Former President of CSU Dies
Dr. Francis John Brooke III, the second president of Columbus College, died on July 20 in Richmond, Va. He was 84.
Brooke was president at Columbus College from 1980-1987. He came to the college at one of the most challenging periods of its history as he was faced with declining enrollment and shrinking state budgets. He transformed Columbus College with a major reorganization of the administrative structure. Formerly based on junior college-style divisions, Brooke changed the structure into schools, a move that became the basis for the establishment of CSU's academic colleges in 1998.
Brooke also introduced new standards for faculty research and outreach, outreach that included the hiring of more African-American faculty and staff. Additionally, he was responsible for populating the campus with the oak trees you see today, and he organized the college's first capital campaign in 1983-1984 that raised more than $6 million.
Those successes withstanding, Brooke stepped down following a no-confidence vote by faculty.
A native of Charleston, W.Va., and the son and grandson of noted Presbyterian ministers, Brooke, after leaving Columbus College, took a position in Seattle with the Presbyterian Foundation, furthering the mission of the church across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.
He is survived by his wife Helen, sons Francis John, Haynes Morgan and David Tucker and eight grandchildren.