JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Jacksonville University president Robert H. "Bob" Spiro Jr. died Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., at the age of 92.
Spiro is JU's longest-serving president, presiding over the university from 1964 to 1979. He was also an Undersecretary of the Army, according to a release from JU.
"Jacksonville University has lost one of its most instrumental and patriotic leaders; under Dr. Spiro's 15 years of leadership, JU experienced growth in stature, facilities and enhancements in all areas of campus life," said current JU President Tim Cost.
During his time at JU, Spiro was instrumental in bringing a Naval ROTC program to the school in 1971 at a time when there was an anti-war sentiment due to the Vietnam War.
"He was extremely proud of the unit and proud of the fact that he had an instrumental part in starting the (ROTC) unit," said Capt. Herbert M. Hadley, current commander of JU's Naval ROTC program. "He talked a lot about how when other universities did not want a unit, Jacksonville University embraced the unit."
Spiro held degrees from Wheaton College, University of North Carolina, University of Edinburgh and Duke University. He enlisted in the Navy in 1941 and retired as a Rear Admiral in 1979.
He is survived by his wife, two sons, sister, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions in Spiro's honor may be made to the American Security Council Foundation, 1250 24th St. N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20037; or The Admiral Robert H. Spiro NROTC Award Endowment, Jacksonville University, 2800 University Blvd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32211.
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