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President of Central Kentucky college announces his upcoming retirement

Centre President John A. Roush will retire next year.
Centre President John A. Roush will retire next year.

John Roush, one of the longest-serving presidents in the history of Centre College, plans to retire next year.

Roush will retire on June 30, 2020 and will turn 70 the next day, Centre said in a news release.

Roush, who will have served as president for 22 years when he retires, said in making the announcement that he and his wife, Susie, had planned for him to retire a year after Centre’s bicentennial.

The Danville college was founded in 1819.

“John Roush will be viewed as a giant when the history of Centre is written,” said J. David Grissom, a former chairman of the college’s board of trustees who is now a life trustee. “For more than 20 years, John has been a force of energy, imagination, integrity and quality at the highest level.”

The search for Centre’s next president will begin in late summer with the help of a national search firm, according to the release. The private college’s board of trustees will oversee the process.

Roush said in the news release that being president is “a deeply personal, hands-on and time-intensive experience.” He added, “Being at the college has been a blessing to us and our family, and we count it a privilege to serve this institution.”

Just two other presidents have served longer than Roush: John Young, who was president of Centre from 1830 to 1857, and Thomas Spragens, who was president from 1957 to 1981.

Centre’s student body has grown by about 40 percent during Roush’s tenure, and the college said he oversaw several capital campaigns and projects totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.