Dr. Richard Gross guided Gordon College through its hundredth anniversary and to the cusp of the 21st century, leading the College in major expansions in nearly every aspect of its work. Born in Chicago, Dr. Gross attended Wheaton College (Illinois) as an undergraduate and received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University. Before coming to Gordon College, he was dean of students at Wheaton College and an assistant professor in the education department. Gross came to the Gordon campus in 1967 as the dean of the college. When Dr. Ockenga became president in 1969, Dr. Gross moved into the position of senior vice president. Upon Dr. Ockenga’s retirement in 1976, Dr. Gross accepted his appointment by the board of trustees to the presidency.
During the next decade-and-a-half, Gross and his administration placed heavy focus on faculty growth and development. A new faculty development program sought to support faculty in their research and professional development, and new faculty were recruited to strengthen academic programs. Enrollment, budget and facilities also expanded under Gross’ leadership. In 1967, Gordon had 28 full-time faculty and twelve academic majors. By 1991, Gordon had a faculty of 75 and 28 majors.
Dr. Gross remained in office for 16 years, until his retirement in 1992. He continued to serve the College as advisor to the president and as president of the Gordon College Foundation. He remained a close friend and steadfast supporter of Gordon College.
+ New buildings and facilities included MacDonald Hall and Ferrin Hall; the Winn Library was expanded and renamed the Jenks Learning Resource Center.
+ Academic offerings expanded on campus and abroad with the addition of majors in physical education and movement science, early childhood education and middle school education; and off-campus programs at Oxford University in England; Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya; in Aix-en-Provence, France; and San Jose, Costa Rica.
+ Dr. Gross led the College into a merger with Barrington College, in 1985, adding four new majors—marine biology, accounting, social work and youth ministries—as well as many new faculty and staff members, and students.