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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Stephen Morgan, president of Westminster College speaks at an unveiling ceremony of a custom Cessna SkyHawk Aircraft at Westminster’s Flight Operations Center as part of the 2016 Top Hawk Program College in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. He announced that he will retired at the end of the 2018 academic year.

SALT LAKE CITY — Westminster College President Stephen R. Morgan has announced he will retire at the end of this academic year.

Morgan, 63, who has served as the institution's president since 2015, has fulfilled various capacities at Westminster since 1981. He has advised six past presidents at the campus in addition to other leadership positions throughout the years, helping shape Westminster into the institution it is today.

"It has been a special honor to have served the better half of my life at Westminster," Morgan said. "Working together as a community, we have made Westminster a better place of higher learning and a place where all students can find their passion and lead meaningful lives."

Westminster's board of trustees will begin a national search for Morgan's replacement, to be in place by summer 2018.

"After nearly four decades at Westminster, President Morgan's versatile leadership, experience and positive outlook will be greatly missed throughout the entire campus community," said Jeanne Ambruster, trustee chairwoman.

During Morgan's tenure as president, the college hired its first chief diversity officer, advanced into the final provisional year of NCAA Division II and created a new honors college. He has been influential in many other projects at the institution throughout the years, including building the school's endowment to more than $75 million.

Morgan is a University of Utah graduate in accounting and his wife and three children are all graduates of Westminster.

"Westminster and its community will always hold a special place in my heart," Morgan said.