Frederick Wellington Gibson spent nearly 50 years with Queen's, first as a student and then as a popular professor and the University's official historian. He was born in Kingston and lived in a house on Union Street across the road from the old Richardson Stadium. He earned a BA from Queen's in 1942 and an MA in history in 1944.
After a brief period of graduate work at Harvard, Gibson worked at the Public Archives of Canada and was selected by Prime Minister Mackenzie King in 1946 as an assistant in sorting his private papers for his memoirs. He returned to Queen's in 1952, where he taught Canadian History until his retirement in 1986.
Gibson served as Queen's first Vice-Principal (Academic) from 1966 to 1969 and won the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence in 1985.
In 1975, he and fellow history professor Roger Graham co-edited Queen's University, Volume I: 1841-1917 after the death of author Hilda Neatby.
He wrote the next installment in Queen's history, Queen's University, Volume II: 1917-1961, himself. It was published in 1983 and, with Neatby's book, is a familiar sight on bookshelves across campus.
Gibson earned an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University in 1991.