Cynthia Warrick, the first female president of Stillman College, will retire after five years of service, reports U.S. Newsweek.

Warrick said she’s looking forward to relaxing and spending more time with family, especially her grandchildren. She plans to return to her hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

“I ... didn’t expect to be here this long. But you know, the job called me, God called me and we were able to accomplish miracles. Believe me, we were able to accomplish a lot in a short period of time ... I’m ready to pass the torch on to the next person to take up the race,” Warrick said during a news conference.

When she arrived at Stillman in 2017, the college faced many financial and academic challenges. According to a news release, Stillman is now debt-free after $40 million of debt has been either paid off or forgiven under her leadership.

“I was tasked with a real challenge, and my husband’s a finance guy and he said, ‘You’ll be home in three months.’ It was just that bad,” Warrick said. “But I figured God didn’t send me here to close the college down. And we were going to do what we had to do, to make sure that the college was going to be strong again and flourish. And now, after five and a half years, we’re there.”

Donald Comer, chair of the school's board, praised Warrick for her bold vision for Stillman and for taking the institution to a new level.

“The college has gone through some very rocky times and she has been the anchor that has kept us on track,” Conner said. “She has raised the brand of the institution and enhanced the college’s reputation.”

Before her tenure at Stillman, Warrick held various positions in higher education at several HBCUs. She was selected as Interim President of South Carolina State University and in 2014, she was appointed Interim President of Grambling State University.

As an academic, Warrick was Assistant Professor in the Division of Management, Policy, and Community Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Center for Health, Promotion and Prevention Research, and then Associate Professor and Director of Environmental and Occupational Health at Florida A&M University. She also served at Elizabeth City State University as a Tenured Full Professor of Pharmacy, Dean, and Chief Research Officer.

Warrick was then appointed a Senior Fellow at the Howard University School of Pharmacy, Center for Minority Health Services Research and was elected county-wide to the Board of Trustees of the Alamo Colleges with a budget of $200 million, where she served as Vice-Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. She was instrumental in helping to pass an $85 million capital improvement bond.

Prior to entering the field of higher education, Warrick had an illustrious career as a pharmacist and health services researcher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Howard University and is a Registered Pharmacist in Texas and Indiana. She earned a Master of Science in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University.

Warrick said that she will always have fond memories of her time at Stillman and that the school will continue to thrive in years to come.

“I will cherish the outpouring of support from the local community, the state, and the alumni that have contributed to the success that we have achieved during my tenure,” she said. “Stillman is now a place where a new president can build on the teaching, research, and community service that we established in the past five years.”