Methodist University mourns the passing of its second president, Dr. Richard W. Pearce, who died peacefully in his home in DeLand, Fla. on Thursday, Sept. 15. The MU Flag has been lowered to fly at half-staff in his honor through Monday.
The Methodist College Board of Trustees elected Pearce president of Methodist College April 3, 1973, to succeed Dr. L. Stacy Weaver. A graduate of Hendersonville High School in Hendersonville, N.C., Dr. Pearce was the vice president and dean at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., before coming to Methodist. A U.S. Navy veteran, he also held J.D., M.A., and B.A. degrees from Stetson University, where he had taught business and chaired the Business Department. Prior to joining Stetson, Pearce was in private law practice for 10 years in Pierson, Fla. Dr. Pearce announced his retirement to the Methodist College Board of Trustees on April 14, 1983.
Dr. Pearce guided Methodist through a tough time with financial skill and by standing by tough and unpopular decisions. During his tenure the operating deficit was cleared and the college experienced an operating surplus. His acute business knowledge and experiences enabled the college to survive during this very difficult time. Pearce Hall is named in his honor.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, September 19 in DeLand. He is survived by his daughter, Karen Pearce, and his son, Richard Pearce.