Kathy Gillam


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My husband Richard and I have lived in Palo Alto for over 35 years. We raised our daughter
Julia here; she now lives in Fremont with her daughter Lucia. In July 2020 I completed a 36-
year administrative career at Stanford; my last position was as Executive Director of a new
program for midlife adults called the Distinguished Careers Institute. I currently serve as chair of
the Advisory Committee for a new non-profit focused on opportunities in higher education for
adults in midlife.

I first came to St. Mark’s in the fall of 2019, following the closure, after over a century, of the
First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, where I had been a member for 20 years. During my years
there I sang in the choir, participated in adult educational programming, and served on the
Council, including several years as Moderator (Chair). I also served on the task force that led the
congregation through the complex legal processes of selling the church property, distributing the
proceeds as legacy gifts and dissolving the congregation. At St. Mark’s I was welcomed warmly
from my first Sunday and, during the pandemic lockdown, greatly appreciated the streaming
services. Last year I participated in the Sacred Ground program, and I serve on the Sacred
Ground Task Force. I am also part of the St. Mark’s book group. St. Mark’s has provided
important spiritual grounding for me in this time of transition from one church community to
another and from professional employment to post-employment life.

I am hoping to bring my organizational experience from both my career and my church life to
my role on the Vestry. I’m very interested in how organizations work and in contributing to their
well being. I am also an avid reader of history and spiritual writing and look forward to
participating in discussions of ongoing educational activities in the parish.