U.S. Newsweek reports that Stillman College’s first female president, Cynthia Warrick, has announced plans to retire after five years of service.

Warrick said she’s looking forward to relaxing and spending more time with family, especially her grandchildren. She plans to return to her hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

“I … didn’t expect to be here this long,” Warrick said during a news conference to announce her plans. “But you know, the job called me, God called me and we were able to accomplish miracles. Believe me, we were able to accomplish a lot in a short period of time … I’m ready to pass the torch on to the next person to take up the race.”

Warrick was originally appointed as an interim president but said the role began to feel like a mission she was called to fulfill, The Tuscaloosa News reported. She became Stillman’s seventh president in April 2017. At the time the college faced many financial and academic challenges.

“I was tasked with a real challenge, and my husband’s a finance guy and he said, ‘You’ll be home in three months.’ It was just that bad,” Warrick said. “But I figured God didn’t send me here to close the college down. And we were going to do what we had to do, to make sure that the college was going to be strong again and flourish. And now, after five and a half years, we’re there.”

According to a news release, Stillman is now debt-free after $40 million of debt has been either paid off or forgiven under her leadership.

“The college has gone through some very rocky times and she has been the anchor that has kept us on track. She has raised the brand of the institution and enhanced the college’s reputation,” said Donald Comer, chair of the school’s board.

Warrick has held various positions in higher learning prior to her tenure at Stillman

She was named Interim President for both South Carolina State University and Grambling State University. She has also served as Assistant Professor in the Division of Management, Policy, and Community Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Center for Health, Promotion and Prevention Research, and then Associate Professor and Director of Environmental and Occupational Health at Florida A&M University. She also served at Elizabeth City State University as a Tenured Full Professor of Pharmacy, Dean, and Chief Research Officer.

Warrick was then appointed a Senior Fellow at the Howard University School of Pharmacy, Center for Minority Health Services Research, and was elected county-wide to the Board of Trustees of the Alamo Colleges where she served as Vice-Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.

Prior to entering the field of higher education, Warrick had an illustrious career as a pharmacist and health services researcher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Howard University and is a Registered Pharmacist in Texas and Indiana. She earned a Master of Science in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University.

Warrick said she will continue to play a role at Stillman after her departure and cherishes the memories she made there.

“I will cherish the outpouring of support from the local community, the state and the alumni that has contributed to the success that we have achieved during my tenure,” Warrick said. “Stillman is now a place where a new president can build on the teaching, research and the community service that we established in the past five years.”