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Congratulations, Bill Giduz!

by | May 23, 2018 | Bottom Left Box, News, Stories from Davidson College

The Community recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was William “Bill” Roland Giduz (’74) who retired last year following a more than 30-year career with the College Communications Office.

At its 101st Commencement ceremony on May 20, Davidson College recognized one of its own – William Roland Giduz, Class of 1974 –  with the 2018 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Community Award.

Bill Giduz retired in 2017 following a “storied” career with Davidson’s communications office, using word and image to capture the people, programs, and promise of his alma mater for almost 40 years. But beyond his rich professional life are his many roles in the community, including — from the award citation — his “unfailing willingness to advance the cause of affordable housing in Davidson and our region,” having served on the board of the Davidson Housing Coalition for more than 12 years.

With a bachelor’s in history and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, Bill has used his professional expertise on behalf of many community nonprofits. In addition to the Davidson Housing Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, Davidson Child Development Center, Davidson Community Players, Rotary Club, and Davidson United Methodist Church have profited from his time and energy. Most recently, he shares his skills with News of Davidson as photography editor.

And there are the little things. Over the years, Bill responded to many a call within the college community that did not appear on the news office agenda. It might be a request for pictures of a baby shower, a farewell party, or a big birthday for someone — anyone — who worked on campus. Bill would hop on his bike and be off, cheerfully making someone’s good moment even better.

It may be apocryphal that Bill was the first person to “joggle” (juggling while jogging or vice versa) in the early 1980s, but he was surely among those pioneers. For many years, he brought together townsfolk old and young for Sunday-afternoon camaraderie and tutelage on the Town Green, and continues this tradition today in the Ada Jenkins Center. After Hurricane Hugo tore through Davidson in 1989, Bill created and produced the annual Hurricane Hugo Flying Objects Festival, a weekend of juggling workshops and activities, capped off by a Vaudeville Show —always benefitting a charity.

Quietly but consistently, Bill takes care of business, but puts family first. Scores of Davidson work-study students learned journalism from Bill, but they — along with his work and community colleagues and friends — also learned how to live a full and big-hearted life.

One nominator summed it up like this: “Bill is determined to shine the light on others, to lift them up through his words and pictures. He never seeks the spotlight for himself…. His generosity of spirit, his humility, his love of others, his devotion to family and community embody the essence of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.”

The following is the citation for Bill presented at Commencement:

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Community Award—William Roland (Bill) Giduz

Bill Giduz has made innumerable contributions to the town of Davidson’s community life since he first came to Davidson College as a first-year student in 1970. One nominator notes that Bill has been “unfailing in his willingness to advance the cause of affordable housing in Davidson and our region.” He has served on the Board of the Davidson Housing Coalition for over 12 years and used his skills as a writer and photographer to “tell the powerful story of our residents . . . and help Davidson citizens understand and support” the Housing Coalition’s work. Bill has also given freely and generously to many worthy local non-profit organizations. An accomplished amateur juggler, Bill has taught juggling at the Ada Jenkins Center on Sunday afternoons for many years.

He has also given the gift of his time and talents to Habitat for Humanity, the Rotary Club, the Davidson Child Development Center, the Davidson United Methodist Church, and News of Davidson. Bill worked for many years as a member of the communications staff at Davidson College, yet despite his demanding duties he routinely responded to “many a call within the college community that did not appear on the office agenda,” including requests for photographs of baby showers, goodbye parties, or birthday parties. In all cases Bill would cheerfully hop on his bike to make “someone’s good moment even better.” All Bill’s nominators agree that his “generosity of spirit, his humility, his love of others and his devotion to family and community embody the essence of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.”

Davidson College is proud to bestow the 2018 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Community Award upon Bill Giduz.

Meg Kimmel

A professional communicator with a long career in higher education, Meg now consults and volunteers in areas where words and images work together to tell a story. She's a proud member of Davidson's Class of 1977 and lives nearby with her husband, Don, Davidson professor emeritus of biology, with whom she shares a family grown by kinship and choice.

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