Bob Hodgson, d Aug 13, 2019

From his son Ryan and Julie Catalano, Sr. Executive Assistant in the President’s Office at DVC

We are sad to report that Bob Hodgson, retired art instructor passed away on August 13, 2019.

Bob Hodgson was hired as an art instructor in September of 1965 and taught courses in ceramics, sculpture and pottery. He initiated the annual pottery sale with the proceeds designated for what was called at the time the DVC “Pot Shop” Trust Fund. A large portion of the department’s equipment and supply needs were purchased through these funds. In addition, Bob donated most of his personal work to the college for sale with proceeds to the trust fund. For years Bob created the beautiful DVC plates which were given to the retirees at the annual retirement dinner.  Per Bob’s wishes services will be private. 

A tribute from Mark Messenger.

There are countless students and colleagues whose lives have been touched by Bob Hodgson’s quiet, steady leadership. I know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of similar testimonials. In my case, I was hired and mentored by Bob beginning in 1996. Now in my 24th year at DVC and my 33rd year as an art instructor, I recognize him as the strongest influence of my career. He was also one of the most generous individuals I have known.

Bob’s first priority was always teaching, and toward this end, he was impeccable. He came early, stayed late and returned after-hours with tireless devotion. Most significantly, he painstakingly considered the success of every student: facilities and equipment were maintained with precision, lessons were carefully designed, demonstrations were executed with prodigious skill and curriculum was relevantly sequenced. All these avenues of preparedness lead to students, who were always in anticipation of kindness and magic when Bob was in the studio. As a result, he fostered a unique atmosphere, one of contagious synergy, respect and creativity, perhaps his strongest, and most challenging legacy.

On a broader scale, from the moment he was hired, Bob dedicated himself to the development of a world-class program, within a world-class department, within a world-class college. Over the years, this ongoing, magnanimous shepherding contributed significantly to the positive reputation our institution enjoys. Bob was that person who did significant things, for others than himself, when no one was watching. And he did them routinely. He was a truly far-sighted and inclusive, master professor.  

Bob also served as art department chair for many years, to date more than any individual in its history.  “It suited me,” he once said, “but it doesn’t suit everyone.” In this capacity, his management style was a sequence of quiet, succinct personal conversations, always with reverence. His results were equally brief and effective department meetings, often based on pre-agreed compromise. During one of his tenures as chair, Bob also helped design the current art building, together with invested faculty. Considered state-of-the-art in 1974, it included built-in options for cost-effective expansion as future needs arose. Though these options were never realized, Bob championed them to the district throughout the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, without rancor. I remember him saying, “You just have to keep putting things out there, even the seemingly obvious.” In this process, he set a precedent in recognizing the need for long-range goals, necessary space and quality construction as they impact our pending new art building.

Bob was a mold of individual that seems increasingly rare. He was unwaveringly true to principles, congenial without exception, and competent above reproach. Especially at this moment, when we seem to seek so desperately models of poise and vision, perhaps Bob’s legacy is a nudge. As individuals and collectives, we expand and receive the respect we embody. 

 Bob retired in 2000 as an honored emeritus professor, one of the last faculty members to receive this designation. He will be greatly missed.