Dr. Cynthia Warrick was honored Friday with the first of several planned events scheduled by Stillman College in honor of her upcoming retirement.

Warrick, Stillman's seventh president and the first woman to hold that role, was thrown a celebratory luncheon Friday afternoon to celebrate her retirement along with her upcoming birthday. Warrick will turn 69 years old on November 9.

As previously reported by the Thread, Warrack announced her retirement in September, which is set to go into effect in June 2023 when her contract ends, after five years of service.

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The event, which featured Stillman officials, board members, students, alumni and colleagues of Dr. Warrick joined together at Embassy Suites to celebrate her many contributions to the local HBCU.

Dr. Warrack's leadership was instrumental for the advancement of Stillman College in many ways.

Some of her many accomplishments while serving included a boost in student enrollment, the addition of several new academic plans and eliminating $40 million of debt the institution previously faced.

Community leaders, including Jackie Wuska, the executive director of the United Way of West Alabama, and Ellen Potts, Habitat for Humanity's executive director, spoke of the successes of Dr. Warrack and her overall contributions to not only Stillman, but the Tuscaloosa community as a whole.

"We know she's a great president, but locally, you can see her presence in the community," Wuska said. "She previously served on the board for United Way and through the pandemic and in the last few years, she has been an outstanding voice of calmness and wisdom, helping us improve our diversity efforts. She is going to be missed so much but her impact on this community is going to last for generations."

Luanne Baker, Stillman's vice-president of institutional advancement, said this event is one of several events that will honor Warrack's retirement, including a gala that is expected to take place in Spring 2023.

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