Appreciating the Life and Ministry of Past President Dr. James W. Didier

Judson’s fourth President Dr. James W. Didier went to be with our Lord Thursday, February 20 after suffering from heart issues and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Didier was 87 years old and was surrounded by family in recent days. During his 45 years of service to Judson, Dr. Didier’s diligent work and vision dramatically shaped the campus and academic programs.

Dr. Didier came to Judson in 1967 as Dean of Student Affairs and later as Executive Vice President. During that time, he supervised five campus building projects, developed Judson’s student services and counseled generations of students. Dr. Didier became Judson’s fourth president in January 1992 and retired in 1998. During his six years as president, the university developed a continuing education program and launched what was then the only architecture degree program among evangelical Christian colleges. Under his leadership, Judson purchased the Elgin Inn in 1995 and began renovations on what is now Lindner Tower, a seven-story building that houses meeting spaces, classrooms, office space and three floors of dormitory living space. 

Please keep Dr. Didier’s family in your prayers during this time. He is survived by his wife, Joan Didier, and two adult sons, Grant and Fred. Their oldest son, Marc, passed away in 1975 following an accident when he was a student at Judson University. The Didiers also have five grandchildren.

A visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 28 at Laird Funeral Home in Elgin. Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. on Feb. 29 in the Herrick Chapel at Judson.  Cards and notes for the family may be sent to the President’s Office.

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