Associate Professor and Curator of Archives and Special Collections
City College of New York
New York City
"The face of the everyday person is where William Gibbons does his best work. He gives his time, his expertise, and his skills to anyone who is lucky to encourer him at the library reference desk."
William is a pillar in his community and seamlessly blends his personal interests with his professional scholarship, with a particular focus on Harlem as well as local sports. From his involvement with Harlem Little League Baseball to advising on the development of a museum exhibit exploring New York’s basketball history, William weaves sports and scholarship into unique educational opportunities. Additionally, he has worked to forge partnerships between CCNY and organizations across Harlem, including the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Harlem Documentary Association, to immerse students in the neighborhood’s vibrant cultural identity.
Known to many in his community as a librarian, teacher and mentor, William has inspired his students to embrace and overcome obstacles. Through the Black Male Initiative, a student development initiative spanning the entire City University of New York system that seeks to support students’ educational success from groups underrepresented in higher education, he has helped forge paths for student participants to become future educators. As his nominator noted, “His work with the Black Male Initiative made it possible for many male college students to find a voice in a world not equipped to embrace them.”