Dean Emeritus Gonzalez gives back through scholarship, fellowship

One decision can change the trajectory of your life.

For Dean Emeritus Gerardo Gonzalez, that choice came 60 years ago when he was 11 years old and living in Cuba. After the Cuban Revolution, his parents faced a difficult decision: stay and endure the unforeseen future or start a new life in a foreign country. They chose to bring their family to the U.S. and changed Gonzalez’s future because of that difficult decision.

Gonzalez’s journey from a low income, immigrant, first-generation college student to Dean of the IU School of Education is an inspiring one. Recognizing the barriers that many talented individuals face in accessing higher education, he and his wife took action, creating the Gerardo M. and Marjorie A. Gonzalez Dissertation Fellowship to advance research knowledge and/or professional practice related to the role of freedom of speech, academic freedom, or First Amendment rights in academia.

“When I had the opportunity to invest in IU beyond my role as dean, I wanted to make a gift,” he told the IU Foundation. “This was my first major gift to any institution.”

Gonzalez also created the Gerardo M. Gonzalez Refugee and Underrepresented Student Scholarship that helps remove financial barriers for students in higher education.

For more on Gonzalez’s education journey and gifts of scholarship, visit the IU Foundation.