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A Lasting Legacy

Southern University System & Southern University

Dr. Ray L. BeltonDr. Ray L. BeltonDr. Ray L. Belton

Dr. Ray L. Belton’s retirement as Southern University (Baton Rouge, La.) System president and Southern University and A&M College chancellor is effective fall 2022. In 2015, he became the first individual to hold both the president and chancellor positions. Under his leadership there have been several new programs and strategic initiatives implemented systemwide to increase efficiency, boost enrollment, strengthen teaching and learning, enhance technology, improve student success, expand fundraising, and increase alumni engagement.

Eastern New Mexico University

Dr. Patrice Caldwell

With her retirement effective July 1, Dr. Patrice Caldwell concludes 42 years at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), where she led the launch of programs like ENMU's Freshman Seminar. “Above everything, a president must keep students first — their needs, their education and their success as the institution’s central, animating passion,” says Caldwell, who has been president of ENMU and chancellor of the ENMU System since 2020.

Spelman College

Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell

The 10th president of Spelman College, a women’s college in Georgia that boasts the highest four-year graduation rate of any HBCU and a six-year graduation rate higher than the national average, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell will retire June 30 after leading the college through the global pandemic and overseeing transformative change. Since Campbell became president in 2015, the college has seen major investments in academic programs, technology infrastructure, and the renewal of critical facilities on campus. The National Science Foundation notes that Spelman is the leading producer of Black women scientists. During her presidency, the college surpassed its capital campaign goal to raise $250 million in four years; the endowment is now almost $500 million.

University of Richmond

Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher

The first Black president of the University of Richmond in Virginia, Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher served as president from 2015 to 2021. He stepped down in August 2021 and served as a consultant this academic year. He plans to return as faculty in fall 2023. During his presidency, Crutcher increased professional development resources for faculty, including programs on academic leadership. The university’s national reputation grew with its 2022 U.S. News & World Report ranking of 22nd among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.

Penn College of Technology

Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour

Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour has spent her entire 45-year career in higher education at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport. She will retire in June 2022 after 24 years as president. “Our graduates leave us with a degree and a head start on their futures, and they may never know how much they impacted our lives in the process,” Gilmour says. When she announced her retirement last year, she announced plans for a legacy fundraising campaign to invest in students.

Indiana University East 

Dr. Kathryn Girten

In July 2013, Dr. Kathryn Girten joined Indiana University as the first woman to serve as chancellor of the Indiana University East campus in Richmond. She retires June 30. Under Girten’s leadership, the IU East campus has had record enrollment, improvement in student retention and four-year and six-year graduation rates, record numbers of graduates, and increased student diversity.

University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Amy Gutmann

Dr. Amy Gutmann served as the president of the University of Pennsylvania from 2004 until Feb. 8, when she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. At that time, she was the longest-serving president in University of Pennsylvania history. A first-generation college student, Gutmann more than doubled the number of low-income and first-generation students at Penn. Global engagement was also a significant part of her presidency, including the creation of Perry World House on campus.

Hampton University

Dr. William R. Harvey

In 1978, Dr. William R. Harvey turned down offers of leadership positions at other institutions to accept the presidency of Hampton University, a private HBCU in Virginia that struggled at the time. He saw the opportunity to make a difference and put the university on a solid path to the future. When he retires June 30, he leaves a university with strong academics and bold graduates making an impact in the world. Among his accomplishments are 29 new buildings; 92 new academic degrees, including 12 doctoral programs; four satellites currently in space; a state-of-the-art weather antenna that can detect storms up to 2,000 miles away; the largest free-standing proton beam cancer center in the world; and an endowment over $300 million. “The formula for any success that I have had is based on five priorities: character traits of honesty, integrity, respect, trustworthiness and good personal behavior; high standards and values; a good work ethic; service to others; and appreciating and utilizing the team approach,” says Harvey.

Talladega College

Dr. Billy C. Hawkins 

Last year, Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically Black college, announced that Dr. Billy C. Hawkins would retire as president effective June 30. When Hawkins became president of Talladega in 2008, the college had less than 300 students. He is credited with stabilizing the college’s finances, increasing fundraising, restarting athletic programs, reopening historic Swayne Hall, beautifying the campus, and expanding academic offerings. Enrollment was at an historic high of 1,300 students in 2022.

Bemidji State University

Dr. Faith C. Hensrud 

On June 30, Dr. Faith C. Hensrud leaves Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College in Minnesota after five years in the presidency. “As higher education leaders, presidents have the ability to positively impact our students and our communities through the programs we develop and the strategies we undertake,” says Hensrud. “We must undertake this essential work with great resolve as we seek to attract, retain and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, and ensure our students are reflected in the diversity of the staff and faculty who serve them.”


Livingstone College

Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. 

Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., retires July 1 from Livingstone College, a private, historically Black college in Salisbury, N.C., after 16 years of service. The self-proclaimed “students’ president,” often found on campus greeting students, leaves his signature Summer Bridge program that is designed to prepare college-bound students with less than a 2.0 GPA to make a successful transition from high school to college through an intensive, six-week academic reinforcement program.

Cuyahoga Community College 

Dr. Alex Johnson

“Tri-C holds boundless potential and has smart, talented and passionate people to continue moving it forward,” says Dr. Alex Johnson, who served nine years as president of Cuyahoga Community College, which has sites throughout Northeast Ohio. During his time as president, the college experienced increased graduation rates and enrollment, the result of investments in workforce training, capital improvements, and programs serving individuals in low-income and distressed areas.

