SRU President Cheryl Norton announced her retirement during the university’s council of trustees meeting last week on Dec. 9.
Norton’s retirement will be effective June 30, 2017. Norton said that she had been discussing retirement with her husband, Henry, for some time.
“I think that happens to everyone as they get closer to what they perceive as the end of their career,” Norton said. “We definitely wanted to be retired by the time we we were 70.”
Norton said one large influence on her retirement was that her family’s house in Denver would be unoccupied with her son leaving, and that she and her husband were working on potentially remodeling the house.
“We kind of looked at each other and said we could do this,” Norton said. “We could do this next year. It was a matter of really having a lot of dominos fall in place. The timing was right, the opportunity was there and, frankly, we were ready to go home.”
Norton said that she hadn’t been living in Denver since 2004 and that by the time of her retirement, when she’ll return to Denver, it will have been over 13 years.
Norton said there is a lot that she and her husband want to do while they are healthy, including seeing their grandsons in Chicago. She hopes to continue giving back to the academic community and also invest time in exercise.
Norton said that after her retirement it will be difficult to develop a new lifestyle that doesn’t fit into the academic calendar.
“This is a time to see what’s out there that might be of interest rather than what you feel you need to because it’s an obligation, and I’m excited about that,” Norton said. “I haven’t lived a life like that for a long time.”
Norton said that her time as president of SRU has been rewarding and that she still plans to work on improving the university during the spring semester.
“We need to continue to understand what makes us not just an excellent academic community, but a wonderful community to welcome the diversity and the richness of the values that everybody possesses,” Norton said.
Norton said she wants to continue to help develop international programming and expand global initiatives, along with offering more degree programs.
Another development Norton wants to start is the construction of the performing arts center. Norton said the plans are in place but the university is still looking for a contractor, with the goal being that the center will be completed by June of 2018. Norton said along with this that the renovations of the east and west gym for the dance program should be done by January of 2018.
Norton said that she was fortunate in her academic career to have gotten to meet Robert Abersold, the former university president. Norton said the two were colleagues in Connecticut, and that he told her that he thought she would like working at SRU.
“And here we are now,” Norton said. “It’s been a privilege and an honor. It’s been a wonderful experience and I hope, in a little way, that everybody will say the institution is a bit better because of Norton’s work here.”