BRADENTON -- State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, will honor pioneering professor Pam Stewart at a plaque dedication reception at 1 p.m. Friday at SCF Bradenton in the lobby of building 10, Art and Design.
Stewart recently retired as professor of art, design, humanities after teaching 55 years at SCF.
Stewart was present when the college was established in 1957 and conducted its first classes with 502 students in 1958 in a downtown Bradenton former high school while the new Manatee Junior College took shape on the present site of the Bradenton campus.
The SCF legend taught art appreciation as a substitute teacher when she first came to then-Manatee Junior College in 1958 after serving as a teacher and art program coordinator for Manatee County's elementary schools.
The new opportunity allowed Stewart to focus on teaching college students the subject she loves most: art history.
She thrived as a college-level instructor, according to a release by aid SCF President Carol Probstfeld, and later as a full-time faculty member, in what was then a male-dominated field.
Stewart expanded the program to include courses her male colleagues were not credentialed to teach.
"Professor Stewart's lon
gevity and her ties to the earliest days of our college will stand as a unique record," said Probstfeld. "Pam's historical connection to our college and community cannot be replicated, but she has sown seeds through teaching that will inspire generations to come."
For more than half a century, Stewart taught art to generations of SCF students. Her former students include current SCF faculty members and local designers, artists and photographers.
Former student, Drew Webster, professor and department chair of art, design, humanities, will give the welcome at the plaque dedication. He credits Stewart with inspiring his interest in a higher education career.
Stewart graduated from the University of Iowa with her bachelor's degree. She earned a certificate in commercial photography from New York City's School of Modern Photography, a master's degree from the University of South Florida and an Ed.S. from Florida Atlantic University.