Judson University President Announces Retirement
(Elgin, IL – August 17, 2011) Judson University President Jerry B. Cain has announced that he will retire on June 30, 2012. Dr. Cain, who has served as Judson’s president since 1998, made his formal announcement to the Judson Board of Trustees on August 3 and to the larger Judson community at the annual university employee recognition luncheon today.
“I am less than four months from my 66th birthday, and after talking in-depth with Linda, feel it is time to relinquish my leadership role at Judson University,” stated Dr. Cain. “It has been a great honor to lead this godly institution, and I hope to make the 2011-2012 school year one of the best in Judson’s history.”
Cain commented that he is deeply grateful for the opportunity to fulfill his calling to Christian higher education at Judson and will follow the lead of his four predecessors by remaining a strong advocate for the University.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Mrs. Carol Thompson, Board Chair and a 1977 Judson graduate, noted, “We are so thankful for all Dr. Cain has done to advance the mission and purpose of Judson University. He has been a passionate ambassador locally, nationally and internationally for Judson, and his love for this institution has been evident in his tireless efforts to expand its impact.”
During Dr. Cain’s leadership, Judson has moved from a college to a university, launched four master’s programs, received successful accreditation reviews and experienced growth in enrollment.
Dr. Cain effectively led several major capital projects, including the construction of the Harm A. Weber Academic Center; the completion of the Lindner Center, Creekside South for the School of education, and the Rockford Campus; renovation of the Science and Mathematics Center, the Browne University Center, and the Alice and Edward Thompson Fine Arts Center; and upgrades to the softball and baseball fields.
“Dr. Cain successfully led Judson through one of the most challenging economic times in our nation’s history, “stated Pastor Nat Edmond, trustee and chair of the Judson Board’s External Relations Committee. “The expansion of the campus and consistent enrollment is a testimony to his skills, talent and commitment to Judson. We praise God for his dedicated leadership, and I pray God’s blessings upon him and Linda as they move into the next phase of what God has for them.”
Linda Powell Cain, Dr. Cain’s wife of 43 years, has faithfully served the university in many creative ways, including oversight of special projects for campus beautification, student scholarship fundraising, plus hospitality and etiquette classes for students. Over several years, Linda faithfully saved $10,000 from the Cain family grocery budget to endow a scholarship for young people who are first-generation college students like herself. Her pecan pies and golf cart for First Lady Landscaping are now Judson traditions.
“Both Dr. and Mrs. Cain have devoted their lives during these past 13 years to the successful development of our beloved university,” stated Thompson. “The Board of Trustees desires to fully honor this wonderful couple throughout their final year with us and to celebrate their years of outstanding service.”
Cain is the fifth president at Judson. Born in California, Cain spent his early childhood in Texas before moving to New Mexico where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in religion and psychology from Eastern New Mexico University. Upon earning his Master’s degree in religion and historical ethics from Baylor University in Texas, Dr. Cain pursued additional graduate studies at Midwestern Seminary and St. Paul’s School of Theology in Kansas City and Regent’s Park College in Oxford, England. He received three honorary degrees –Doctor of Sacred Theology from William Jewell College in Missouri, Doctor of Divinity from Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas, and a Doctor of Humanities from Nigeria Bible College and Seminary.
After a four-year inner-city and youth ministry in Albuquerque, Cain began a career in higher education, serving at Wayland Baptist University in Texas; New Mexico Highlands University; and William Jewell College, before coming to Judson as president.
His heart for ministry, missions, and service has been demonstrated through his volunteer work with First Baptist Church of Elgin and on the boards of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Educational Assistance Limited, and American Baptist Churches USA.
Trustee Bruce Strom, Executive Director for Administer Justice in Elgin, has observed this first hand. Bruce commented, “Dr. Cain’s been a well-known fixture in the Elgin landscape. He created a legacy of service with the Elgin community that has benefitted both Elgin and Judson. I know many service organizations, schools and businesses welcome Judson students because they reflect the heart of their President, who reflects the heart of Christ, in service and excellence.”
Founded in 1963, Judson University is an evangelical Christian university representing the Church at work in higher education. Through a broadly based education in the liberal arts, sciences, and professions, Judson equips students from 39 states and 20 countries. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, graduate, adult undergraduate and online programs to more than 1,180 students.