GODFREY - Lewis and Clark Community College said goodbye to a legend in so many respects - Bob Watson - this past week. For 44 years, Watson served as a Lewis and Clark Community Board of Trustees member.
Without a doubt, Watson’s impact on L&C will be felt for years and years to come. Watson was part of the transformation of the school into its reputation that extends all across the country. The school has been recognized numerous times for its success.
Watson said being a Lewis and Clark Community College Board of Trustees member and an attorney were both things he always loved.
“I think it made me stay young,” the 83-year-old said of his multiple roles. “I think the board’s ability to select good people and have an outstanding faculty with wonderful support workers have been the reason for the success of the school. I can’t say enough for Lewis and Clark Community College. It will always be a part of me. I hope to stay involved with Lewis and Clark Community College in some way.”
Watson is excited about the future of the college with Ken Traska at the helm. He said he has been impressed with the new president’s commitment to excellence since he arrived.
“Ken Traska was a good choice for president,” he said. “With proper leadership and guidance, Lewis and Clark will stay right on top like it is right now.”
Watson plans to continue practicing law and has a title insurance company in Alton and Godfrey. His daughter, Jennifer, works alongside him in the business interests. Watson’s dad was a farmer, so he always had a sincere interest in agriculture, something else fitting for his L&C Board of Trustees role for such a rural area.
Watson has always been a shining example for others as he was blinded in elementary school when he kicked the contents of a can of lye in his eyes.
The Robert L. Watson Math Building on the college’s Godfrey Campus was dedicated in his name in September 2007. Watson was also a part of the phenomenal growth in facilities at the college and there during the Trimpe Building dedication, the Ringhausen Building, the math and science building, the nursing expansion and more than $1.5 million in capital developments at the school.
Dwight Werts, a fellow board member for many years, said he learned an enormous amount about the college and the inner workings of the board from Watson. He agreed that Watson's impact will be forever standing at L&C.