George Wilson Gunn, Sr. '47
George Wilson Gunn, Sr. '47 began providing his fellow Davidson students with well-informed campus humor and insight as a student, when he wrote for the Davidsonian, the Wildcat Handbook and Quips and Cranks.
And he hasn't let up since.
In the Spring 2002 Davidson Journal, George wrote about these "War Years at Davidson." In his article, George shared with readers the experience of being a young college student during those trying times.
"In those lean years, with fewer than 200 students... most of us were either under 18 or classified 4-F or 4-D with our classification, making us ineligible for the draft," wrote George. "We remained proud to be Davidson Gentlemen and did our best to carry on, but we shared a sense that we remained spectators to the real action taking place in the world."
George expressed his admiration for Davidson men who were off fighting as well as those who remained, and he expressed special admiration for those who, in his words "sacrificed beyond our deserving."
George's brothers, Charlie '53 and the late James Gunn '49, followed in his footsteps to Davidson. Since graduation, George has helped keep his class connected to the college in many ways, including by serving for many years as class chair, class secretary and on reunion committees. In over 20 years as his class chair for the Annual Fund, George reminded classmates of the importance of annual gifts through personalized letters that contributed mightily to the Class of 1947's historically strong gift participation. He followed up with notes of thanks, too!
As George kept in close service to Davidson, so did he serve others in life, by taking up a call to ministry. In 1998 he was the recipient of the Louisville Seminary Distinguished Alumnus Award in his Kentucky hometown. He founded the National Campus Ministry Association and served as president of the organization. During 48 years of ministry, Gunn was campus minister at the University of Georgia, the University of Arkansas, and at Lees-McRae College. Together with his wife Sally, he has four children, including George W. "Wilson" Gunn, Jr. '74, and many grandchildren. He also claims a Wildcat nephew, Chris Gunn '84.
George Gunn has served as an Alumni Association board member and as a Reunion Committee member for his 40th, 45th, 50th and Avant Garde reunions, and he is currently your War Years Reunion Chair for this Homecoming 2012.
For one of his class notes columns, George encouraged classmates to contribute words of wisdom or, as he called them, "WOW" notes.
One WOW response was, "You don't learn by experience; you learn by reflecting on experience." The line, contributed by Ralph Smith, speaks volumes to what George has helped the class of 1947 to do.
For your steadfast loyalty to keeping in touch with Davidson College; for the simultaneous humility and pride you share with us all as a Davidson Gentleman; and for your keen insight and gracious wit in chronicling the life and times of your class and of Davidson College, the Alumni Association is pleased to present to you, George Wilson Gunn, Sr., Class of 1947, this Alumni Service Award on the occasion of your 65th Reunion and the War Years Reunion at Homecoming, October 6, 2012.