"The Peanut Man" Retires From UC

The Reverend John Gilbert, director of the University of Cincinnati American Baptist Campus Ministry, is retiring from the university after 20 years of service to UC and 43 years of service to campus ministries around the nation. Gilbert will be honored at a reception from 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at the UC Faculty Club.

Gilbert began his UC career in January 1983. He earned the campus nickname “The Peanut Man” after he created the Listening Post, an initiative that provided a site on campus where students, faculty and staff could stop by and talk with a representative of the campus ministry. Friend and colleague Jeanne Smith, a campus minister for the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry, says the nickname came about because Gilbert would always have peanuts on the table to serve those who would stop by. The Listening Post table originated in the Tangeman University Center but is now seen Mondays through Thursdays on McMicken Commons or in the Dining Pavilion.

Smith adds that Gilbert was a founder of the old St. George Center, saving the old building from demolition and turning it into a community gathering spot. Gilbert was also the creator of Project Connections, launched in fall 2002. Through dialogue and activities, Project Connections established a bond between UC students and students in Cincinnati Public Schools.

Gilbert is also pastor at the Mt. Auburn Baptist Church. He and his wife, R. LaNelle Higdon, married since 1954, have five children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
       
       

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