Washburn says farewell to former president

Susan and Jerry Farley celebrate at recent farewell send off. Former president Jerry Farley took his last walk from the president’s office on Sept. 30.

Friday, Sept. 30, president Jerry Farley took his last walk from the president’s office. Students, alumni, faculty and staff joined together in sending him off. As Farley walked out of Morgan Hall, he was met with cheers and applause. Then, the marching band played the Washburn alma mater to commemorate him.

After 25 years of leadership, Farley announced his resignation Monday, April 18.
Now that his final day has come, many were left with a bittersweet feeling at his departure.

“He’s been one of my biggest inspirations since I started here,” said Zachary Surritt, Washburn alumni. “They really are super inviting to the campus and it’s so bittersweet to lose Dr. Farley and Susan just because it’ll be a different campus.”

Quinn Leffingwell, student body vice president and senior psychology and religious studies major, added to this by recounting his impressions of Farley.

“My first impression of him was that he cared a lot about students holistically,” Leffingwell said. “So, he cared about their studies, first of all, then he cared about their involvement on campus.”

Recently, Leffingwell learned that Farley started the office of student life and felt this demonstrated his compassion for students. Other students described Farley as kind, wholesome and committed.

Looking toward the future, many are curious and excited to see what Washburn will look like without him considering his tremendous impact on campus.

“I’m excited to see the change and excited to see what the future has in store for Washburn,” said Sydney Fox, assistant director of career services. “He’s been here so long and there’s been a lot of positive change in his time, so I’m excited to see more positive change after that as well.”

Patrick Early, former director of public relations, retired Sept. 30 aligning with Farley, the former president. He believes that the next president will have large shoes to fill.

“I don’t envy the person who takes his place. It’s hard to come in after a living legend, someone who’s changed the campus as much as he’s changed this one,” Early said. “I think it’s probably a good time for a change and continue to move forward.”

At the end of the send off, people were thankful for the work Farley put into Washburn University and wished him good luck in his future endeavors.

Farley will continue his involvement with Washburn as president emeritus.

Edited by: Alijah McCracken and LeSha’ Davis