrolled at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management in 1960. While at tech, he was the Head Cheerleader, President of Theta Chi Fraternity, and a Midshipman in the naval R.O.T.C. He entered the United States Navy after graduation and served for two years in the Western Pacific as the Boat Group Commander on the U.S.S. Navarro APA 215.
Don discovered a passion for teaching, and enrolled in Emory University in 1962 receiving his Master of Education in Mathematics Education in 1966, while working as Hall Director, Director of Student Activities and Supervisor of Men's Housing and Assistant to the Dean of Men. From 1966 to 1969 he served as the Director of Housing at West Georgia College, where he had total responsibility for all phases of management and operations. He participated in the planning and design of six new residence halls. His next step up the ladder was as a Research Assistant, Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia while pursuing his doctorate from 1969 to 1971. He did Post Doctoral Study at the University of Georgia in Adult Education and Learning.
Don's persistent journey in academia took him to the position of Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Mars Hill College to an Associate Professor's position at the University of Louisville, teaching Higher Education Administration. The capstone of his career was being appointed Full Professor and Director of the Higher Education Doctoral Program at Bowling Green State University. After seven years under Don's tutelage the program was ranked 2nd in the nation. He subsequently became Director of the School of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
He has contributed in many ways to the development of his profession through significant research. He has published over forty books or chapters in books and twenty-nine articles in professional journals. Don was the founder and the first president of the Association for Student Judicial Affairs.
Several national organizations and his colleagues in the field have recognized his contributions to the profession. He was honored by The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the Association of College and University Officers-International, the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), the Association for Student Judicial Affairs and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs for his outstanding contributions to teaching, research and service. NASPA recognized Don as "A Pillar of the Profession" and ACPA elected him to "Senior Scholar" status. In 1999 Don was voted one of the ten individuals nationally who "most influenced student affairs practice."
Don is retired, but still continues consulting and providing expert witness testimony.
He is divorced and has two children, three granddaughters and a great grandson. As a student of Mr. Jefferson, Don has chosen his words, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" as his guiding principle.