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It’s Not Retirement it is a New Adventure

By Bernadette Pieper

After serving as President of Casper College for nine years, Dr. Darren Divine is stepping into a new chapter of life. He will slowly leave his position after graduation in May and is set to turn over the position to the new president by June. 

“I don’t like the word retirement. The challenge of retirement is what does it mean,” said Divine.

He said he’s thought about retiring for several years now and everything just lined up that this year was the time to retire. In his retirement, Divine said he plans to travel, volunteer, complete his six months worth of work around his house, spend more time with his wife, working on his hobbies, and he wants to come back for college events. He plans to stay in Casper for retirement. 

Looking back on the past nine years as president of the college, Divine said he really enjoyed his role. He spoke of what he sees as his biggest accomplishment.  

“In this case, I would define accomplishment as anything that helped students succeed and achieve their goals,” Divine said. 

In addition to the overall emphasis on student success, Divine highlighted another accomplishment that sticks out to him.

Divine talked about how he is most proud of getting a graduation speaker that is a student and not someone famous like it was before he came to Casper. 

“I just don’t agree with that, and I think graduation should be all about the students. I changed the model where we have the contest. The contest is where the student can write the essay and audition to become a speaker at graduation. I absolutely think that it is the way it should be. Graduation should be all about the students,” Divine said. 

Along with accomplishments, there are also always challenges that one must overcome. Divine said there was a time when the whole state saw a big downturn creating a financial burden that affected the college. He said he had to “tighten its belt” and figure out a way to overcome. Another challenge Divine spoke about overcoming came when the college purchased the ranch campus and rodeo practice arena. He said this was a challenge for him because he stepped in when it was just purchased, so he… and got the situation all figured out of what was needed, what all needed to be fixed, what elese was needed to have the campus function correctly and smoothly and any other financial things to go with the campus. 

“It’s all about the students and people getting that next goal in life. Why wouldn’t you want to go out and celebrate student success from music, (to) graphic arts, athletics, forensics, or livestock judging,” said Divine. “I plan to attend events that are done by students of the college during retirement.”

Divine said one of the things he will miss in retirement is representing the college and the students of the college. Representing the students is a very meaningful thing to Divine. Anything that dealt with students he was there for. Also just representing the college and being the face of the college meant a lot to him. He was always at student events representing the students and the college. Making sure that students succeed and achieve their goals meant that he is doing his job. One thing Divine said he won’t miss is the constant cyber-attacks on the college.
“Having to worry about the attacks, not physical attacks constantly, but cyber-attacks — cyber security. It is never-ending. I would say it is getting more constant,” said Divine. 

Divine has done a lot of within his nine years of being president from accomplishments, helping students to succeed, students to achieve their goals, and overcome many challenges. He is looking forward to what retirement is and what it will have in store for him.

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