ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- He was a Dean, a doctor -- but to everyone who knew him, he was simply Charlie.

Dean Charlie Slavin, Dean of the Honors College at the University of Maine, died unexpectedly at his home Sunday. He was 58 years old.

Colleagues and students remembered him as someone who put as much effort into buidling the honors program as he did building personal relationships on campus.

Slavin is credited for growing the honors program from 200 students to nearly 800 students, and finding a permanent home for the college in Colvin Hall.

Colleagues said he changed the curriculum -- and the spirit -- of the Honors College.

"Charlie was my friend, my mentor, and my boss, and that's a unique combination," said House Minority Leader Emily Cain, who is also an Honors College Coordinator.

Cain remembered writing Slavin a late-night email when she was 17 years old, deciding where to attend college.

She said Slavin responded five minutes later, and made her decision an easy one.

"I know that for the rest of my life, I will do things in certain ways, and challenge myself in certain ways because that's what Charlie taught me to do."

Students who just graduated from the Honors Program are having a hard time imagining the program without him.

"I don't think I understood what passion and dedication was until I met Charlie," said Samantha Paradis, who graduated in the spring.

Paradis said Slavin was known on campus for wearing Crocs shoes and pink shirts.

He would also wear a UMaine baseball cap, and accidentally leave it across campus.

And he also left behind an impression -- and a lasting legacy at the Orono campus.

Slavin is survived by his wife and threechildren.

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