Former Illinois State University President Lloyd Watkins has passed away. Watkins was president for eleven years in the late 70s and 80s. Current President Al Bowman says Watkins was President during a time of change as ISU adjusted from being just a teachers college to a general university.
Watkins retired after a no confidence vote by faculty that Bowman says was probably brought on by those growing pains in the institution. Enrollment grew by three thousand students during Watkins tenure. He oversaw the construction of Redbird Arena and led the first large funding campaign, $800,000 for arena seats. Bowman says Watkins also is remembered for shutting down a rowdy campus music festival in that era known as the "Rites of Spring," something Bowman says needed to be done. Watkins remained active on campus and in the community during his retirement. 5:49
Watkins was 83.
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