Sister Rosemary E. Jeffries, Georgian Court University Facebook Page

Georgian Court University President Sister Rosemary Jeffries makes a formal announcement to retire from her post next year.

Sister Jeffries, who is a religious sister of Mercy, the Lakewood school's founding order, served as president for 13 years, seeing the school through the September 11th terrorist attacks, the great recession, its transition from college to university and in becoming coed.

"I feel like it's a good time for the university to have some new leadership," said Jeffries. "I've been very privileged to be able to lead the university through some unique transition times."

Jeffries said the search for a new president is just getting underway and is being be led by the board of trusties with the help of some outside counsel. she said that the search will also include input from faculty, staff and students.

As the University moves forward with new leadership she said, "I'd like to see Georgian Court remain very true to its mercy and catholic traditions along with a quality education so that our students really leave prepared to live good lives and make great contributions to their communities."

According to the University's press release, "during her first five years as president, Jeffries led $28 million in construction and renovation projects on the Lakewood campus, including the building of the Dorothy Marron University Community Chapel; St. Catherine Hall, a residence for students, Mercy Hall, a residence for the Sisters of Mercy; the Audrey Birish George Science Center; and the renovated Court Cafe. During her tenure, the campus also celebrated the grand opening of its $26 million, 67,000 square foot Wellness Center, which later certified as LEED-GOLD by the U.S Green Building Council."

Jeffries retirement will become effective at the end of June 2015. She said immediately after she's hoping to take some time off and then go on a sabbatical.