Mississippi College president retiring when successor is named

by William H. Perkins Jr., posted Friday, March 16, 2001 (16 years ago)

CLINTON, Miss. (BP)--Mississippi College President Howell W. Todd has announced that he will retire after seven years at the Baptist-affiliated school in Clinton to spend more time with family and get involved in volunteer projects.

Todd, 57, is credited with rebuilding the school's image after the former president, Lewis Nobles, entered a guilty plea in 1993 to federal charges of embezzling millions of dollars donated to the school.

Todd also changed the face of the MC campus, initiating major new construction and renovation projects after a successful fund-raising drive that garnered nearly $100 million for the school.

"I have informed the board of trustees of my intention to step down as president sometime within the next 12 months -- appropriately timed as the board identifies a replacement," Todd said.

"After devoting more than 36 years to the field of education, I am looking to redirect my life and my energies to personal priorities that I have not had the luxury of time to adequately address," Todd said in a statement released by the school Feb. 5.

He explained his priorities include a return to his family roots in Huntington, Tenn., where his widowed mother lives, and becoming more deeply involved in local church ministries, Habitat for Humanity projects and adult literacy programs.

Tommy Allen, the school's national alumni association president, said, "We hate to see Dr. Todd leave MC. He has done a tremendous job leading the university and has made so many positive things happen here."

Todd and the school weathered a financial crisis in 2000 when deep budget cuts were ordered after accounting errors resulted in a shortfall of about $3 million.

"I've had tough years in the past in South Dakota and Tennessee (while working for the governing agencies of those states' institutions of higher learning). It goes with the territory," Todd said.

"I feel confident about the future of MC and the way we are positioned. We have an excellent faculty and staff," he told The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson in a Feb. 6 front-page article.


(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: HOWELL W. TODD.

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