Bruce Murphy, Centenary University‘s 14th president and the pillar that guided the Hackettstown university through the global pandemic, announced Wednesday that he will retire from his post at the end of his current contract on June 30, 2023.
Architect of a strategic plan for university growth, Murphy has guided the school through a significant expansion of academic programs, including five new health care degrees designed to meet emerging market needs.
Murphy and his wife, first lady Jeanne Murphy, arrived at the university on Jan. 1, 2020, just two months before the pandemic shuttered the state.
“One of my proudest accomplishments as president is that Centenary didn’t miss one day of instruction as a result of the pandemic,” Murphy said. “That’s a testament to our dedicated faculty and staff, who were laser-focused on ensuring that Centenary students had educational stability during very uncertain times.”
Reflecting on his tenure, Murphy also cited the adoption of a strategic plan that has guided the continuing growth of the university. Through partnerships with influential educational and professional organizations, Centenary has introduced a host of new academic degrees and concentrations, including certified financial planning, data analytics and computer science, as well as a broad expansion into the health care field with new degrees in medical laboratory science, health science, public health, exercise science and an RN to BSN nursing degree.
A retired Army lieutenant colonel, Murphy also is dedicated to expanding college opportunities for enlisted service members and their families, as well as veterans.
Murphy will be assisting the search for his successor, as well as leading the search for the vice president for academic affairs, a post currently held by interim VPAA David Dauwalder.
“We have the opportunity to forge a strong leadership team by conducting these searches in tandem,” Murphy said. “I am very optimistic about the future of Centenary University.”
Murphy said he and his wife plan to return to Florida, where they own a home, to live closer to family in retirement.
A search committee will be appointed by the university’s board of trustees to identify potential presidential candidates, according to Rochelle Makela-Goodman ’97, board chair.