Judson University Announces New President
(Elgin, IL – February 8, 2013) Judson University’s Board of Trustees announces that Dr. Gene C. Crume, Jr. has been approved as the institution’s sixth university president. Dr. Crume’s tenure will begin April 7 as President-elect, followed by a brief transition time before he assumes the role of President on May 10.
Before coming to Judson, Dr. Crume served as an independent consultant working with institutions such as Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and the Peru State College Foundation (Nebraska) on issues related to external relations and strategic planning. Dr. Crume spent a significant portion of his career at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University (WKU), where he served as the Executive Director of the WKU Alumni Association and taught as an adjunct instructor. His career also includes serving as Executive Vice President and Assistant Professor at Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) and President of the Indiana State University Foundation.
“We are excited by the diverse leadership experiences, exceptional organizational gifts and vital Christian commitment that Dr. Crume will bring to the Judson community,” says Mrs. Carol Thompson, Board Chair and a 1977 Judson graduate.
Thompson has led Judson’s Presidential Search Committee for the last 18 months since Judson’s President Emeritus Dr. Jerry B. Cain first announced plans to retire. Following Dr. Cain’s retirement in June 2012, the University has been led by Interim President Dr. William Crothers. Dr. Crothers will continue to serve as President for the remainder of the 2012-2013 academic year and will remain in a consultation role through June 30.Judson has implemented several positive initiatives over the past 18 months. The university has initiated a new marketing campaign for traditional enrollment, launched a new Interior Design major, created the Center for Worship in the Performing Arts, renovated portions of the University Center with more student study and administrative office space, and corrected erosion concerns along the banks of Tyler Creek, which flows through the Elgin campus. Additional academic program enhancements are in the planning stages.
“Judson is in a very healthy place today and is well positioned for future growth,” says Dr. Crume. “The university’s success and future is founded on a community of committed alumni, faculty, students, staff and friends, and it has been for 50 years. I am looking forward to joining this vibrant community as we work to shape the lives of our students so that they, in turn, can shape the world around them.”
“We are so fortunate to have Dr. Crume accept the role as President. I am certain that his unique skills and experiences are exactly what Judson needs to continue to build a strong future,” comments Dr. William Crothers, current president of the University.
While at Midland Lutheran College, Dr. Crume served on the President’s Cabinet and was operationally responsible for admissions, athletics, constituent relations, development, financial aid and marketing. He served as chief development officer and led efforts that resulted in a 13 percent increase in annual gift revenue during his tenure. He oversaw student recruitment and admissions and successfully created strategies for targeted communications, opening new markets, embracing new technologies and creating a recruiting approach that involved the entire campus community. A few of his accomplishments while in this role include the establishment of an educational partnership with Mwika Lutheran Bible College in Tanzania, Africa; service as co-advisor of the Anderson Leader Scholars, the highest scholarship award; and leadership of the college-wide Strategic Planning Committee.
“Dr. Crume’s expertise in multiple facets of higher education will ensure that our students continue to enjoy the very best educational opportunities as well as the close-knit, Christian community that is so unique to Judson,” comments Thompson.
Dr. Crume grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and his Master’s degree in Communications from Western Kentucky University. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Education with a minor concentration in Organizational Leadership from the University of Virginia. Throughout his career he has been committed to passing on his experience and knowledge by serving as assistant professor or adjunct instructor for classes in business, public relations and communications at several institutions, including Western Kentucky University, Indiana State University, Midland Lutheran College, Mars Hill College and the University of Virginia. He has also served as a keynote speaker at college commencements, leadership seminars and association meetings. Dr. Crume has authored articles for national magazines, newspapers and academic journals.
Dr. Crume is married to Cindy Smith Crume of Bowling Green, Kentucky, also a Western Kentucky University graduate with a degree in Public Relations, and they reside in Terre Haute, Indiana. Gene and Cindy’s daughter, Alexandra, will graduate high school this spring as a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Their son, Gene III, is a seventh grader. The family has been active in World Gospel Church, a nondenominational, missionary church in Terre Haute.