John Gibbons (right, with his daughter Kristen Fandozzi) was awarded a posthumous graduate degree in Construction Management on June 15
John Gibbons, a graduate student in Drexel University’s Construction Management Master’s degree program, wanted nothing more than to achieve his goal of receiving his master's degree, even though he knew he would never have the chance to use it, according to his daughter Kristen Fandozzi.
On Saturday, Gibbons achieved that dream posthumously. He passed away on October 9, 2012, at the age of 57 after a four-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. He was in the midst of completing the last course toward his graduate degree.
During the commencement ceremony for the Goodwin College of Professional Studies on Saturday, June 15, Fandozzi, along with her brother Matthew Gibbons and other family members, accepted Gibbons' diploma on his behalf.
“Working on his master's was one of the greatest joys of his life,” said Fandozzi, in a letter to the university. “My father spoke very highly of all of his professors and fellow classmates. He took such pride in his schoolwork... it kept him busy and gave him a purpose every day.”
“John was one of the most dedicated and hardworking students in the program,” said Robert Muir, assistant clinical professor and program director of the Construction Management program. “I know this firsthand since he was a student in two classes that I taught.”
Gibbons’ classmates have dedicated to him a book that they assembled for their capstone project. The book is called Understanding Constructors, and has been self-published by the students.
The dedication reads, “This work is dedicated to the memory of John Gibbons, our colleague and classmate, who kept us thinking and laughing. His zeal to learn despite his illness has taught us a great lesson to never let anything stand in your way to achieve a goal that you desire.”