Building community. Inspiring others. Promoting a feeling of caring. Dedication to learning. Working together. These are the qualities of the All Together One award, and these are absolutely characteristics that define one of James Madison University’s shining stars, Gilbert Welsford.
Gil Welsford is a College of Business Management major. Gil is well-known throughout his major as an innovator and inspirer. As a sophomore, Gil and Ty Walker launched a substance-free nightclub experience that has become well-known to just about everyone on campus. Putting the “Gil” in “Club Gilty,” he has helped this event grow to over 2,000 in attendance. Club Gilty has been a featured part of orientation week for incoming freshmen, as well as a staple event for the entire student body as it provides a place on campus to people who love to have fun, but prefer an alternative to the party scene. Club Gilty has certainly taken off, often partnering with other organizations. Club Gilty has raised money for SafeRides and even sponsored a drive to provide hygiene items for individuals in the community who cannot afford them.
Gil was one of only four students accepted to teach in the inaugural JMU Teach program in 2011-2012. In two semesters alone, his course, Motivational Entrepreneurship, captured over 50 students, freshmen through seniors, who were challenged to set personal goals and pursue their dreams of launching a business. In fall of 2011, Gil and Andrew Mortillo launched the Society of Entrepreneurs. This organization has encouraged student entrepreneurs in their business ventures, offering a sounding board and network to undergraduate students interested in starting a business.

Gil is currently serving as a student representative on the first Advisory Board for the College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship representing the student perspective in a mix of JMU faculty, entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals. Additionally, Gil currently serves on the College of Business Student Advisory Council, where he has been a major contributor in the recommendation and implementation of multiple programs to enrich the collegiate experience.

Not only does Gil jump at any opportunity to grow academically, but he has spent his time at JMU making sure to bring new opportunities to others. As a member of the SAC “Student to Student” program, Gil mentors first year students and helps to ease the transition into the JMU community. He recently spearheaded the development of a proposal to launch a “students to alumni” network designed to establish and strengthen the bonds between the student body in the college and the alumni who have preceded them in the corporate world.

There’s no doubt that Gil puts passion behind everything he does, and it shows. Mollie Brooks, one of Gil’s classmates, agreed, “Gil is basically in love with JMU. He is extremely passionate and ambitious and will do anything to help his fellow peers succeed. Gil is eager to provide outlets for other students to also have beneficial experiences through his involvement with advisory council, JMU teach, and society of entrepreneurs.

Always thinking about how to enhance the student experience, Gil’s dedication to the university will not end in May with his graduation. Gil has and will continue to be an asset to our university, both as a student and a soon to be alumni.

Written by: Kristin Flora

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