be_ixf;ym_202405 d_30; ct_50

Evangel University professor featured in People Magazine

Published on May 6, 2024 by Erin Hedlun

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Dr. Luke Gibbs, associate professor of English at Evangel University, is featured in the May 13, 2024 print edition of People Magazine and in an accompanying article on the publication’s website. The piece covers his annual recreation of a photo taken of his twin girls, Rosalind and Cordelia.

This spring, following the eighth photo capture, Gibbs posted the series of yearly photos on Twitter.   His post went viral, receiving a combined 30 million views and reshares on several popular content accounts, including Upworthy.

“We started this “backwards photo” tradition on one April day in 2016,” Gibbs said. “The next year, the photo popped up on Facebook memories and my wife, Melanie, and I decided to recreate it. We have kept up the tradition every year since.”

The twins were born on June 25, 2015, at just 25 weeks, with Cordelia weighing in at one pound, five ounces, and Rosalind at one pound, ten ounces. Categorized as “micro-preemies,” they were shorter than Barbie dolls in length and Gibbs’ wedding band engulfed their tiny arms. They spent 105 days in the NICU.

The twins in the NICU wearing Gibbs’ wedding band. Top left – Cordelia at three days. Top right – Cordelia at two months. Bottom left – Rosalind at three days. Bottom right – Rosalind at two months.

“The twins are literally miracle babies,” Gibbs said. “Holding them after they were first born was extremely restricted for the sake of their health. When we got home, I loved to hold them as much as they’d let me.”

During the twins’ first few weeks of life, the Evangel community rallied around the Gibbs.

“Melanie and I vividly remember the Evangel University family praying around the clock for the twins,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs grew up as an Assemblies of God missionary kid in Brazil, Portugal, and Belgium.  He is a faculty member in Evangel’s Humanities Department and teaches several literature courses. In addition to the twins, he and Melanie have one older daughter, Elizabeth.



About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • #1 Best College in Springfield & #2 Best Christian College in Missouri by Niche
  • US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by

With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at