Judson University President Jerry Cain will retire at the end of the 2012 academic year.
The 65-year-old Cain made the announcement at Wednesday's annual university employee recognition luncheon.
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"I am less than four months from my 66th birthday, and after talking in-depth with Linda, feel it is time to relinquish my leadership role at Judson University," Cain said in a statement. "It has been a great honor to lead this godly institution, and I hope to make the 2011-2012 school year one of the best in Judson's history."
During Cain's 23-year tenure, Judson moved from a college to a university, launched four master's programs, received successful accreditation reviews and a growing enrollment. Cain also oversaw major capital projects such as the construction of the Harm A. Weber Academic Center, the completion of the Lindner Center, Creekside South for the School of Education, and the Rockford campus. Renovation projects were also completed, including the Science and Mathematics Center, Browne University Center and the Alice and Edward Thompson Fine Arts Center, as well as the softball and baseball fields.
"We are so thankful for all Dr. Cain has done to advance the mission and purpose of Judson University," board of trustees Chairwoman Carol Thompson said. "He has been a passionate ambassador locally, nationally and internationally for Judson, and his love for this institution has been evident in his tireless efforts to expand its impact."
Cain's wife, Linda Powell Cain, also contributed to the university, overseeing special projects for campus beautification, student scholarship fundraising and hospitality and etiquette classes for students.
Mary Dulabaum, Judson's director of communications and marketing, said the board of trustees would form a search committee and begin the process of finding a replacement.