Two 40-year humanities professors help students succeed in all fields


Cumberland County College Humanities Professors John Adair and John Gibbs were recently honored for 40 years of service. Both professors began teaching English courses at CCC in 1967, one year after the college opened.

CCC’s outstanding reputation was “built on the backs” of employees such as Professors Adair and Gibbs. Through their witty lectures and editorial patience when grading essays, these two legendary educators have enabled thousands of students to discover that they can, indeed, write and appreciate the English language. This is important because students must possess reading and writing skills to succeed in any field of study and, ultimately, in their careers.

So Professors Adair and Gibbs have made a remarkable positive impact on the area’s quality of life by teaching thousands of students to believe in themselves. They teach more than English. These two top-notch professors teach students the self confidence that can be gained through mastering communication skills.

For 40 years at CCC, Professors Adair and Gibbs have been leading the way for students to better their lives through higher education. They have both been elected Professor of the Year several times by students. And their passion for learning and teaching continues.

Every year, Professor Adair attends the Cambridge University Summer Studies Program, and he returns with a wealth of educational anecdotes for his English 102 students. Both professors serve on the Adjunct Faculty Mentoring Program, which Professor Gibbs founded a few years ago to ensure that CCC’s academic quality is consistent.

In 2002, computer graphics student Stephanie Markgraf created a 16-page comic book, titled “Elves are Subordinate Clauses,” as a tribute to Professor Adair, her teacher for several “dreaded English courses that college students must survive,” she wrote in the book’s introduction. Ms. Markgraf was featured as an American success story in USA Today that year.

Student Rebecca Gonzalez wrote a poem about Professor Gibbs that appears in the spring 2007 issue of L’Esprit, the college’s outstanding literary magazine. Here’s an excerpt from the poem: “Never much of a reader; I hardly even owned a book; But because of this teacher; My shelves have a new look”

These are two of many student testimonies for these talented teachers. It’s an honor to celebrate 40 glorious years of commitment by John Adair and John Gibbs as they continue as dedicated professors who truly care about pride, service and excellence at Cumberland County College.