After a decade on the job, Mount St. Mary's University President Thomas H. Powell announced Tuesday that he plans to leave the post at the end of the next academic year.

"Like any position, the presidency of a university goes through seasons of beginning, developing, and ending, and then beginning again," Powell said in a letter to the Emmitsburg university Tuesday morning. "It is clear to me that the season of change is here. As a university, we are in a good place to welcome a new President to take the helm and continue moving our beloved Mount forward."

Powell, who was appointed the Catholic university's 24th president in 2003, led an academic reorganization at the school and a shift from college to university, according to a statement.

"The Board of Trustees is unanimous in its support and admiration of President Powell and all he has accomplished," Board of Trustees Chairman Eugene M. Waldron Jr. said in a statement.

Powell's "leadership, and the momentum we have achieved in our effort to strengthen the Mount, have set a great trajectory for future success," Waldron said. "I know I speak on behalf of the entire Mount community in thanking he and his wife, Irene, for their years of service."

Mount St. Mary's officials will undertake a national search, beginning next month, for Powell's replacement.

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