Robert Judson, who spent a decade as a community college president, died Monday afternoon. He was 77.
In 1994 Judson took the helm at Pasco-Hernando State College, then called Pasco-Hernando Community College. He became the collegeís second president and, in doing so, also became the first black community college president in Florida.
"Bob Judson was a remarkable leader," PHSC president Timothy Beard said in a prepared statement. "He worked his way up the ladder, knew every inch of the college, understood our students, and helped realize the Collegeís potential. He was admired and respected for his vision and his authenticity."
Judsonís history with the school started decades earlier. He was one of the first hires made by founding president Milton Jones in 1972. Judson was an instructor, counselor and recruiter. After earning a doctorate in education administration, he became the dean of the schoolís east campus in 1977.
As president, Judson oversaw myriad projects and expansions. He established the popular radiography and drafting and design programs, constructed a childcare center and opened a building for careers in public safety. He also forged a partnership with the University of South Florida through which students could earn four-year degrees.
By the time Judson retired as president in 2005, he was the last original employee of the college to leave. During his tenure, he was known to keep regular lunches with faculty to gain their input. And he called trustees individually before board meetings to walk them through the agenda.
After his retirement, Judson assumed the role of president emeritus.
In an interview for the collegeís 30th anniversary, Judson said:
"I want to be known as a president who intelligently expands the College for the good of all concerned. I hope Iím remembered as a president who was sensitive to the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. Most of all, I hope Iíve distinguished myself as a president who helped make PHSC a great college and a wonderful place to learn and work."