The Sheila and Gilbert Johnston Endowed Scholarship for Study Abroad was established at Eckerd College in 2017 to recognize Sheila and Gilbert “Gil” Johnston’s dedication and passion for study abroad.
Emeritus Professor Gilbert Johnston, Ph.D., joined Eckerd’s faculty in 1972 and was professor of East Asian religions and comparative cultures until his retirement in 1995. His academic and personal interests focused on Japanese culture, Zen Buddhism, Taoism and Quakerism—all of which informed and guided his life and character. At Eckerd, he led groups of students on study trips to England, Greece and Japan, and was an ambassador to the St. Petersburg–Takamatsu, Japan, sister-city program where he guided Eckerd students who traveled to teach English at a high school there. His dedication to the study of other cultures blended beautifully with his wife Sheila’s role at Eckerd at that time, where she served as the director of international education. They both nurtured students to explore the world and expand their horizons. For the Johnstons, this was the most powerful learning experience.
The Sheila and Gilbert Johnston Endowed Scholarship for Study Abroad is a perpetual source of funding for Eckerd College students with financial need who are traveling outside the United States for the first time.
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