MARION, Ala. (BP) — W. Mark Tew has been elected as the 23rd president of Judson College, a four-year women’s college founded in 1838 and affiliated with the Alabama Baptist Convention.
Tew has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, since 2007. Tew began his career in higher education in 1987 at Judson as a religion professor. In the 20 years that followed, he served as the college’s chief finance officer, chief development officer and chief academic officer.
He succeeds David E. Potts, who led the 375-student college in Marion, Ala., from 1990 until he transitioned to chancellor in March 2018 and died later that month from illness at age 67.
Tew, in his service at Judson, supervised $8 million in campus renovation, restoration and construction initiatives in the 1990s and 2000s, including the renovation of its main building, Jewett Hall; the development of the Charles F. Dunkin Athletic Complex; construction of Marian Acree Tucker Hall; and restoration of Judson’s Carnegie Library, now known as A. Howard Bean Hall, which houses the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame.
Tew also led the campus-wide team that developed the strategic plan for the years leading up to Judson’s 175th anniversary. Just before his departure from the college in 2007, he led the faculty in developing the bachelor of social work program, now one of the college’s fastest-growing majors.
Judson offers 20 majors in liberal arts and the sciences, 10 pre-professional degree programs and an associate degree in nursing.
“Ann [his wife] and I are deeply honored to be asked to return to Alabama and render service to Judson College, Alabama Baptists and the Kingdom of God,” Tew said after his election by Judson’s trustees. “Education that is taught from a biblically informed Christian worldview is more necessary in today’s society than ever before. To that end, we will cherish the prayers of all who believe Judson’s future is even brighter than her glorious past.”
Daphne Rudicell Robinson, a Judson alumna, search committee member and vice chair of the board of trustees, said Tew “clearly emerged as the right person at the right time,” citing his experience in higher education and love of Judson’s Perry County community as “invaluable” characteristics of the incoming president.
At Howard Payne under Tew, the Baptist university added pre-licensure BSN and post-licensure RN to BSN programs, a bachelor of science in engineering science and five master’s degree programs, including the master of education in leadership, master of business administration and master of arts in theology and ministry.
Tew also supervised a number of physical plant improvements, including the $3.5 million restoration of the circa-1920s Mims Auditorium and the $1.5 million renovation and expansion of the Jane and Paul Myers Faith and Life Leadership Center.
In higher education, Tew has served as the chair of 20 onsite reaffirmation committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the regional body that accredits hundreds of colleges and universities in the southeastern United States.
In addition to his work at Baptist colleges, Tew has served as pastor, associate pastor or interim pastor at nine churches in Alabama, Texas and Louisiana. He is the author of “Luke: Gospel of the Nameless and Faceless,” published by Wipf and Stock.
Tew and his wife of 36 years have three daughters who are Judson graduates, Elyse Weeks, Clara Owenby and Nicole Bean, and seven grandchildren.
Ann Tew currently directs the health science technology program at Brownwood High School. She holds a master of arts degree in higher education administration from the University of Alabama and is a registered nurse and registered pharmacy technician.
A welcome reception for the Tews will be held in the Gladys Hale Dunkin Parlors of Jewett Hall on Friday, April 5, from 3-5 p.m.
The search committee, in addition to Robinson, included three current Judson employees and four trustees. Four members of the committee were Judson alumnae and one was an Alabama Baptist pastor. Tew was unanimously recommended by the committee prior to the full trustee vote March 8.