Just as Bowie State University’s largest freshman class began their academic journey, President Mickey Burnim announced his retirement. He is set to leave the school next year on June 30 during the first summer session that is scheduled to begin on May 30.

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Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim announced his retirement to staff and students on Sept. 14. (Courtesy Photo)

Burnim has been in higher education for 40 years, spending 11 of those years at Bowie, according to a press release.

“It has been a tremendous journey of service through my career of teaching and leading, but the time has come for me to transition to spending more time enjoying my family and serving the higher education and broader communities in more focused and limited ways,” Burnim told the campus community in a letter. “I have delighted in the tremendous journey of service in higher education through my teaching and leading.”

Burnim also informed staff and students of his retirement during the university’s Fall Matriculation Convocation.

Under Burnim’s reign, Bowie has transformed its teaching and research environments and expanded academic programs and student research opportunities.  The school has also seen 1,180 students graduate in 2016, according to the university.

Along with accepting its largest class, the school also exceeded a $15 million goal in its first comprehensive fundraising campaign that started in 2008.

According to the release, Burnim said he intends to use the rest of his time raising money to fund the university’s first endowed chair, working with the University of Maryland Baltimore County on a proposed training program for a cybersecurity national workforce and establishing an office for international programs.

“I join in thanking President Burnim for his years of distinguished service to @BowieState,” Rep. Steny Hoyer posted in a tweet Sept. 14.