After more than 10 years leading the American college based at historic Harlaxton Manor near Grantham, principal Gordon Kingsley has announced he is to retire.
Tributes were paid this week to the achievements of Dr Kingsley, and his wife Suzanne, who is director of planning and design at the college owned and operated by the University of Evansville, Indiana.
Chair of Harlaxton College Advisory Council, Lady Margaret Benton Jones, said: “Because of his outstanding success, the University of Evansville, and England itself, owes Dr. Kingsley a huge debt of gratitude.”
Each academic term the college is home to more than 150 students from America, who link classroom study at Harlaxton during the week with educational travel around the United Kingdom and Europe at weekends.
During Dr Kingsley’s time as principal, he has worked to ensure his students’ classroom experiences, travels, life in a historic manor house, and connections with local families and culture create a fulfilling international experience.
He credits his wife with spearheading the refurbishments of student and faculty rooms and the Harlaxton staterooms, as well as coordinating fundraising efforts and long-term plans for the manor.
He said: “Every day, for more than 10 years, I have felt among the most fortunate persons alive to have the privilege of serving at Harlaxton College.
“Harlaxton is different and magical, a special place to be and to become. We hear it all the time. ‘Harlaxton changed my life’.”
University of Evansville President Tom Kazee said: “I’m not exaggerating when I say that Harlaxton is the best study abroad programme in the world – due in significant measure to Gordon and Suzanne’s magnificent leadership.
“Gordon’s concern for students and their development is his compass, and their lives have been enriched not only by their time at Harlaxton, but by their association with him.”
Lady Margaret Benton Jones added: “For the 41 years that Evansville has operated its Harlaxton College campus, Harlaxton has been characterized by a unique combination of academic excellence, administrative effectiveness, and the nurturing of an important historic perspective concerning the relationship between our two English-speaking lands.
“Dr. Gordon Kingsley has led Harlaxton for more than a quarter of this time, inspiring students, faculty, and staff alike to achieve the very best in the Harlaxton experience.”
The university will start a search in the next few weeks for a successor to Dr Kingsley, who will leave Harlaxton in July next year.