Kelly M. Thompson announces retirement as president of Culver-Stockton College

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Tags: Kelly M. Thompson, Culver-Stockton, Ron Leftwich

Kelly M. Thompson plans to retire as president of Culver-Stockton College at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Thompson told the Board of Trustees at a meeting on Friday morning, then informed faculty, staff and students at a campus-wide meeting.

CANTON, Mo. – Kelly M. Thompson plans to retire as president of Culver-Stockton College at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

Thompson told the Board of Trustees at a meeting on Friday morning, then informed faculty, staff and students at a campus-wide meeting afterward in Merillat Hall. 

Thompson, the 26th president in Culver-Stockton's 166-year history, joined the campus community in 2014 from Barton College, another Disciples of Christ institution. Among the accomplishments during Thompson’s tenure include a 30 percent enrollment increase, the building of a new fully-funded residence hall, the addition of women’s lacrosse and Esports, and master’s programs in education and athletic training.

During Thompson's tenure, the College has differentiated itself in higher education by nationally certifying the faculty in experiential learning pedagogy. Renovations have been completed in nearly every residence hall and academic building, and plans are in place for the Dining Hall renovation this summer.  The College has raised nearly $20 million as part of its comprehensive campaign, "Culver-Stockton Changing Lives!" 

Thompson is the first female president of Culver-Stockton College. She has served as the chair of the Council of Presidents for the Christian Church Disciples of Christ from 2016-19; recently was a Council of Independent Colleges delegate to the U.S. & Mexico Presidents’ Summit in Chicago, and will serve as chair of the Council of Presidents for the Heart of America Conference during the 2019-20 academic year. 

“What I take greatest pride in is our students of promise and our amazing faculty and staff at Culver-Stockton College," Thompson said. "They truly embrace the opportunity for a quality education and are leaders on campus and in the community. I know our students are going to do great things in their positions in business, healthcare, education, entrepreneurship, the ministry and so many other areas. Our experiential learning sets them apart from other college graduates."

Thompson believes her last year will be the most exciting year yet.

"We have much to accomplish and so much momentum," she said. "I’m eager for us to engage in a new strategic planning process and continue to position the College as a national leader in experiential education. I can’t wait to get started.”

Ron Leftwich '64, chairman of the Board of Trustees, announced a national search for Thompson's replacement will begin this summer, with plans to have a new president in place by July 1, 2020.

“Kelly Thompson has provided leadership and recognition at the national level," Leftwich said. "She personalized every area of the College and is so proud of everyone’s successes in and out of the classroom.  She has accomplished great things. There is not an area on campus that has not been positively impacted by her leadership. I hope we can make this next year the best yet."

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