Apple of the Chancellor's Eye

Karon Parrish

Judy Lassiter

Photo by Karon Parrish
Judy Lassiter
   Judy Lassiter became the first lady of the UAM campus when her husband, Dr. Jack Lassiter, became the chancellor on July 1.

   Lassiter said she enjoys taking morning walks around campus greeting students, staff or faculty. She said she enjoys this time of the day and hopes to instill a sense of friendliness and family closeness on the campus. She said she especially feels there is a great need to make the students feel like family.

   “The students are the reason for the university and this is their campus,” Lassiter said.

   The couple first came to UAM in 1977. Dr. Lassiter worked on campus through a grant program and Mrs. Lassiter worked as the resident director for Horsfall Hall. When the grant program was not renewed, the couple moved to Texas for several years. After Dr. Lassiter accepted the position of vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, the family returned to Monticello in 1981. Mrs. Lassiter worked for the Monticello School District at the high school as the guidance counselor, and later became the director of Financial Aid at UAM before Dr. Lassiter’s promotion to the Batesville campus.

   "Judy is not only my No. 1 supporter, but my best friend,” Dr. Lassiter said. “She is the apple of my eye and we are a team in everything we do.”

   The family has not completely moved in since the chancellor’s home is being renovated. Most of the wiring and many of the fixtures date back to the 1950s, requiring work to be brought up to code. Mrs. Lassiter is graciously living out of a few boxes and waiting to move their things in to make it feel like home. She said she is impressed with the work that the UAM building and maintenance staff has done so far with helping her coordinate the renovation.

   Lassiter said she anticipates becoming involved with student organizations and in any area where she could provide assistance and guidance. As a college freshman far away from home, she became ill and longed to have her mother with her. She said she feels compassionate toward students who need a smile, a bit of encouragement or even a bowl of chicken noodle soup to feel better.

   Lassiter said she would like to see a closer knit community between the university and the surrounding communities. The city of Monticello and surrounding towns have been "so gracious and welcoming" that she said she believes only good things can come from their alliance.

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