In Memoriam: Judy Miles Merritt, 1943-2014

merrittJudy Merritt, the first woman to serve as a community college president in the state of Alabama, died at her home in Chelsea, Alabama, on October 19. She was 71 years old.

Dr. Merritt enrolled at the University of Alabama at the age of 16. She would go on to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree at the university.

Dr. Merritt began her academic career at Jefferson State Community College in 1965 as an admissions counselor. She left the college and worked for four years as vice president for student affairs at Florida International University in Miami. But in 1979, Alabama Governor Fob James offered her the job of president of what had become Jefferson State Community College. She remained as president for 35 years until her retirement on June 30, 2014.

During her tenure as president. Jefferson State grew from a small, one campus operation to a large community college with 15,000 students enrolled at campuses in four Alabama counties. Dr. Merritt was also the first woman to chair the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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