P.J. Gibson Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writers

photo of P.J. Gibson

Professor P.J. Gibson was born in Pittsburgh, PA, grew up in Trenton, NJ, and began writing as an adolescent.  In 1969, she saw Lorraine Hansberry’s To Be Young Gifted, and Black, which inspired her to learn how to write plays. She earned a B.A at Keuka College, NY (1973), and as a Shubert Fellow, completed an MFA in playwrighting from Brandeis University, MA (1975).

An award-winning artist, Professor Gibson wrote more than thirty-five full-length plays as well as television scripts for Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey. Her play Long Time Since Yesterday had over sixty productions and her empathetic treatment of violence against women entitled Masks/ Circles: Healing the Pain provided many in her audiences with help toward healing.

After teaching at an array of higher education institutions, she arrived at John Jay College, where she taught first in the SEEK Program, and then moved to the English Department where she specialized in creative writing. Professor Gibson died May 11, 2022. She inspired a generation of John Jay students.

The P.J. Gibson Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writers was established by colleagues, students, and friends to celebrate Professor Gibson’s attention to beauty, generosity of spirit, commitment to John Jay College, and contributions to theater arts.

Award Amount: $2,500 per year to be used for tuition, fees, and other educational expenses.


  • Full-time, matriculated undergraduate student
  • Majoring in English
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Demonstrated financial need, determined through a completed FAFSA or other supporting documentation as determined by the Financial Aid Office
  • Preference for traditionally underrepresented students

Selection: The recipient will be selected by the English Department Scholarship Committee.

Click here to apply.