The Reverend William C. Gipson is Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Access at the University of Pennsylvania. Gipson also serves as the faculty director at the W.E.B. Du Bois College House at Penn. He is an adjunct assistant professor of religious studies in the Penn Religious Studies Department.
Penn’s Equity and Access programs guide and support scholars of all ages and backgrounds, from first-generation college students to military veterans and adult learners. Rev. Gipson also oversees the six resource centers that celebrate Penn’s rich cultural diversity: Makuu Black Student Center; La Casa Latina; Penn Women Center; LGBT Center; Pan Asian American Community House; and the Greenfield Intercultural Center.
From 1996 to 2008 Rev. Gipson served as University Chaplain and Special Adviser to the President. Prior to that, he was Princeton University’s Associate Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel. While at Princeton University he organized a worship service in the Black church tradition that continues today on that campus.
Rev. Gipson began his career as a journalist writing for The Black Free Press and the Monroe Dispatch, two community newspapers in Louisiana, and later for the California Voice, Berkeley CA. Ordained in 1980, he has served in pastoral capacities and ministered to congregations in Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey. Gipson served as minister of youth, Beth Eden Baptist Church, Oakland, CA; assistant pastor of the Memorial AME Zion Church, Rochester, NY; interim pastor, Metropolitan AME Zion Church, Buffalo, NY; summer pastor, Grindstone Island United Methodist Church, NY; interim pastor, New Salem Baptist Church, Trenton, NJ; and interim pastor, First Baptist Church, Princeton, NJ.
Currently he serves as an associate pastor of the Triumph Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA, where the Rev James S. Hall, Jr is the senior pastor.
He is active in organizations devoted to educating and empowering urban youth and is dedicated to improving our civic life. He has served on the Princeton Regional School Board; as a member of the board of trustees of Smith College; as a member of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations; as a board member of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life, NYC; and is a co-chaplain-in-residence for the Children’s Defense Fund’s annual Samuel Dewitt Proctor Child Advocacy Institute at the CDF Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, TN. Gipson was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated through the Eta Chi Chapter. He is currently the chapter chaplain for Rho Chapter, the only single letter alumni chapter of the fraternity. He also serves as the chaplain of the Pennsylvania Alpha Chapters and is the associate chaplain for the eastern region of the fraternity. Gipson is a life member of the fraternity.
Gipson has served as the president of the Association of College and University Affairs, a group of ministers and other religious workers at mostly private colleges and universities who serve as the chaplain or dean of religious life at these institutions.
Rev. Gipson is a Class of 1974 Carroll High School graduate, Monroe LA; earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Louisiana at Monroe; and a master of divinity degree from the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He is the proud father of two adult daughters and an adoring “Pop Pop” to one grandchild.