Marianna- Tuesday night, Chipola College President, Dr. Gene Prough submitted a letter to the board announcing his retirement slated for March 31st.
"We were very pleased to do this," Prough said in an interview Wednesday. "I have a lot of happiness, but there is sadness.But you know, it is such an honor to be the president of this college and be at Chipola over 20 years."
But as we spoke, we discovered Prough's roots ran much deeper than just serving as a faculty member and president. Chipola College was also where he went to school and met his wife.
"I would not have gotten a college education had it not been for Chipola to start me," he said. "Then of course, I had the opportunity to go one to two of our other state institutions of higher learning and got a few degrees."
Prough said he was proud of the progress Chipola College had made in his 20 years on campus and 11 years as president.
"There's not a facility on this campus that hasn't been remodeled or tore down, and we were fortunate to build some new ones. But then, you move to the education opportunities; we were the second college in the state of Florida to offer bachelor degrees. Now, we're a state college... Just to have that opportunity. We have so many people who are place bound, and we have so many brilliant minds and minds that need to be retrained, retooled."
And though he said he was looking forward to retirement, Prough was quick to say he was not going too far.
"I plan on leaving this college as an employee, but you know, once it's in your heart your an Indian forever."
Prough said the board was reviewing state and school policies and putting together a search committee to search for the next president.