Frank Dobson, Faculty Head of Gillette House
Frank Dobson, faculty head of Gillette House, is director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and one of the most influential administrators and mentors to be found in the Vanderbilt undergraduate community. He is a published author, who just completed the manuscript for his second novel, entitled Invisible Men, and Other Stories, which was recently accepted for publication. His article, “Beyond Black Men as Breeders: White Men and the Commodity of Blackness,” appeared in the Vanderbilt University journal, Ameriquests (Vol. 6, no. 1). Dobson is also a playwright whose work has been presented at national theater festivals and workshops.
A message from Dr. Dobson
“A person is a person through other persons.” These words by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa speak to the African concept of “ubuntu,” which means “humanity” or “humanness,” and which points to our connectedness to and regard for other human beings. Ubuntu aptly describes the guiding principle for my work as Faculty Head of House and our House motto—“Coming Together: In Service and Celebration!” I am here to serve and work with the residents; we are here to learn with and serve others. In the process, we develop community and deepen our understanding of ourselves and others.
Moreover, we will celebrate. Through numerous House activities—floor activities; faculty dinners; outings to events and sites throughout Nashville; community service activities; or “Gillette Gelato”—we will fellowship and, in many cases, forge friendships. We will learn salsa steps in Gillette’s Seminar room; host youngsters from Big Brothers, Big Sisters for an event; or cheer as Gillette scores yet another victory towards The Commons Cup. (We are the Inaugural champions of the Cup!)
As Gillette House, we will come together, even as we live and learn together on this great campus. Welcome.
Located on The Ingram Commons, Gillette House is residence for 220 first-year men and women living separately on floors 2–6. The Faculty Head of House lives in an apartment on the first floor. Also on the first floor is a large recreation room, a laundry, a seminar room, a kitchen and a break room with vending machines. The building has central air-conditioning.
Gillette House was built in 1963 and named for Frank E. Gillette, a trustee of Peabody College. Gillete House was completely renovated during the 2006–2007 academic year.