W. Anthony "Tony" Gamron
"My first exam grade at ISU was an F," admits Tony Gamron, retired Vice President and Treasurer for Kimberly-Clark Corporation and now a member of the Dean’s Executive Council for the College of Business.
"I can remember feeling very much alone. Out of desperation, I went to see the professor the next day, and he gave me encouragement and set up a schedule for me to come in for some extra help. I ended up with an A in the class, and I was on my way."
Gamron recalls having many similar experiences with others along the path at ISU during the course of his next four years, and all reinforced for him the caring qualities of the faculty and staff and their determination to see him persevere.
The young, soon-to-be accounting major from Seymour, Ind., was a bit under confident in his abilities when he first stepped foot on campus, he admits, but he knew a couple of things for sure: he wanted a small school atmosphere where he’d have an easier time making the transition from high school to college life. "At the time, I was intimidated by the larger campuses," he said.
"ISU helped me make the transition from high school to a successful professional life," he added. "I learned how to work hard academically and how to succeed."
Gamron says his story probably has a lot in common with those of many ISU students out there – even today.
"I believe I was the typical ISU student in the late 60s," said Gamron, a 1971 graduate. "I was a first generation college student, with mediocre high school grades, and without confidence that I could graduate from college. My high school guidance counselor actually tried to talk me out of attending ISU, and my parents thought I would be home before the end of the first semester."
Later in his college career, he learned that Indiana State had much more than small-school feel going for it.
I believe our strength (at ISU) has been, and continues to be, helping kids like me make the transition," Gamron said. "This represents not all of our students, but I think a large percentage. We can offer a more intimate, personal experience. We know how to help the student that I was."
In 2002, Gamron was selected for the Seymour High School Wall of Fame. As part of the festivities, he had the opportunity to speak to several classes.
"The kids really enjoyed the story about my guidance counselor telling me not to attend ISU," he joked. "Years later, I ran into that counselor, now retired, in a grocery store in Seymour. He asked me what I was doing. I told him that I took his advice and I worked in a factory. He seemed happy."
"I often wonder what would have become of me if I had gone to IU?"