Dr. William Tebbs Abare, Jr., will turn 74-years-old on August 2nd, and he told Historic City News reporters today that he has deliberated long and hard and decided that “the timing is right” to announce that he will turn over the duties of Flagler College president effective July 30, 2017.
Dr. Abare has held the position of president for the past 15-years, but his service to the landmark undergraduate college totals 45-years; an era in time that he recalled with humble gratitude and a couple of emotional moments.
Abare took the stage at the Lewis Auditorium at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon and spent the best part of an hour recalling success after success, stating “I am proud of the job I have done, and the progress we have made.”
Abare, who with his wife Susan are residents of Marsh Creek, says St Augustine and Flagler College will still be home. “I’m not going anywhere,” Abare chuckled. “I am going to play golf, travel with my wife, and watch my grandchildren.”
The plan is for Abare to take a one-year sabbatical and return with the title “president emeritus”. He told the audience of local and college dignitaries that Flagler is an incredible college in a special place, where learning occurs in a more traditional setting.
“So this is merely a call for readiness,” Abare explained. “It is not a farewell.” Abare went on to say that he remains committed to a national search for his replacement and a smooth transition for his successor.
“Many of you may not know that there was no endowment for the college before 1978,” Abare recalled. Today we have a $30 million dollar surplus and an $80 million endowment.