GMercyU Honors Professor Emeritus at Commencement 2016
Professor Thomas Gilmore joined the Gwynedd Mercy University faculty in 1978 as the founding chair of the Computer Science Program. With that, he was responsible for bringing the first computer to campus.
In his 38 years at GGMercyU, Professor Gilmore taught every computer science topic, as well as courses in statistics, science literacy and even a section of a course on impressionist art as part of the Honors Program. Professor Gilmore taught courses at the Gwynedd Valley campus as well as at each location of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. He has also taught a number of on-line courses and has served on all but one faculty standing committee.
One popular course that Professor Gilmore designed, called “Beyond the Laptop,” looked at the technologies used by humans throughout history and the driving forces behind improvements made to those technologies. During the course, students were given all of the components needed to make a robot, but no instructions on how to do it. Students taught themselves how to build the robots and then had competitions to determine the most effective designs.After the competitions, students reflected on what drove them to build better robots.
As part of his academic responsibilities, he served two terms as a member of Faculty Council and served on several task forces. Professor Gilmore was a member of the General Education Task Force that reconfigured the General Education curriculum and served as Director of General Education for seven years.
In 1986-87 Tom took a sabbatical year to realize a dream. He sailed his boat across the North Atlantic Ocean from Cape May, N.J. to Ireland, visiting Scotland, England and France. He transited the French Canals to the Mediterranean Sea visiting Spain and Portugal and then sailed down the African Coast to the Canary Islands and back across the Atlantic to visit the Caribbean and the Bahamas before returning home.
Born in England to Irish parents, Professor Gilmore and his family immigrated to the United States when he was a child. He attended Archdiocesan grade schools and high school, and then went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps. He holds degrees from Montgomery County Community College, Gwynedd Mercy University and Penn State University. His daughter Rosaleen, also a graduate of GMercyU, currently serves as an adjunct faculty member and teaches a sustainability course that her father helped design.
In June, Professor Gilmore plans to sail off into his retirement on his rebuilt boat. He will depart from the Chesapeake Bay area and travel up the East Coast to the Canadian Border. In November he will sail to the Bahamas, where he will spend the winter. In between, he’ll judge some horse shows and spend time with family.