Dear Marietta College Family:

It is with such a heavy heart and a deep and profound sense of sadness that I inform you that our colleague and friend, Dr. Gama Perruci, a beloved and long-serving member of the Marietta College Family, passed away today (July 9, 2021) following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Gama, a native of Brazil who joined the College in 1999, served as the Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center since 2003 and was recognized as a McCoy Professor in 2001. He also served as the Interim Provost of Marietta College for two years (2011-13). Dr. Perruci positively impacted a generation of McDonough Scholars and was highly respected around the world as a titan in leadership education. He also authored and co-authored multiple articles and books on leadership and leadership education including Global Leadership: A Transnational Perspective. Dr. Perruci also co-authored Understanding Leadership: An Arts and Humanities Approach with his colleague Robert McManus which is now in its second edition. Gama also published Teaching Leadership: Bridging Theory and Practice with Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College.

Aside from his teaching, research and administrative duties, Gama also served as a consultant for The New York Times, focusing on the newspaper’s educational programming for leadership students. Gama’s other consulting assignments included a review of the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law (LEL) at the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland) and an evaluation of the leadership program at Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Gama served as a long-time session facilitator for graduate and undergraduate programs at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College. Gama was also a member of the Ronald Reagan Presentational Library’s Academic Advisory Council (Simi Valley, California).

Gama was the Past Chair of the International Leadership Association, Inc. (ILA) Board of Directors — a global nonprofit organization focused on the study and practice of leadership. He was recently honored with the title ILA Board Member Emeritus. Gama was also a frequent guest analyst for the London-based BBC World Service and Paris-based Radio France International broadcast to Brazil. In addition, Gama served as a facilitator for the Young African Leaders Initiative at Dartmouth College and Kansas State University, reflecting his commitment to global leadership.

With the passing of Gama, I am reminded that life is precious and our family and friendships should be treasured. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will all honor and remember Gama in our own way. But today, I ask and encourage you, in honor of Gama, to reach out to those you love and tell them so. I know you will join me in saying a prayer for Gama, his wife, Kathleen, and their children, Caroline Perruci, Rebecca Perruci Payne (Christopher) and Alexander Perruci (fiancé Sarah Brunner), and his mother-in-law, Patricia Siler.

Details about a public memorial will be announced at a later date. Please know that Gama’s presence on campus will be missed, but his spirit and legacy will live on for generations through the work of the hundreds of McDonough Scholars whom he taught, mentored, and of course led.

In lieu of flowers, the Perruci family requests donations be made in memory of Gama to Marietta College (215 Fifth St., Marietta, OH 45750 or with “For Gama” listed in the memo line of the check or as the designation online.


Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management