Principal of St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham. for 21 years is to retire at the end of August. His next appointment and the name of his successor at Strawberry Hill will be announced later.
Now a college of London University's Institute of Education, St. Mary's is one of the oldest and best known Catholic teachers' training colleges in the country. Fr. Cronin, a Vincentian Father, has been on the staff in various capacities since 1935. He is now 62, and six years ago was awarded the C.B.E. for services to education.
Fr. Cronin's name is primarily identified with the great period of post-war expansion at the college. He said this week: "In many ways, however, the war years themselve were the toughest and most exciting. There were four priests, five lay teachers and 150 students.
"We were bombed out of 96 rooms, all of which had to be rebuilt after the war. This was done by 1950. By 1958 we had 300 students. Now there are 1,230, with 115 lecturers."
Strawberry Hill became the first Catholic training college to change over from an allmale student body to a mixed community. Today there are 480 women students, a third of them residential.