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Gillian M. McCombs

"The Caring Community" was the topic of the keynote address delivered by Gillian M. McCombs, Dean and Director, Central University Libraries, at the 13th annual SMU Staff Association Assembly and Recognition Program March 6 at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. McCombs traced her colorful life and career through the years – from young university student in France to wife and mother in Washington, D.C., to American ex-patriot fleeing Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to library administrator with the State University of New York system and now SMU. She drew a stark contrast between previous universities, which were impersonal and bureaucratic, and her present environment. "SMU can be described as a caring community. The values of family, relationships, loyalty are all the hallmarks of a caring and people-centered organizational culture that are supported and transmitted from the top down," she said. "Every day is different, but every day provides the opportunity for gratitude. Thank you, SMU, for keeping me around so long!"