Thelma Vernell Anderson Gibson

    biography

    Thelma Vernell Anderson Gibson was born in Miami on December 17, 1926 to Sweetlon Vernell Albury Anderson and Thomas Theodore Anderson. She is well known as a philanthropist in her community and as the widow of the late Reverend Canon Theodore Roosevelt Gibson. Thelma graduated from George Washington Carver High School in 1944 and attended Saint Agnes School of Nursing at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina where she graduated in 1947. She continued her education by taking off campus courses at Catholic University in Washington, D.C, University of Miami, Florida A & M University, and Teachers College at Columbia University in New York where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. For more than fifty years, Thelma has been a trailblazer in education, mental and physical health, community and professional leadership, volunteerism and service to her church, community and family. In August 1997, she was appointed as Interim City Commissioner and served on the City of Miami Commission through November 1997. Thelma holds memberships on numerous boards, committees, and panels such as; President Emeritus of the Theodore Roosevelt Gibson Memorial Fund Inc., Founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Dade County, “GUTS”(Grovites United to Survive), “BIDCO” (Black Investors of Dade County), Jackson Memorial Foundation Inc., Trustee–University of Miami, Coconut Grove Arts Festival, United Home Care, Inc., University of Miami Women’s Guild, Jewish Home for the Aged, Friends WLRN, Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Charter Member of Nu Chapter Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc.,(National Nursing Sorority). Thelma has received many honors, awards, and certificates. She counts her membership as a Founder at the Jewish Home for the Aged, among one of the highest, as this honor resulted from the generosity of the Late Judge Irving and Mrs. Hazel Cypen. Additional honors include; the Silver Medallion awarded by the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), the Jewish Home and Hospital Women’s Auxiliary Sacred Heart Award, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice Award, the Jackson Memorial Hospital Image Committee Award, Community Service Award by the Florida International Press Club, the Concerned Citizens Award from the Health Foundation of South Florida and A woman of Impact. The most recent accomplishment to Thelma’s credit is authoring her autobiography, Forbearance, Thelma Vernell Anderson Gibson, The Life Story of A Coconut Grove Native that was released in the Fall of 2000. Mrs. Gibson is an adviser and advocate for the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative Inc., a State of Florida Certified HIV testing site, providing comprehensive and culturally competent social service programming to individuals and families across the lifespan through its three core programs: Adult and Community Services, Elder and Senior Care Services, and Youth and Family Services.