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Matthew Cobb

Jim and Judy Gibbs have been named the 2011 University Park Citizens of the Year.  Residents of University Park since 1975, the couple has compiled an extensive record of community and philanthropic activities.

Judy currently serves on the City’s Park Advisory Committee.  Her past City involvement includes service on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the U.P. Library Task Force.  Elected to the Highland Park Independent School Board, she served the district for 10 years, including time as Board President.  Active in her church too, Judy helped Lovers Lane United Methodist Church with a $4 million capital campaign. Aiding the greater North Texas area, she is currently Chair of the Salvation Army DFW Advisory Board, a Trustee of the Communities Foundation of Texas, and a member of the Dallas Arboretum.

A graduate of Highland Park High School, Jim’s service to the HPISD includes serving as a board member on the district’s Education Foundation and chairing the group’s endowment campaign.  In 2010 he received the Highland Park High School Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award.  Involved with higher education too, he is a Trustee of the SMU Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, and is a member of the Dedman School College Board.  A geologist, Jim is also a past president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Among the couple’s philanthropic pursuits is a $1 million gift to the HPISD Education Foundation. In recognition of that gift, the high school’s media center bears the family’s name.

After being notified of their selection as Citizens of the Year, both typed out a list of things they love about living in University Park.  Jim mentioned civic pride and the fact that residents are proud of their schools and community.  Judy noted that she has many neighbors and friends who are just as active in helping to make the world a better place.

Immediately following the annual Park Cities Independence Day Parade, Jim and Judy will receive a plaque from Mayor Dick Davis during a brief ceremony at the Goar Park Gazebo.  The couple will also ride in the parade.

The Citizen of the Year Award was initiated in 2005 by the City Council to heighten public awareness and appreciation for the many residents who work, often behind the scenes, to better the city’s quality of life.  The City acknowledges that while such residents aren’t fueled by a desire for civic recognition, their efforts, whether aimed at beautifying our neighborhoods, protecting our local environment, increasing local opportunities for our youth or raising money for various worthy projects, all demonstrate a level of citizenship that helps make University Park such a special place to live.  This year, in addition to the Gibbs’ nomination, the review panel considered the nominations of six other worthy residents.

The news release was provided by Steve Mace, community information officer for University Park.

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