Campaign Profile: Gail Gillespie
Gail (Emanuelson) Gillespie '76 says her decision to attend Springfield College, made while touring different campuses as a high school senior in the fall of 1971, was an easy one.
“I knew I wanted to attend a small school, I knew I wanted to feel like part of a community,” she recalls. “On that first visit to campus, when I immediately felt so ‘at home,' it all came together in an instant.” She never looked back. She ended up graduating with a bachelor of science in health education and became a health education teacher in Somerset, Mass. She went on to get a master's in health education from Bridgewater State, and then discovered the fates had another career in store for her.
Today, Gillespie is a regional account manager for an international pharmaceutical firm. She credits the strong science background Springfield gave her for landing her first pharmaceutical sales position, “that, and the interpersonal skills, the leadership, and the values about teamwork and trust that I acquired through my Springfield College experience.” Gillespie says while her title may be different, her job remains largely about teaching, however. “I educate professionals in the health insurance companies about our medications and how they work and what best helps different kinds of patients,” she explains. Gillespie's parent firm—Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, headquartered in Israel—is one of the world's foremost suppliers of “generic” drugs. (Look for the tiny letters “TEVA” on almost any pill you take.) Teva Neuroscience is the subsidiary that markets one of the leading injectable treatments for multiple sclerosis.
One of the reasons Gillespie enjoys working for the firm, and has been in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years, is the freedom it gives her to “honor her inner triangle” of spirit, mind, and body—and to parent her two children, both now in late adolescence/early adulthood—along the way. With one child in college and another getting ready, Gillespie herself recently accepted an invitation of Don Pingree '75 “to come back to campus, to reconnect,” and attended the 1974 reunion.
“What surprised me,” she admits, “is how good it felt to do just that; how re-connected it made me feel.” It also inspired her to start helping the College pursue its campus improvements. “Now that I have toured other campuses with my own children, I am more aware as a parent of how important that ‘first impression' can be and the message about a place that it gives,” she stresses. “It's made me really want to be part of Springfield College being able to ‘speak' to those who are moved to come here.”
Gillespie is proud to be a new member of the David Allen Reed Society, which recognizes donors making gifts of $1000 to $4,999. “And I am happy to be among those now calling a few old classmates to say: ‘It was there for us. It's our turn to give back.' “And all gifts will matter,” she concludes. “I always make sure I tell people that I know everyone's lives and circumstances are different, and not to be afraid to give because they fear their gift would seem too small. There is no small gift, and it is our turn to give.”
Contact the Office of DevelopmentCall the Office of Development at 800.622.6072.