Beloved Hodges professor dies

Hodges University professor Dr. Harold Russell has died, leaving the institution community mourning the loss of one of its most popular teachers. Russell taught Psychology at Hodges for ten years before retiring just a few weeks ago. He was 80.

“Harold was one of the most influential and revered professors at Hodges,” said University President Dr. Terry McMahan.   “In a long line of great teachers and mentors, he will be remembered as one of our best.

Dr. Russell devoted his life to helping other people. As a faculty member, leader, and role model for students and faculty alike, he taught us all through his spirit and passion, and will remain a shining example of Hodges University and its commitment to our students. He truly embodied the mind, heart, and spirit of our Institution. He possessed a spirit of hope and a belief that education was a gift we should pass on.  We will miss his boundless enthusiasm and unwavering focus on our students

Recently, Dr. Russell was a Professor of Psychology at Hodges University, where he loved to teach and interact with students and colleagues. Dr. Russell also served as the Chairman of the University’s Diversity Committee.

Russell received his doctorate from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, OH, eventually becoming a full professor of psychology there before relocating to Bonita Springs in 1996. In 1998, he joined Hodges University and served as a full professor of psychology in the Liberal Arts department.

Russell was a champion of diversity, and co-founded and chaired the Hodges University Diversity Advisory Committee. He collaborated on several initiatives that included the offering of guidance, recognition and outreach services related to diversity issues. It was this dedication to diversity that helped the University garner national exposure when U.S. News and World Report recognized Hodges for its diversity.

“Most people think that it is simply related to race,” said Dr. Russell. “In fact diversity is much broader and can be manifested in terms of gender, nationality, sexual orientation, aspects of physicality and more.”

One of his greatest loves was of the written and spoken word. Dr. Russell had often contributed his time and talents to countless University events, writing and reading various poems and sonnets. 

Russell is survived by his wife Maxine, their five children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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