TAMPA — Longtime Hillsborough Community College president Gwendolyn Stephenson passed away Thursday after a two-year battle with cancer, the school said.
She served as the college's sixth president from 1997 to 2010, when she retired and Ken Atwater took over.
Stephenson came to HCC after working as chancellor at St. Louis Community College.
She was the longest-serving president at HCC, which sees about 47,000 students annually.
During her tenure, she oversaw the opening of the South Shore campus and the creation of more than 170 new academic programs. She also served on boards of national, state, and local organizations and in 2007 received the Israel "Ike" Tribble Civic Leadership Award from the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs.
She is survived by her husband, Steve Stephenson; son, Jason Stephenson; daughter, Marion Smith; and grandchildren, Hunter and Walker.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, gifts in Stephenson's memory be made to the HCC Foundation in support of the Dr. Gwendolyn Stephenson Endowment.