Jack L. Stark, California's longest-serving college president, has announced that he will retire as president of Claremont McKenna College on or before July 1, 1999.
"My association with this college has been more than a job, CMC has been a fundamental part of my life," Stark, 63, wrote in a letter to the CMC community announcing his plans to retire.
A native of Urbana, Indiana, Jack L. Stark enrolled as an undergraduate at Claremont Men's College in the fall of 1953. After graduating with a B.A. in literature in 1957, he served three years in the United States Marine Corps. Stark returned to Claremont in 1960 and joined the CMC staff as director of alumni relations. He quickly distinguished himself as a talented administrator and became the chief assistant to founding president George C.S. Benson.
Stark was elected president of CMC in 1970. As president, he has guided CMC through fundamental institutional change and growth. His notable accomplishments include the successful transition to coeducation in 1976 and subsequent name change to Claremont McKenna College; a significant expansion of academic programs, including the Athenaeum speaker series and the creation of seven new research institutes; exceptional growth in financial strength, including building an endowment that ranks among the top in the nation; and a 25 percent growth in enrollment to 1,000 students.
"Jack Stark has led CMC into the top ranks of colleges and universities in this country," said Bob Lowe '62, chairman of the board of trustees. "The commitment that he and his wife Jil have shown to this college has been truly remarkable and we are deeply grateful for their service."
A national search for a new president will commence immediately. In April, the executive committee of the board will appoint a search committee of trustees, faculty, and alumni to identify candidates for the position.
Claremont McKenna College is a highly selective independent liberal arts college educating leaders in business and public affairs. CMC enrolls nearly 1,000 students and is a member of The Claremont Colleges.