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President Cornwell to retire after 10 years

After 10 years of leadership and service, President Grant Cornwell will retire in June 2025 at the end of the 2024-2025 academic year. In an email sent to the Rollins community on April 23, President Cornwell shared a video message announcing his retirement.  

“It has been a profound honor and privilege to serve as Rollins’ president for the past nine years,” President Cornwell stated in the video. “Part of my role as steward of Rollins is to ensure a smooth transition from my presidency to the next.” 

“I was so sad to hear the news this morning that President Cornwell will be leaving,” said Director of Middle Eastern and North African Studies Dr. Rachel Newcomb in a statement to The Sandspur. “However, I’m really grateful for the work he has done to advance DEIB initiatives on this campus, and I hope the next president will continue with his legacy.” 

Under President Cornwell’s time in office, Rollins has celebrated many milestones from the installation of the 291st chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 2022 to Rollins ranking as the Number One Regional University in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2024. 

“President Cornwell has also created a lot of beautiful spaces on campus that will be enjoyed for generations of students to come,” added Dr. Newcomb.  

President Cornwell has overseen many transformations on campus, from the conversion of Kathleen W. Rollins Hall to the development of the Lakeside Community and the Rollins Garage. Soon, the East End Neighborhood will continue this legacy of expansion in emphasizing the living-and-learning experience that Rollins promotes.  

“Cornwell helped navigate Rollins through a lot of periods of changes including COVID-19 and the creation of Lakeside, so we commend him for that,” said Evan Link (’25).  

For the graduating class of 2025, many students expressed gratitude in being able to keep President Cornwell on campus for one more year before his retirement.  

“It was such a surprise! I’m glad I’ll have him as president until I graduate,” said Gabby Bohol (’25).  

Karina Ekholm shared similar sentiments, stating: “I was very surprised to find out Grant Cornwell is retiring. However, I am glad he will still be around for my last year here.”   

While the future remains uncertain as to who will fill President Cornwell’s shoes after retiring, Stella Monner (’25) has another question in mind: “Who will fill the presidential scooter spot left by Grant Cornwell?”  

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