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DEFIANCE - Defiance College President Gerald Wood announced yesterday he will step down June 30.
Mr. Wood, 56, president of the private liberal arts college since 2002, cited transitions in his professional and personal life as the reasons for his decision to resign. "Likely, I will have one more assignment before retiring, and there are a number of other things I would like to do," he said.
"Also, in my personal life, my fiancee Gayle [Brinker] and I, as we prepare for marriage, believe a fresh start and new opportunity is best for both of us as we write a new chapter in our lives together."
He told the board of trustees of his decision at the end of April. It is naming a committee to work with a search firm to find a permanent replacement.
Charles Warren, retired president of Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va., who served as interim dean for Defiance College's McMaster School for Advancing Humanity for the 2004-05 school year, will serve as interim president.
During Mr. Wood's nearly six-year tenure as the 17th president of Defiance College, he introduced a strategic vision of a "culture of engagement" that incorporates civic, academic, and cultural components to the overall learning experience. The McMaster School, in which students conduct original research to respond to community needs, has grown under his leadership.
In November, the college announced an additional course of engagement with a unique Hench Autism Studies Program for adolescents with autism.
Mr. Wood has a bachelor's degree in history from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a master of divinity degree from Methodist Theological School of Ohio, and a doctor of education degree from West Virginia University.
Prior to his appointment at Defiance, Mr. Wood was vice president for college advancement at Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, W.Va.
He has held other administrative positions at Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, Pa., and West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.Va.
"Jerry Wood has given passionate and dedicated leadership to Defiance College," said Philip Mallott, chairman of the college's board of trustees. "I would like to thank him for what he helped to accomplish at Defiance College and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
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