William Gabard

William “Bill” Montgomery Gabard was born August 17, 1922, in Lewisburg, Tennessee. He was the son of Nell Haynes and William Gabard, Sr. He attended Forrest High School in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, where he was initiated into Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Following graduation, he earned his M.A. from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans.

He served as head of the history department and was the founding Director of International Studies at Valdosta State University from 1948 – 1988. He also held post-doctoral fellowships in Asian history at six different universities, including Columbia University in New York, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Texas at Arlington.

On November 18, 1961, he married Lougenia “Lou” Gillis. Lou and Bill were also generous with their time and served their state and community throughout their lives. Bill was President of the Georgia Consortium, Inc., and founding president of the Lowndes County Historical Society. In 1984, he was elected President of the Georgia Historical Society, the first non-Savannahian to hold that position in the history of the institution.

Bill died August 18, 2006, at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama.