Lloyd Watkins, who served as Illinois State president from 1977 to 1988, lost his battle against cancer on March 1. He was 83 and a resident of Bloomington.

The University’s academic standards for admission were strengthened under his leadership. Watkins also established the Presidential Scholars Program, which encouraged the enrollment of promising minority students.

International study opportunities for ISU students expanded, and funding for the renovation of Cook Hall for the School of Music was achieved under his watch. The planning, funding, and construction of Redbird Arena was another major accomplishment.

Watkins was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Caudle. He married Kay Bloomquist, who survives, as do his three sons and their spouses, three stepchildren, six grandchildren, and one step-grandchild.

His devotion to Illinois State will be remembered through the Lloyd and Mary Watkins Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support for students to study abroad. Memorials may be made to the fund by going online to IllinoisState.edu/giving or by calling (309) 438-8184.