Blue Mountain President announces retirement

BLUE MOUNTAIN – Blue Mountain College President Bettye Rogers Coward will retire at the end of June 2012, she announced on Tuesday.
Coward said that she was announcing her retirement a year early so that the college’s Board of Trustees can begin its search for her replacement. Details on that search will be announced soon.
Coward, who has led the 553-student college since 2001, said she will be retiring to spend more time with family, especially her daughter and grandchildren.
Under her leadership, Blue Mountain has become coeducational, nearly doubled its enrollment and added graduate studies. It also also added a men’s athletic program, as well as several women’s sports.
Coward said that she will use her last year at the school to continue to help the college grow. Its goal is to increase its enrollment to 600 students by the fall of 2012.
“We have a vision we’re working toward that involves the number of students and academic programing, and we will continue to work on that,” she said. “When you have a vision and you’re working toward it, you can have a change of leadership but you continue to work on the vision that the board of trustees has laid out.”
Coward has spent 45 years in education. Prior to coming to Blue Mountain, she worked for 30 years at Mississippi College, where she taught, served as a department chair and was the school’s vice president for academic affairs.
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal