This year's graduating class marks the end of an era at the University of South Carolina-Aiken.
"Dr. A," as Chancellor Robert Alexander is affectionately called by some students, is resigning his post after 17 years. The good news is, he's not going into retirement full time; he'll still be around part time working "a very low-key schedule."
But it still won't be the same without Dr. Alexander at the helm -- and not just because he is a great educator who cares deeply about the college's students.
As the record clearly shows, he also cares about the institution itself, virtually transforming USC-Aiken over the past 17 years. Consider just some of the changes under his chancellorship:
Nearly doubling enrollment.
Boosting private donations and grants from $40,000 to more than $3.5 million.
Gaining prestigious national accreditation for all three of the professional schools.
Adding student housing and other classroom buildings.
Having USC-Aiken named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top three regional public liberal arts colleges in the Southeast.
Of course, it's not in "Dr. A's" nature to take credit for these achievements (and others) himself. He credits the "wonderful people" he's worked with through the years -- faculty, staff and students.
Even so, the retiring chancellor is leaving some mighty large shoes to fill.