ABILENE, Texas -

McMurry University faculty, staff, and students said farewell to former President John Russell at a reception Tuesday evening.

Dignitaries from around the city of Abilene joined McMurry in saying goodbye.  Russell was president of McMurry University for eleven years, starting at the institution in 2001.

Speakers touted Russell's accomplishments at the event.  Vice-President Paul Fabrizio pointed to a successful capital campaign that grew the endowment, an almost complete remodeling of campus over the past eleven years, and the addition of a masters program.

Dr. Russell announced his retirement in May, and has since moved to Florida to be closer to family.