December 2021

The Gene P. Gibson Scholarship Fund Established at MDCC

“Our lives started in Moorhead and ended in Moorhead with life’s long love for each other.”

Madolyn Downer Gibson Lewis

The Gene P. Gibson Scholarship Fund for Mississippi Delta Community College was recently established by his wife of 58 years, Madolyn Downer Gibson Lewis and his three children Dr. Robert Gibson, Jeanna Lynn Gibson May, Angela Gibson Arendsee. The scholarship requirements include being a Dental Hygiene major and show a need for financial assistance. Preference is given to non-traditional students. The first scholarship will be awarded in 2022.

Itta Bena native, Gene P. Gibson led a charmed and meaningful life.

The renown tuba player and later pharmacist found the love of his life while as a student at Sunflower Junior College (now MDCC) in 1959 and 1960. Madolyn was then a majorette in the combined high school/JUCO band where he sat first chair tuba player in the band. He was recruited by Ole Miss in 1958 right out of high school to travel to the World Music Festival in Kerkrade, Holland where they won first place in Concert and Marching. The Rebel Band was then invited to the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium.

In 1963, Gene graduated with a Pharmacy Degree from Ole Miss. He worked with Culley’s Rexall and Culley Gibson Rexall Drug Stores in Greenville. In 1967, he opened the first in-house pharmacy in Greenville at King’s Daughters Hospital. Moving to Winona in 1969, he owned McDougal’s and Super G Drug Stores before retiring in 1994. He was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Winona Rotary Club. While living in Winona, he also served as a song leader and elder in the church of Christ. His accomplishments include serving as President of the Mississippi State Board of Pharmacy in 1988.

The Trojan couple found their way home, coming back to Moorhead in 1995. Gene and Madolyn opened and started the Christian Student Center at MDCC in the house that Madolyn grew up in and inherited from her parents.

Gene was asked to teach pharmacology in the first graduating Dental Hygiene class in 2003. A strong believer, he remained faithful in ministering to students through the Student Center until his death May 29, 2019. He and Madolyn touched the lives of many students who remain in contact with Madolyn today. The Christian Student Center continues presently under new leadership.

Looking back on their time together at Moorhead, it seemed a simpler life for every student.

“We used the ‘Canteen,’ located between the library and the Horton Science Building where the health center is now to gather for fun, fellowship and listening to the jukebox,” Madolyn said. “We were just one big high school and college family. Those were wonderful days. We had an exciting and meaningful life there.”

Madolyn had decided to honor her late husband at MDCC shortly after he passed away in 2019 but the pandemic put that on hold. She noted that creating the scholarship was quite easy and challenges anyone thinking of doing so.

“He was a wonderful man. Gene was a strong Christian, husband, father and leader who lived and led by his integrity and examples. I believe his message for mankind today would be, ‘Read the owner’s manual, Bible, and be prepared,’” Madolyn said. “Our lives started in Moorhead and ended in Moorhead with life’s long love for each other.”

If you’d like to learn how to endow a scholarship or contribute to an existing one, please contact Jim Aycock, MDCC Foundation and Alumni, at 662.246.6274.