FORT PIERCE — Indian River State College (IRSC) is delighted to announce that fifth-generation Okeechobee residents Christa Culbreth Luna and Bert Culbreth are the first recipients of its Peregrine Award.
Established this year, the Peregrine Award recognizes an external honoree who goes above and beyond in support of the College’s strategic priorities and mission to transform lives through high-quality, affordable and accessible education, exceeding expectations in their giving, accomplishments, volunteerism, representation of the community, partnerships, or business duties to the College.
The pair was named the inaugural recipients at the College Service Awards ceremony on November 8, 2023.
“We are honored and humbled to be able to contribute to this great College,” said Mrs. Luna and Mr. Culbreth. “The passion and leadership experienced by Dr. Moore and his team at IRSC are infectious. With a ‘Making it Happen’ attitude, IRSC positively changes lives for the students and communities it serves!”
Luna serves as Vice Chairperson of the Indian River State College District Board of Trustees. Her brother, Culbreth, is a Board Member and Fundraising Committee Chair of the IRSC Foundation. Together with their father, they own the Gilbert Family of Companies, a 100-year family-owned and operated business that includes Gilbert Oil Co., Gilbert Outdoors and Line-X, Gilbert Ford, Gilbert Fleet and Commercial, Gilbert Collision Center and Gilbert Chevrolet. The family is well known for their commitment to the longstanding success and growth of the Okeechobee community.
In addition to Luna and Culbreth’s leadership, the Gilbert Family of Companies significantly contributes to Indian River State College. This year alone, the Gilbert Family of Companies provided funding for technologically superior learning environments in the new Eastman Advanced Workforce Training Complex and was a lead sponsor for the Foundation’s Veteran’s Day Sporting Clay Shoot, a fundraising event championed by Culbreth, which raised $125,000 in support of Indian River State College Military and Veterans Services and the Veterans Center of Excellence.
“Mrs. Luna and Mr. Culbreth are a dynamic sibling pair whose action and generosity — independently and collectively with the Gilbert Family of Companies — continue to move the needle for Indian River State College, our students and the region,” commented President Dr. Timothy Moore. “It is fitting that they are the first recipients of this award. They have indeed set the bar high.
The Peregrine Award demonstrates Indian River State College’s gratitude for Mrs. Luna and Mr. Culbreth’s exemplary leadership, dedicated service and philanthropy that has positively impacted countless students, faculty and staff throughout Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties.