03/08/2024 McMurry News

Dr. Sandra Harper

(Abilene, Texas, March 8, 2024) – McMurry University President Sandra S. Harper, Ph.D., today announced her upcoming retirement following a tenure that has yielded substantial progress for the University. Harper stated, “After much contemplation and reflection following a 40-year career in higher education, and more than half of it at McMurry, I’ve notified the McMurry Board of Trustees that I intend to step away from the McMurry presidency in January 2025, before the spring semester begins.”

Upon her retirement, Dr. Harper will have served with more than 20 years of combined service (1985–1995 and 2013–2025) at McMurry University. Most recently she led the University through the yearlong, highly successful centennial celebration. During her presidency, she has enriched campus life by leading infrastructure initiatives like the reimagined and expanded Garrison Campus Center, which opened this February, the building of the Edwards Field softball stadium, and the addition of new on-campus apartments (Centennial Commons). When serving as a member of the faculty in 1989, she oversaw McMurry College’s transition to McMurry University. Her impact will be felt for years to come as she spearheaded the development and adoption of the University’s new strategic plan, The Second Century: 2023-2030.

“Dr. Sandra S. Harper’s leadership of McMurry University has been nothing short of transformational,” said McMurry University Board of Trustees Chair Kathi S. Edwards. “She has led the institution for the past 10 ½ years with incredible courage, determination, vision and grace, propelling McMurry into its second century from a position of renewed strength and optimism. As current chair of the board of trustees, it has been my immense pleasure and honor to serve alongside her. Dr. Harper’s leadership inspires and lifts all those around her to their highest level of performance because no one ever wants to disappoint her, not out of fear, but out of respect. The McMurry Board of Trustees is fully committed to finding a presidential successor who will carry on the legacy of Dr. Harper, and we wish her all the happiness in the world during the next phase of her life. May you go with God’s blessings, Dr. Harper, and thank you for making all of us better people than we were before we knew you.”

The McMurry University Board of Trustees has selected EFL Associates to guide McMurry through the search process. Chair Kathi Edwards will be releasing the names of the presidential search committee in the near future.

Sandra S. Harper, Ph.D. Bio