Charles Robert “Bob” Richardson, the eighth president of Sul Ross State University, passed away on Dec. 24, 2020, at age 82.
Born April 5, 1938, to Victor and Maxine Richardson in Kaufman County, Texas, Bob grew up in Texas City, Texas. Upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin, Bob spent the next 40 years working in higher education.
Bob worked as a state auditor, auditing colleges and universities. In 1961, he found himself doing a state audit of Sul Ross State University, not knowing that he would be moving his family to Alpine, Texas, in 1974. Prior to that move, he worked as the business manager at the then West Texas University and at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
In 1971, he helped start the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, Texas, being the third person hired. His work with the dean of the Medical School gave him exposure to hiring faculty and building facilities to meet the needs of that new medical school, preparing him for his future responsibilities.
In 1974, Bob came to Sul Ross as vice president for Business Affairs, and became president in 1976. He left a legacy of working with the legislature to fund total renovation of the majority of its academic buildings, the establishment of the university’s first-ever endowment, and the agreement with the Kokernot family to use Kokernot Field, allowing Sul Ross to reopen a long-closed baseball program, and Alpine ISD students to play ball at the historic park.
Bob left Sul Ross in 1984, moving back into the medical school arena as vice president for Finance and Administration at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he retired in 1998.
Bob is survived by his wife of 36 years, Sharon, and his four children and their spouses, Elizabeth Richardson, Debbie Few, Michelle Berning (Andy), and Victor Richardson (Belinda). Bob cherished his grandchildren and great granddaughter Jessica Shahan and her son Alden, Brittaney Few, A.J. and Matthew Berning, Mateo, and John Richardson. The family plans a private celebration of Bob’s life.
Bob’s favorite charities were those that worked close to home. Should you desire, the family requests donations be made in his name to charities that support the Alpine area.