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Kim Judson

Kim Judson

Professor of marketing | Illinois State University | Class of 1981

A future college coach, he showed her there was a world outside the campus library.

A future college professor, she showed him that time in the library did the GPA good.

“I like to think that our study dates at the Vet Med Library contributed to his Academic All-American Award,” says Kim Judson, who in 2021 will celebrate 40 years of marriage to Rob, the sweet-shooting guard who played for Lou Henson and coached alongside Lon Kruger and Bill Self at Illinois.

Kim, now a marketing professor at Illinois State, and Rob, now a special assistant to Marquette head basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski, met during new student week her freshman year.

“He literally got me out of the library — yes, I’m a professional student — and showed me how to make the most of my college experience,” she says. “Never before had I met anyone who could make me laugh so easily and think more deeply.”

She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1981, then returned to campus to get her Ph.D. in educational policy studies. It was then that she got to know the UI educator who had the most profound impact on her professionally.

“As a university professor, I’ve discovered that it is somewhat atypical to reflect on my doctoral experience with fondness,” she says, “but I always do. Much of my gratitude goes to one person: Dr. James D. Anderson, Dean of the College of Education.

“Dr. Anderson is a world-renowned scholar and compassionate, wise teacher. He was also my dissertation chair during my Ph.D. program.

“He always supported my diverse areas of academic interest and encouraged me to explore mixed methods research. His academic guidance enabled me to develop a much broader, global view — one that includes seeing the world from multiple perspectives.

“Dr. Anderson taught me, and I’ve tried to teach my children and students, that how you treat people who cannot give you anything in return says the most about you.

“Many thanks to Dr. Anderson and UIUC for making me a better person. I am forever grateful.”