Dr. Dale Gibson, president of East Central College in the 1990s, died Saturday, August 9, following a brief illness. He was 81. Gibson began his tenure as the third president of East Central College on February 12, 1990, when the college’s enrollment totaled 2,915 students. He served in that capacity until his retirement in June of 1999. In his nine and one-half years at ECC, Gibson took steps to expand the college and increase access to higher education for community residents. Vocational-technical training offered by the college and Four Rivers Career Center was coordinated to eliminate duplication of programs and allow high school students to more readily access an associate degree. In addition, customized training for business and industry was expanded. In 1996 the college passes a $7.8 million bond issue to fund construction of the Auditorium/Classroom Building. The college also leased space in Washington, Sullivan and Rolla to expand programs and services to the entire college service region. A community college graduate, Gibson was an educator for more than 40 years. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Leavenworth High School in Kansas. He also held positions as director of guidance and counseling, and journalism and English teacher at schools in Oklahoma and Kansas. Following his retirement Gibson and his wife, Sally, continued to reside in the area. He is survived by his wife and their five children. A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 16, at 2 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Washington.