In March, Ron Gaber, EdS, retired from A.T. Still University. Over the past 24 years, he has accomplished much and has been of service to many. He served as dean/vice president for student affairs and associate professor, and for many years, taught death and dying as part of KCOM’s curriculum.
Through the years, Gaber has served the University, and his community, in many ways. In addition to co-founding ATSU’s Still-Wellbeing Program and creating the LeaderScript program, he has maintained an emphasis on planning for results, a commitment to student engagement, and a dedication to student spouse/partner career planning. His primary focus and passion, though, has been student advocacy, which he believes is his greatest accomplishment.
“When I came [to ATSU] in 1988, my goal was to develop a student support system,” says Gaber. “Students should have a balanced education and a balanced life.”
“Ron works hard for student interests, not just to satisfy student needs, but to empower students to find ways to serve themselves and each other,” says Brian Moore, OMS II. “In two short years on campus, we grow with his guidance into strong, confident leaders and ambassadors for the osteopathic profession.”
Adam Bennett, D2, says, “Whatever the issue, Ron has always made himself available to listen and provide invaluable feedback. He has encouraged me to dream and pursue goals I am passionate about outside of my field of study. At the same time, he has been a wonderful friend.”
Lori Haxton, MA, interim vice president for student affairs, who has worked with Gaber for 23 years, says, “Personally and professionally, Ron has been a tremendous mentor.”
While Gaber will miss ATSU, he is excited about his retirement—getting back to nature on his ranch, staying busy in the community, and taking long-awaited trips, especially those to watch his beloved Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.
Most of all, Gaber will miss the students.
“We have some of the finest, most outstanding, compassionate, caring students a school could want,” says Gaber. “Take the opportunity to spend every moment you can with students because they are caring and compassionate human beings with tremendous skills and abilities and great life experiences. Savor the moment to interact and be part of their lives because if you miss that, you’ve missed a great deal.”
He will also miss ATSU’s service-oriented environment. He credits the tremendous faculty, staff, and administrators who, he feels, have “servants’ hearts.”