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President of Mount St. Mary's College
 and Seminary Announces Retirement

After almost a decade, Mount St. Maryís College and Seminary President, George R. Houston, Jr., has announced that he will retire effective June 30, 2003. President Houston was the Mountís 23rd president since the college and seminary was founded in 1808.

A Washington, D.C. native, Houston is an alumnus of Georgetown University, where he spent over three decades as a faculty member and an administrator before assuming the role of president at the Mount.

His reputation coming to the Mount was unparalleled. As a teacher he was awarded an honorary degree by Georgetown in 1982 and named School of Businessís Distinguished Professorship in Accounting in 1991. As an administrator he was treasurer, vice president for financial affairs, senior vice president and managing director of Georgetownís endowment fund. With all these qualifications, Houston was able to make tremendous strides in the Mountís financial base while president.

President Houston stated that his decision was not easily made and was a result of much reflection and prayer. In an interview he explained "As I look ahead at my future and the future of the Mount, I see this is the right time for us to part ways." He further explained that in 2004 the Mount will begin the leadership phase of its Bicentennial Campaign, and then in 2005 both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the National Collegiate Athletic Association will be sending teams for the schoolís ten-year reviews. "In preparation for these studies and the Bicentennial Celebration, the Mount will have to prepare self-studies, including a new five-year plan during the fiscal year ending 2004. This should be completed by the next president."

Throughout the years Houston has kept true to his initial agenda and three focal points for his agenda as president. He has been one of the most accessible presidentís the Mount community has had. In an average year President Houston entertained over 3,000 guests in his private residence annually, ranging from prospective students and their parents, faculty, current students, alumni and friends of the Mount.

The following is partial list of Houstonís accomplishments since 1994:

  • Developed a strategic five-year plan for the college and seminary
  • Implemented shared governance structure
  • Strengthened Catholic identity, financial base, and academic programs
  • Successfully completed largest campaign in Mount history, raising $39 million
  • Constructed McGowan Center, a major renovation of existing Cogan Student Union building
  • Constructed Bishop John R. Keating Hall, a major addition to the seminary
  • Renovated the Coad Science Building
  • Developed external programs - weekend college, accelerated degree completion program, accelerated MBA
  • Increased applicant pool and stable undergraduate enrollment
  • Served as president, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce
  • Served on Maryland Chamber of Commerce
  • Served on Maryland Spending Affordability Committee
  • President, Northeast Conference, NCAA
  • Increased the endowment by over 140%
  • Balanced budgets
  • Developed Emmitsburg Community Social Club

"The Mount community has been blessed with President Houston for nine years. He has made the Mount his life and we have all benefited. He will be sadly missed, but has established a foundation and momentum that will keep the Mount on the right path as we approach our 200th anniversary," commented Mount St. Maryís Board of Trustees Chairman, John Walsh.

President Houston has made an indelible impression on Mount St. Maryís College

and Seminary, members of the Mount community, and the surrounding areas. Throughout the coming year he will continue his duties as college and seminary president, as well as assist the Board of Trustees in a national search for his successor.

Today the Board of Trustees accepted President Houstonís early retirement. Cardinal William H. Keeler, Mount Board member and long time friend of President Houston stated, "George Houston, a friend for more than 23 years, has brought great energy and extraordinary leadership qualities to his work as president of Mount St. Maryís College and Seminary. From the moment of his assuming office, he has been so wonderfully supportive of our seminary program and has helped the whole Mount family better appreciate and deepen the strong Catholic identity that is our heritage. We thank the Lord that, having brought Mount St. Maryís to new levels of achievement, President Houston will continue to guide our venerable Mount for more than a year to come."

As he addressed the Mount community regarding his decision to retire, President Houston reiterated, "This was not an easy decision to make for I have come to love this old house and you who make it what it is."

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