Starting a New legacy – Seminole State College President Set to Retire
By: Florida Chamber of Commerce
Seminole State College President, Dr. E. Ann McGee, will be stepping down from her position in August. The second president in the school’s history will end her nearly half a century in education.
Dr. McGee’s leadership at Seminole State College spans 22 years. During her time as president, the school has expanded from a single-campus community college into four campuses and has almost 30,000 students per year. Campuses are located in Sanford/Lake Mary, Oviedo, Altamonte Springs and Heathrow. Earlier this year, the school opened its $24 million student center on its Sanford/Lake Mary campus.
McGee said despite all of the school’s success, she is most proud of the successes of her graduates. She said their stories have been the most rewarding part of her time a president.
“My fondest memories are when students reconnect with me and tell me what a great experience they had at the college and how that has propelled them into success in their lives,” McGee said. “Those are my fondest memories. Just hearing about student success and knowing that we launched those lives.”
Seminole State College expanded the number of programs it offers. Students have the option of more than 200 degrees, including seven bachelor degree programs. In January, the school started offering bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN) to meet the need for approximately 1,000 new bachelorette-level nurses per year in the region, according to the school’s website.
“My goal in leaving the college was to leave it in the best condition it had ever been and I would hope that the next president realizes what a gem they are getting,” McGee said. “There are so many great projects on the horizon for the college. You have an amazing faculty and staff that are totally dedicated to student success. All you have to do is nurture them and propel us to the next level.”
The school’s $84 million budget is ninth largest of the institutions in the Florida College System. It is also the ninth largest employer in Seminole County and ranks 16th in the nation of community colleges for the number of associate degree graduates.
Dr. McGee will transition into the role of President Emerita, where she will provide assistance with fundraising for the school. Her duties will also be to help develop an Emeritus College for eligible retired faculty and administrators. McGee also said she hopes to write a book about her transition.
“The idea was that I could help transition the new president into their role. You’ve seen John Hitt and his 26 years at UCF and me with my 22 years at Seminole State – that’s unusual in this environment. Generally, a president stays anywhere from four and a half to seven years. There is a lot of stability in the role,” McGee said. “The other thing I would like to be involved in is setting up an Emeritus College to try and harness the energy and talents of our retirees.”
McGee said while she will still be involved with the campus on an as-needed basis. She said as long as students can continue successfully transitioning into their professional lives, her legacy will remain intact.
“The legacy that I hope I’m leaving is a living legacy that really lives through the successes of our students, faculty and staff,” McGee said. “I’m hoping that every day multiple someones achieve something new in life that they look back and know it’s because of the knowledge they acquired when they were a student at Seminole State College.”