Gerald Cook


Gerald Cook grew up in Galax, Virginia along with his older brother and two older sisters. He was cared for by his Mother and his maternal grandparents. Upon graduating from Galax High School he enrolled at Virginia Tech as a Cooperative Engineering Student in Mechanical Engineering. This program provided on-the-job training as well as the opportunity to earn income to pay the expenses of college. Work periods were spent with the manufacturing division of Vick Chemical Engineering in Greensboro, North Carolina. In his junior year of college he switched to Electrical Engineering, but continued to co-op with Vick. Also during this year he met a young lady named Nancy Anne Gillispie working at a summer job at Vicks who would later become his wife and the mother of their two sons.

As graduation from college approached, he applied for and was accepted to graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After completing his masters degree there in 1962, he and Nancy Anne were married and began their life together as he continued his studies toward the doctorate which he completed in 1965. In 1964 a son, Bo, was born in Boston and in 1966 a second son, Ford, was born in their new home in Colorado where he was a member of the faculty of the Air Force Academy while serving on active duty in the Air Force. 

In 1968 he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia as an Associate Professor and in 1973 was promoted to the rank of Professor. Except for a sabbatical at the Technical University of Denmark during 1979-80, he remained at UVA until 1981 when he left to become Chairman of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. In 1985 he returned to the state of Virginia and the newly formed School of Information Technology and Engineering at George Mason University. He holds the Earle C. Williams Professorship and served eight years as Chairman of the ECE Department.

Gerald and Nancy Anne Cook reside in Fairfax and are members of the Fairfax Presbyterian Church. He has been an Elder and Trustee of the church, serving on the property management committee, and Nancy Anne has been in charge of the weekly flower arrangements as well as organizing the church decorations for the Christmas and Easter seasons. Other Christian activities that they have supported include Young Life, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Campus Crusade for Life.

Favorite Activities

Golfing, Sailing, Va. Tech Football, Boston Red Sox Baseball, Listening to music

Family Photos

Derek, Brandon and Travis
Ford and Medy
Grandchildren at Christmas
Christmas Again!!!
Grandfather and Katie Anne
Grandmother and Katie Anne
Jonathan, Jeremy and Katie Anne with us at Easter
Brandon and Katie Anne
Bo and Teresa with kids
Grandfather and Derek

Favorite Advice

Always do your best even though you may not be totally satisfied with your current situation. Your present and past performances strongly impact your future opportunities.

Favorite Bible Verses

Revelations 3:20
Proverbs 3:5-6
Proverbs 1:7
Philippians 4:5-8

Favorite Hymns

Amazing Grace
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Great is Thy Faithfulness
How Great Thou Art