Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence | Judson University Christian College
50 Years of Excellence Inspired by
Two Hundred Years of Legacy

Judson University Celebrates its

Golden Centennial Anniversary



This year Judson University is celebrating its Golden Centennial Anniversary, commemorating fifty years since the college's relocation to Elgin in 1963. Judson is also recognizing its roots with the Northern Theological Seminary which was founded in 1913 as well as the school's affiliation with Adoniram Judson, the first American missionary abroad who traveled to Burma in 1813.


Winter Commencement - December 2013

Spring Commencement - May 2014 (marking 50 years since Judson's first Commencement in Elgin)

Golden Centennial Interviews



Although Judson has been providing excellence in education for over fifty years, the school’s roots are almost a century old, an outgrowth of Northern Theological Seminary, which was founded in 1913.

From its inception, Northern offered both graduate and undergraduate education to men and women training for the ministry.

In the early 1960s, when the seminary portion of Northern moved from Chicago to Lombard, it was decided to make the college an independent entity. Under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin P. Browne, college and seminary president, a "new" school was founded along the shores of the Fox River in 1963.

The college was named after Adoniram Judson, the first American missionary abroad, arriving in Burma in 1813 and eventually spending 37 years overseas, returning home just once in all that time.

Judson University has become home to people from all around the world, including students from Kenya, India, Serbia and Japan.

From a 19-acre private estate, Judson has expanded to 90 acres of woods and lawns. Nearly two dozen buildings dot the grounds, including four residence halls, a campus apartment building, a fine arts center, a fitness center, student center and a 700-seat chapel.

Judson’s first president, Dr. Browne, retired in 1967. Dr. Amos B. Barton served as president through 1969 and Dr. Harm A. Weber from 1969-1992. Dr. James W. Didier was next in line, serving from 1992-1998 after which Dr. Jerry B. Cain became Judson’s fifth president serving into 2012. Judson welcomed Dr. William C. Crothers as Interim President in 2012 followed by Dr. Gene C. Crume Jr. who became Judson's sixth president in 2013.

History has shown that each one of the presidents believed that where people come from isn’t nearly as important as where they are going. With such a mindset, leadership is action, not position. In the Judson administration building, it is commitment, not authority, that has always produced results.

Anniversary Book
Anniversary Book Med side column


Read all about Judson’s history and the people and events that have made Judson a wonderful community in a coffee-table edition of Judson’s Golden Centennial Anniversary Book. This history of Judson was written by Robert Bittner ‘82 with many stories contributed by alumni and key leaders.

Books are on sale now for $35 plus $7 for shipping and handling.


Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World