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About the Center

Gerald R. Gill

Professor Gerald R. Gill (1948-2007) taught African American history at Tufts University from 1980 until his untimely death twenty-seven years later. Over his more than a quarter-century of service at Tufts, Professor Gill amassed a brilliantly distinguished record as a teacher, mentor, and scholar whose courses on African American history mesmerized and inspired undergraduates. A two-time Massachusetts College Professor of the Year, Professor Gill was the recipient of numerous university wide awards for distinguished teaching, advising, and service, including the Distinguished Service Award (2000) and the Tufts Community Union Professor of the Year Award (1999), the latter of which has since been renamed in his honor.

As deputy chairman of the History Department and core faculty in American Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, and Africa in the New World, Professor Gill combined a deep knowledge of African American history with an interdisciplinary teaching pedagogy that made him one of the university's most popular teachers, mentors, and colleagues.

At the time of his death Professor Gill was at work on a definitive history of Boston's civil rights movement, a labor of love that reflected his deep interest in the intersection of race and democracy in twentieth century American history. A native New Yorker and Yankee fan, Gerald nonetheless remained fascinated by Boston's combative history of race relations.

The establishment of the CSRD at Tufts University will help to honor, while building and expanding upon, the depth and breadth of Professor Gill's commitment to the study of race and democracy at the local and national levels through scholarship, active citizenship, teaching, research, mentoring, and service.