The Florida State University community remembers Barbara Judd (1930-2022) on the first anniversary of her passing and celebrates her legacy of support to the School of Theatre.
After a professional career as a journalist and editor in Washington D.C., Barbara and her predeceased husband, Captain Theodore “Ted” Judd (1938-2014), a retired pilot, moved to Tallahassee in 1990, choosing a town with “good sports, good theatre, interesting politics and four seasons—none of which was winter.” They quickly became committed to volunteerism and philanthropy at Florida State and the Tallahassee community.
“For the first time ever, they were joint co-presidents of the FSU School of Theatre Patrons Association, and they did a marvelous job,” said Emeritus Board Member Howard Eisenman and friend of the Judds.
Under their leadership, the Patrons Association was instrumental in transforming the School of Theatre’s Senior Showcase for music theatre and acting students into a major fundraiser. They also organized a trip to Sarasota and nearby destinations for patron members.
Howard fondly recalls a few laughs on that bus trip to Sarasota as Ted recounted his adventure starring as a sea monster in a student-produced film with the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts. Ted acted in 30 films produced by students, as well as shows produced by Tallahassee Theatre.
“Barbara and Ted were an incredible force for good, and their smiles and passion when talking about the School of Theatre were undeniable,” said Dr. Brad Brock, director of the School of Theatre. “As volunteer leaders, they didn’t just provide ideas. They gave their time, energy and resources to make sure that those ideas became a reality for the students and the school.”
The Judds made many gifts supporting film, music, theatre and baseball at Florida State. However, they realized the impact of their giving by underwriting an annual scholarship and ultimately endowing the Theodore and Barbara Judd Scholarship in Theatre.
“This scholarship brings me closer to my goal of becoming a well-rounded artist and aids me to feel confident that others believe in my work as well,” said Alexis McCain (’22), recent grad and scholarship recipient.
Barbara and Ted’s legacy can be seen throughout the school and in the 45 students and alumni thus far who were fortunate to receive their scholarship, said Brock.
Their generosity has also touched Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee Museum, Theatre Tallahassee, Tallahassee Police Department and Florida Wildlife Magazine, where Barbara was volunteer associate editor. The two also founded the Democratic Club of North Florida and were members of the Leon County Democratic Executive Committee.
Barbara was recognized for outstanding service and dedication by the many organizations she served, including the Silver Star Award from the Tallahassee Senior Center Foundation.
“She was a wonderful person with a remarkable past,” said Almena Pettit, friend and emeritus board member of the Patrons Association. “She had a physical disability that she did not allow to keep her from traveling the world and becoming an outstanding contributing member of her community.”
Barbara passed away on February 26, 2022. She was a proud native of New Haven, Connecticut. She earned degrees from Boston University and American University. She loved to travel, visiting more than 105 countries with Ted.
They both touched the lives of so many people through their generosity and spirit.