Dr. Margaret "Peg" (Shay) Gilbert was a retired biology professor and community historian for the Forest Grove United Church of Christ, Pacific University and the City of Forest Grove.

Dr. Gilbert was born in February, 1908, in Canton (OH), and was one of ten children. She received a bachelor of science degree from Oberlin College, a master's degree from Wellesley College, and a doctorate in Zoology from Cornell University. In 1932, she married W. Paul Gilbert. In 1937, they moved to Appleton (WI), where they taught at Lawrence University, him in Physics (1937-1966) and her in Biology (1946-1966).

She was an expert in anatomy and embryology, and wrote a book published in 1938 called Biography of the Unborn. She won a $1,000 publisher's award for the book. Written when she was pregnant herself, the book was intended to give the "lay reader" a window into fetal development and included her own drawings. The book was very unique for it's time.

After moving to Kailua, Hawaii and teaching at Hawaii Loa College in the mid-1960s, the couple moved to Forest Grove in 1967. Dr. Gilbert taught Anatomy at the School of Optometry at Pacific University, until retired in the mid-1970s. She compiled a special annotated historical photo album of early Forest Grove for the Pacific University Museum in 1982 called Pacific University and Forest Grove: A Look into the Past.

As a library volunteer during the late 1980s, Dr. Gilbert wrote a series of articles for interested library patrons on Forest Grove history. These were printed in large print format and used as handouts.
Dr. Gilbert died at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro on October 10, 1990. She was 82.

Her memory was honored with the "Peg Gilbert Award" at the Pacific University College of Optometry, which "recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the basic visual sciences and is awarded to students who completed the second year of the program and who earn the highest cumulative grade point average in basic science courses."



Review from Bulletin of the Medical Library Association

"BIOGRAPHY OF THE UNBORN. Margaret Shea Gilbert. 132 p. 80. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1938. $1.75.

This book, written for the lay reader is so well and accurately done that all students of biology will find an adequate presentation of an admittedly difficult subject. The style is smooth, and flavored with a touch of humor, reminiscent of Oliver Wendell Holmes. The book deserves a wide circulation and should be read by every medical and reference librarian. It received the award of $1000, in 1937, offered by the Williams and Wilkins Company for the best manuscript on a science subject for general reading."