Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
Friday, October 31, 2014
...Globalizing Education on Aging
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Clark Tibbitts
1903 - 1985
Clark Tibbitts was an architect of the field of gerontological education-an academic who spent most of his career in the federal government as an advocate for the development of aging education, training, and research programs in institutions of higher education.

Tibbitts was the director of the Institute for Human Adjustment at the University of Michigan for 12 years before moving to Washington, DC, in 1949 to serve as an specialist in aging with the agency that preceded the U.S. Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Health and Human Services. He retired in 1983 as the special assistant to the U. S. Commissioner on Aging after 35 years of government service.

During those three decades, his contributions and accomplishments were many, including the following: He directed the 1950 National Conference on Aging and helped develop the 1961 White House Conference on Aging; chaired the

HEW Committee on Aging and Geriatrics in the early 1950s; founded the Administration on Aging (AoA); and founded and directed AoA's Education and Training Program and its National Clearinghouse on Aging. He played a major role in planning, organizing, and convening many international conferences on aging from the 1950s through the 1980s. He authored more than 100 publications; the most notable, undoubtedly, was the Handbook of Social Gerontology: Societal Aspects of Aging, which for a decade was the principal textbook on aging.

Clark Tibbitts died in October 1985 at age 82, leaving a legacy of accomplishments in academic institutions throughout the world. Through a combination of personal friendships and professional expertise, he fostered a federal commitment to the improvement of the lives of older persons through the development and growth of hundreds of academic gerontology programs.

The Clark Tibbitts Award
The AGHE award was established in 1980 to recognize those individuals and organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of gerontology as a field of study in institutions of higher education.

In 1985, AGHE's Executive Committee renamed the AGHE award the Clark Tibbitts Award to recognize the major role that Tibbitts played in establishing and nurturing the field of

gerontological education. In addition, Tibbitts was key in establishing the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Tibbitts and colleague Wilma Donahue (University of Michigan) were the first recipients of the AGHE award in 1981. Walter Beattie was the first recipient of the Clark Tibbitts Award in 1986. The Tibbitts Award is presented each year at the AGHE annual meeting.

Recipients of the
Clark Tibbitts Award

1981 Clark Tibbitts (Administration on Aging)
      Wilma Donahue (University of Michigan)

1982 Robert Havighurst (University of Chicago)

1983 James Birren (University of Southern California)

1984 Hiram Friedsam (University of North Texas)

1985 Mildred Seltzer (Miami University)

1986 Walter Beattie (Syracuse University)

1987 George Maddox (Duke University)

1988 Dorothy Coons (University of Michigan)

1989 Wayne Vasey (University of South Florida)

1990 Midwest Council for Social Research in Aging

1991 Harold Johnson (University of Michigan)

1992 Joseph Britton (The Pennsylvania State University)

1993 David A. Peterson (University of Southern California)

1994 Harvey L. Sterns (The University of Akron)

1995 E. Percil Stanford (San Diego State University)

1996 Tom Hickey (University of Michigan)

1997 Scott A. Bass (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

1998 James H. Schulz (Brandeis University)

1999 Armin Grams (University of Vermont)

2000 Carroll Estes (University of California, San Francisco)

2001 Bernice Parlak (Health Resources and Services Administration)

2002 Stephen Cutler (University of Vermont)

2003 Phoebe Liebig (University of Southern California)

2004 Jon Hendricks (Oregon State University)

2005 Sally Newman (University of Pittsburgh)

2006 William J. McAuley (George Mason University)

2007 Robert Binstock (Case Western Reserve University)

2008 Leonard W. Poon (University of Georgia)

2009 Larry Polivka (University of South Florida)

2010 Frank J. Whittington (George Mason University)

2011 Edward F. Ansello (Virginia Commonwealth University)

2012 - John A. Krout (Ithaca College)

2013 - Marie A. Bernard (National Institute on Aging/National Institute of  Health)

2014 - Harry "Rick" Moody (AARP)

Click for information on the nominating procedure.