St. Louis mourns the passing of Gwendolyn Stephenson, a nationally-known administrator whose leadership and aptitude to solve problems vastly improved two different college systems. Dr. Stephenson was an educator who best work was performed, not in classrooms, but in boardrooms encouraging excellence in her faculties and partnerships from the business communities that would employ her students. The major landmarks of her life are familiar ones: she grew up in the Ville; checked out most of the books in the Cabanne branch library; graduated from Soldan, then Harris Teachers College; and won a PhD at Saint Louis University. She married in St. Louis and raised her children here.
Her work as chancellor of St. Louis Community College won her a national reputation. Her subsequent work at Hillsborough Community College cemented it.
Dr. Stephenson died last week at the age of 69. She is survived by a husband, two children, three siblings, and three grandchildren. She is remembered by many thousands more she helped during a 40 year career of public service.