Dr. Eric and Mrs. Cynthia Gilbertson

Dr. Eric and Mrs. Cynthia Gilbertson

Eric Gilbertson became President of Saginaw Valley State University in August 1989. Previously, he served as President of Johnson State College in Vermont. Dr. Gilbertson holds graduate degrees in Economics and Law and regularly teaches a course in Constitutional Law at SVSU. He has authored numerous speeches and articles on subjects ranging from higher education to organizational leadership to constitutional law. Under Dr. Gilbertson’s administration, enrollments have grown steadily and the physical campus has more than doubled in size. The University has achieved accreditation from nine different academic or professional accrediting agencies. Dr. Gilbertson retired in 2015.

Dr. Gilbertson has been active in many professional and community service organizations at the state, regional, and local levels, including the boards of the Midland Economic Development Corporation (“Midland Tomorrow”), the Michigan Baseball Foundation, Inc., Bay Future, Inc., the Field Neurosciences Institute, the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, and the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of and serves on the Executive Committee of the Community Affairs Committee and the Presidents Council of Michigan Public Universities. He is also a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee of the Saginaw Public Schools, and the Council of State Representatives of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). He was also appointed to the Council for Labor and Economic Growth.

Dr. Gilbertson’s wife, Cynthia, a semi-retired speech pathologist, also devotes much of her time to community service. She has been an Executive Committee member of the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square in Saginaw, a member of Bay County Imagination Library Advisory Board, a Bay County Representative to the Board of Hidden Harvest, and served as a volunteer leader for several other community organizations. Dr. and Mrs. Gilbertson have two children who are both graduates of SVSU.

Dr. and Mrs. Gilbertson believe strongly in the value of study abroad as a means of personal and intellectual growth and are committed to making life-changing study abroad opportunities available to SVSU students. The award was established in 1996 and has assisted students in traveling to numerous countries worldwide as part of SVSU-sponsored study abroad trips.