Norma Gibbs was a trailblazer who created a rich legacy of teaching, community outreach, and civic engagement throughout her life. Recruited by CSULB’s first President, Dr. P. Victor Peterson, Norma began her CSULB career teaching in the College of Education in 1957, where she served as both a professor in educational psychology and as a foreign student advisor. Teaching at CSULB for almost 40 years, Norma described her years at the university as “transformative”.
Norma broke down barriers by serving in public office as Huntington Beach’s first female City Council member and later as mayor, and also as mayor of Seal Beach. She credited her time at CSULB with her career in public office.
Norma’s commitment to public service extended beyond politics. She founded Interval House, a local non-profit now in its 40th year, which cares for victims of abuse. Recognized for her long-standing public service, Norma was honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.