"He has brought humor, he has brought respect, civility, and kindness to all the staff and faculty," beamed Daisy Grossnickle, the chair of the Columbia College Board of Trustees.
Dozens of students, faculty, and friends of Dr. Gerald Brouder lined the path through the commons at Columbia College Tuesday.
Many smiled through tears as they said goodbye and look toward a bright future at the school.
Columbia College has come a long way in the 18 years under Dr. Brouder's tenure. Reverend John Yonker, head of the presidential search committee, knows the next president will have big shoes to fill.
"He wanted to establish some goals...strengthening the sciences, increasing academic rigor, increasing the endowment, and he has done all of those things. I guess maybe an image of that would be the construction of the new science building which will open in this fall semester. It's just a fabulous building and speaks of what he has accomplished for Columbia College," said Yonker.
The building will be dedicated in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Brouder and will feature brand new, state-of-the-art technology, specifically for the forensics program.
Students will have access to cold cases from across the show-me state and get hands-on experience inside the new facility.
Replacing Dr. Brouder will take some time, but the search committee has a deadline of July 1, 2014.
"We're looking for someone who has experience in the academic world, who also has good business sense, someone who has energy and enthusiasm and creativity...someone who can work well with people," said Yonker.