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AMHERST, Mass. (AP) _ The president of Amherst College is stepping down after nine years on the job.

Tom Gerety said Thursday that he'll resign effective June 30, 2003. He said the liberal arts college, which has about 1,600 students, is financially and academically strong and now is a good time to let someone else take over.

Gerety announced no definite plans, but said he may pursue interests in humanitarian work, conservation or urban policy.

Gerety, 55, helped raise $270 million during a four-year fund-raising campaign. Since 1994, the college's endowment nearly tripled from $332 million to almost $1 billion.

``Tom has led Amherst for nearly a decade with remarkable energy and generosity,'' said Amos B. Hostetter Jr., chairman of the school's board of trustees. He said a presidential search committee will be formed in the next few weeks.