Spring on the York College campus

Kelley Gibson '96

By Colleen Karl
“I get to see the impact of our work in creating a vibrant, thriving arts and culture community every day.”
Kelley Gibson stands in front of artwork while posing for a photo.

Kelley Gibson found many unexpected twists and turns on her way to becoming President of the Cultural Alliance of York County.

“Just because you can’t see a clear pathway from where you are to where you want to go, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a path,” she states. Each position leading to her current role helped her to gain “valuable knowledge that helped me identify what is most important to me, so I could move forward to accelerating leadership roles to get me where I am today.”

Gibson discovered York College when accompanying her friend on a campus visit. At the time, she was looking to pursue a career as an English teacher. She says, “I just fell in love with the campus, the small class size, and its communications/education program. I did not end up pursuing a career in teaching, but my bachelor degree in English has served me well in my PR/Communications career.”

Thanks to classes at YCP, Gibson found her path and credits her success to the help of caring faculty. “I learned a lot from Dr. Brian Furio and Dr. David Polk,” she says, “They really connected me to my work, helped me improve my messaging, and helped give insight into the impact of actions.” This guidance led her to want to stay connected with her alma mater. She has served as a guest speaker for many classes and was named an honorary member of the Public Relations Society of America student chapter.

“I know that I really appreciated hearing from people who were in the field during classes,” remembers Gibson. “I wanted to make sure I gave that same experience back to next generations.” And, often, she says she learns just as much from students as she hopes they learn from her.

Today, as the President of the Cultural Alliance of York County, Gibson oversees the grants and fundraising needed to sustain the organization and represents the diverse cultural community of the city. “I get to see the impact of our work in creating a vibrant, thriving arts and culture community every day,” she says. “I’m representing our artists and arts organizations and the things they do every day to make York the place where we want to live, work, and play.”

Gibson looks forward to continuing to stay connected with the College and continuing to be part of growing the arts and cultural community of York. “I’m excited,” she says, “to see the expansion of the arts and culture community during my tenure as Cultural Alliance President, and to see how York transforms itself over the coming years.”