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Westminster President Williamson to Retire in June 2008

Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Westminster College President R. Thomas Williamson announced he plans to retire in June 2008 following 11 years of service. A national search for Westminster's 14th president will take place over the next 16 months.

"I expect to continue a high level of Westminster activity between now and June 30, 2008," Williamson said. "During that time I look forward to working with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College to complete fundraising and construction for McGill Library, along with numerous other projects."

"My wife, Jean, and I were welcomed into the Westminster family upon our arrival in New Wilmington ten yeas ago," he added. "We have discovered anew, each day, that the term "family" is not part of a slogan, but a culture of quality and caring that is focused on Westminster's mission of service."

"President Williamson has provided a decade of exemplary leadership and vision for Westminster College," said Debora Foster, chair of the Westminster College Board of Trustees and 1974 Westminster graduate. "His commitment to enhancing the Westminster experience has resulted in a more vibrant campus, a stronger endowment, and a deepened dedication to teaching and learning. Under Tom Williamson's administration, Westminster has advanced in the ranks of America's best liberal arts colleges. We are grateful for his lasting legacy of caring and excellence. Both Tom and his wife, Jean, are beloved members of the Westminster community. We cannot thank them enough for their enormous contributions."

Highlights of R. Thomas Williamson Tenure at Westminster College: 
* Completion of 10 major building projects, totaling over $36 million. Including Andrew J. McKelvey Campus Center; McGill Library; Berlin Village student townhouses and renovation of Thompson House; Memorial Field House Mansell Wing and Edwards Wing expansion; Old Main renovation; Thompson-Clark Hall; Orr Auditorium renovation; Track & Field area; and Marjorie Walker Recreation Center. 
*  Endowment has grown from $62 million to nearly $100 million 
* Record number of applications (56% increase). Incoming freshmen have 3.42 high school grade point average in core academic subjects. 
* Westminster College is among the national leaders in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Guide to America's Best Colleges, attesting to the quality of a Westminster education. 
* The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was developed to advance world-class teaching and learning at Westminster, including providing opportunities and funding for students' undergraduate research projects, and enrich K-12 education through outreach programs for area educators. 
* Westminster is recognized in "The Best 361 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review 
*  President's Williamson's mantra of "get better, not bigger" allows students to receive the personal attention they deserve (12:1 student to faculty ratio) and helps Westminster maintain a 98% placement rate for graduates

Williamson, 60, added that he had planned his retirement announcement to coincide with the completion of Westminster's Strategic Plan "so that the year ahead can be filled with discussions with presidential candidates about the next set of plans for Westminster."

Williamson became Westminster's 13th president in July 1997 after serving 15 years as part of Clarkson University's executive staff. He worked in corporate new products and the legal departments of McCormick & Company from 1970-76 before serving as the director of the Economic Development & Technical Assistance Center at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh from 1976-82.

After graduating from the College of Wooster in 1968, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1968-70. Williamson earned a Juris Doctorate in 1975 from the University of Baltimore.

He and his wife, Jean Simmonds Williamson, have four children and three grandchildren.

President R. Thomas Williamson