Hannibal La-Grange University said goodbye to its longtime leader Thursday.
The University held a retirement celebration for its President, Dr. Woodrow Burt.
Burt has worked at the University for three decades, and has served as president for the last 18 years.
While Burt is retiring from Hannibal-La-Grange, he is not leaving teaching behind just yet.
He and his wife are headed to England this fall to teach at a college there.
Even with an exciting future ahead, Burt says he will miss his long-time home at the University.
"There are mixed feelings, mixed emotions related to my leaving," said Dr. Burt. "I'm ready to pass the torch on to someone else but I'm also going to miss the students and the personnel here."
Hannibal-LaGrange University Trustees have narrowed the search for the next University president to one person.
That person will be interviewed by the entire board on May 4th.
The following is a HLGU Biography of Dr. Woodrow Burt, Ph.D.:
Being native to Mississippi, Dr. Burt began his academic preparation with two degrees from Mississippi College; a B.A. in speech and Bible and a M.Ed. in speech. After receiving the Educational Specialist degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1983, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in higher and adult education from that institution in 1989.
Dr. Burt began his career in education as director of admissions, dean of men and instructor of speech at Clarke College in Newton, Mississippi. Burt later served as vice president for student development and assistant professor of speech at William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. When he was at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, he held the position of assistant director of development.
While holding the position of academic dean at Hannibal-LaGrange College from 1987- 1991, he initiated the campus-wide computerization of offices and departments, led in the addition of several new majors, and promoted the establishment of the honors program and its international study component. Under his leadership in development from 1991 to 1995, the college TMs endowment increased by 33 percent. As president, Burt has directed the addition and renovation of dormitories including Fletcher Hall, the expansion of the athletic program and the addition of several key buildings on campus including the Roland Fine Arts Center, Carroll Missions Center, and Roland Library. He is also responsible for the restructuring of the university TMs administrative organization.
Dr. Burt has served Hannibal-LaGrange University as a faculty member, director of admissions, dean of student affairs, academic dean and registrar, chief development officer, executive vice president, interim president and since 1995 presides as president. Dr. Burt was ordained to the ministry in 1967 and has served in ministry positions throughout the Midwest. He continues to be a well sought-after speaker to audiences across the state and around the country. 33 of his 38 years in higher education have been devoted to Hannibal-LaGrange University.
As a community-minded leader, Dr. Burt is an active member of the Hannibal Lions Club and serves on the executive board and as an ambassador for the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he has been involved in state and national service activities as chairman for F.A.C.T. (Families and Communities Together), trustee for the Education Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, president for the Missouri Association of Community Task Forces, and a member of Missouri State Advisory Council to the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse by appointment of the Governor.