VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Local businessman, philanthropist, and Indiana State University graduate, Max Gibson has died.

That’s according to the University’s daily newsletter ISU Today.

Gibson was a longtime fan of the Sycamores before attending the university, where he graduated in 1962 with a degree in business education.

(Image of Max Gibson courtesy of Indiana State University)

“Indiana State University is saddened by the passing of Max Gibson. He embodied everything a Sycamore should be and truly cared about the advancement of both our University and community,” Indiana State University President Deborah Curtis said. “His legacy will live on through the countless lives he impacted. We send our condolences to the Gibson family.”

The school noted the close-ties between the Gibson family and the schools many student-athletes through the 1970s, with the family reportedly providing summer jobs to athletes facing financial struggles. One such athlete is NBA legend Larry Bird, who would become a friend of the Gibson family.

School officials also noted Gibson’s involvement with the creation of the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course as well.

in 2015 Gibson continued to invest in ISU athletics when the Gibson Track & Field Complex was completed. The complex has gone on to be the host site for multiple Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and has hosted the summer Special Olympics on numerous occasions.

(Image of Max Gibson courtesy of RJL Solutions)

In 2021, ISU established the Max & Jackie Gibson Award, which recognizes athletic supporters who have made a significant and lasting impact on the school’s athletics programs. Gibson was also a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

In a statement from the Gibson family, his loved ones talk of remembering Gibson for the way he appreciated the simple things in life.

My dad was loved by so many, and we’re certainly feeling that love today. He was known for being one of the most generous and successful businessmen around, yet if you really knew him, you appreciated his love for the simple things in life. To us, he was husband, dad, and grandfather, and to many of you, friend. We appreciate your condolences, your thoughts, and even your stories. We will be sharing more in the hours and days ahead, but for now, we just want to say, “Thank you.” 

Greg Gibson, Son of Max Gibson & The Gibson Family