West Virginia University Institute of Technology 

Carolyn Long

In April, West Virginia University Institute of Technology President Carolyn Long announced her plan to retire in December. The former Title I teacher and principal assumed the role in January 2011. She was tapped to serve as interim chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission in 2018-19, before returning to the presidency. She was instrumental in the university’s move to its new Beckley campus. Under her leadership, the enrollment of WVU Tech has grown and new academic programs have been added.

San Diego Mesa College

Dr. Pamela T. Luster

Dr. Pamela T. Luster retires June 30 from San Diego Mesa College, a public community college in California, where she has served as president since 2011. During her presidency, the college successfully launched equity programs, a bachelor’s degree program, and multiple other academic programs as well as won several athletics titles. The college’s educational and facilities master plan, Mesa2030, has also been developed.

Amherst College

Dr. Biddy Martin 

The first woman to serve as president of Amherst College, Dr. Biddy Martin has been in the position since June 2011, the college’s longest serving president in the last 50 years. During Martin’s presidency 123 new tenure-line faculty members were hired, 35% of whom are people of color. The college hired its first chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer and established the inaugural diversity, equity, and inclusion office. After a year’s sabbatical, Martin plans to return to the college as a faculty member.

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Peter McPhersonPeter McPherson

Peter McPherson

After more than 16 years as president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Peter McPherson will retire in September. “I am grateful for all of the experiences and accomplishments we’ve achieved together as a public university community,” says McPherson. He expanded the scope and effectiveness of APLU’s advocacy work and initiated grant-funded work in partnership with members to equitably advance the education, research, and engagement missions of public and land-grant universities.

Our Lady of the Lake University

Dr. Diane E. Melby

Annual fundraising more than doubled during the presidency of Dr. Diane E. Melby, who retires July 15 after seven years at the helm of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, an Hispanic Serving Institution. “The challenges to educating marginalized and first-generation students are numerable and yet, in the presidency there is not only the opportunity to transform individual lives, there is the opportunity to transform our nation,” says Melby.

Joliet Junior College

Dr. Judy Mitchell

Dr. Judy Mitchell went to Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill., in the mid-1990s as a returning adult student but is concluding her long association with the college as its president. “The most important thing I could do as the president was listen — listening and working collaboratively with employees, students and community partners,” says Mitchell. “Everyone needs to be heard and have that opportunity.” Each year under her leadership, the college’s financial team earned the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

Warren Wilson College

Dr. Lynn Morton

Dr. Lynn Morton, the first woman president of Warren Wilson College, ended the 2021-22 academic year and five years as president of the college in Swannanoa, N.C. At Warren Wilson, Morton led several initiatives designed to increase undergraduate enrollment, including expanding athletics. Efforts to increase access included two tuition-free scholarship programs and record-setting fundraising efforts.

Whitman College

Dr. Kathleen Murray 

As president of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., Dr. Kathleen Murray helped significantly grow fundraising, which increased financial aid and contributed to the building of Cleveland Commons and Stanton Hall. “I am most proud of the progress we have made on financial access and affordability for our students, increasing our financial aid budget by more than 50% over the last seven years,” says Murray.

California State University, Monterey Bay

Dr. Eduardo Ochoa

Dr. Eduardo Ochoa retires on June 30, after 39 years in the California State University System and 10 years as president of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Over the last decade, more than $119 million in private support was raised, including the first-time $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. He deftly led faculty and staff in a rapid pivot to virtual instruction at the start of the pandemic and oversaw the protocols that enabled CSUMB to return to in-person learning for spring 2022.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. L. Rafael Reif

President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a decade and a member of the faculty since 1980, Dr. L. Rafael Reif steps down at the end of the year. Already a world-renowned institution, MIT gained greater global recognition under Reif’s leadership. He propelled efforts to prioritize the health and wellbeing of students, particularly during the pandemic and time of political turmoil. He oversaw the revitalization of MIT’s physical campus and neighboring Kendall Square and positioned the institute for a thriving future.

Coconino Community College

Dr. Colleen Smith

With her retirement after six years as president, Dr. Colleen Smith of Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Ariz., concludes 41 years of working in community colleges. “Coconino Community College is amazing, always accomplishing so much with so little, and I genuinely believe that is because our colleagues all across the college are committed to serving students and making a difference in their lives,” says Smith.

Cottey College

Dr. Jann Weitzel

After serving as the president of Cottey College, a private women’s college in Nevada, Mo., since 2015, Dr. Jann Weitzel is retiring June 30. Weitzel has been a strong supporter of the value of a women’s college founded on strong liberal arts and sciences. She has overseen growth in the academic degree offerings and the athletic program as well as expansion of the campus. During her presidency, there have been considerable renovations and additions, including a psychology lab, an Apple Mac computer lab and the Stock Trading Lab/Esports Arena.

Butte College

Dr. Samia Yaqub 

Dr. Samia Yaqub retires June 30 as superintendent/president of Butte College, part of the California Community Colleges System, after more than 37 years with the college, six in her current role. She has been instrumental in leading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. During her presidency, in 2016, Yaqub helped pass Measure J, a $190 million bond measure. Under her leadership, the college has grown its footprint and broken ground on a new Glenn Center facility that will open this fall.  

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