GSC Art and Music Wings dedicated in honor of Gillespie, McKinney

From left, H. Gary Gillespie and John McKinney. The art and music wings of the Glenville State College Fine Arts Center have been named in their honor. (Photo Provided)

GLENVILLE — The music and art programs at Glenville State College have been housed in the Fine Arts Center for more than 30 years.

Now, two sections of the building have been named the Gillespie Division of Art and the McKinney Division of Music in recognition of Professor Emeritus H. Gary Gillespie and Professor of Music John McKinney.

The dedication was held at a surprise ceremony on Oct. 12 before the annual Music Fest concert.

Gillespie graduated from Glenville State in 1959. He has a master’s in English, a master’s in art history and a doctorate in comparative arts.

He returned to Glenville State in 1967 where he taught English and fine arts until 2000. He chaired the Division of Fine Arts from 1978-1996.

A prolific recruiter, Gillespie helped guide the fine arts program through a period of growth and lobbied the state for a new fine arts facility at Glenville State. He was also the chairperson who initially hired McKinney.

“The success wasn’t all on me. I could never have done any of this without John McKinney,” Gillespie said. “John would take care of everything while I was out recruiting. I was more of the action guy, while he was more of a planner and the behind-the-scenes guy.”

McKinney graduated from Glenville State in 1973 before continuing his education at West Virginia University. He spent several years as band director at Calhoun County High School and was the drum line instructor and coordinator at West Virginia University.

He returned to his alma mater in 1982. Over the years at Glenville State, he has led the marching band, percussion ensemble, and performed other administrative duties, in addition to teaching.

“Throughout my time here I’ve known or worked with ten presidents, numerous faculty and staff, thousands of students – it’s been an incredible journey,” McKinney said. “People wonder how I’ve been able to be here all these years…I started here and the people who I taught sent their children here to learn from me, and then their grandchildren come here…and it is just the best time of my life.”

McKinney and Gillespie had a tremendous impact on the fine arts at Glenville State, President Mark A. MAnchin said.

“In addition to instilling their love for the arts in countless Pioneers over the years, Dr. Gillespie and Mr. McKinney have also elevated Glenville State College with their talents, hard work, and dedication,” he said.

A video of the naming ceremony is available at https://go.glenville.edu/2Z5rr4d.


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