Posted: June 23, 2004

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

From counselor to president, Horak completes 34 years of service

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees has awarded Thomas Horak, President of Normandale Community College, presidential emeritus status, effective July 12.

Horak is the first-ever president to gain emeritus status in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The move was recommended by Chancellor James McCormick.

"Dr. Horak's commitment to students over the years is evident in everything he does," Board Chair Jim A. Luoma said. "We are proud to honor him as our first presidential emeritus status recipient."

Horak will retire July 11 with 34 years of community college work in Minnesota. Since 1991, he has been president of Normandale and has seen the institution grow to become one of the largest two-year colleges in the system. Before that, he began his career as a high school teacher and guidance director, quickly becoming involved with public higher education. He held a variety of positions at Lakewood Community College, now Century College, starting as a counselor and working his way up to executive dean.

Upon recommendation by the chancellor, president emeritus status is awarded by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Board of Trustees to a president or former president who has provided exemplary service, completed at least five years as president of a state university or college and who is retiring from employment with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

"President Horak deserves recognition for his outstanding service to the college, to the entire Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and to the state of Minnesota," Chancellor James H. McCormick said. "He has provided tremendous leadership both to Normandale Community College and to the system as a whole."