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University to honor alumna with Judson Leadership Center
4/06/11

Beth Robinson Judson '82

Beth Robinson Judson '82

Alfred University is creating the Beth Robinson Judson Center for Leadership to honor an alumna, trustee and founding member of the Women’s Leadership Center (WLC).

Elizabeth (Beth) Robinson Judson, a 1982 graduate of Alfred University with a degree in ceramic engineering, died Oct. 26, 2010, when the small plane in which she and her husband were flying crashed shortly after take-off. Both were killed.

Judson had been a member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees for 10 years prior to her death.

Creating the Judson Leadership Center “is a fitting tribute to a person who provided so much leadership to Alfred University,” said Kathy Woughter, vice president for Student Affairs, who worked closely with Judson and the other members of the Women’s Leadership Center Advisory Board to launch the WLC, which was dedicated in June 2006.

About a year ago, Woughter had had an opportunity to talk with Judson about expanding the leadership programs offered by the University and bringing them all “under the same roof” as the Women’s Leadership Center. It was something the Student Affairs Division was interested in doing, and Judson supported the concept.

“I feel so lucky” to have had the opportunity to discuss the expansion with Judson., Woughter said. “I know it is something that she wanted.
Woughter said Judson was a believer in leadership training to give students more confidence to face professional and personal challenges ahead of them.

While Judson supported the Women’s Leadership Center to “meet the needs of women students, it was never her intention to be exclusive about it,” said Edmondson. “She was emphatic that leadership opportunities should be afforded to all students.”

Creating the Judson Leadership Center at Alfred University “fulfills Beth’s vision,” said Alfred University President Charles M. Edmondson. She wanted to develop leadership programs that were “intentional, strategic and systematic” to “help a large number of students.”

He, too, said he had discussed the expansion of the leadership development programs with Judson and she was “extremely enthusiastic” about the idea.
The components of the Judsn Leadership Center will be the Women’s Leadership Center; the Gary Horowitz Leadership Development Program, which is an offshoot of the Gary Horowitz Service Learning program administered by the Career Development Center, and the Saxon Sidekicks, a unique mentoring program developed this year by Hannah Certis, a senior who completed an internship in Woughter’s office.

The Commons, located near Openhym Residence Halls and the Ford Street Apartments, has housed the Women’s Leadership Center since its inception.

The building will be renamed the Judson Leadership Center, and all the programs will be housed there, under Julia Overton-Healy, who is currently the director of the Women’s Leadership Center. Her title will change to that of director of Leadership Programs and the Women’s Leadership Center.

“It is important that people understand that this in no way diminishes what we do through the Women’s Leadership Center,” Woughter said. “The WLC remains intact and in its current form. This reorganization allows us to expand the programs to serve all our students.”

The change will be effective with the start of the fall semester in August.