Story by Valentina Garcia, News Editor
Photo courtesy of Aquinas.edu
The presidential search finished successfully. Dr. Kevin Quinn of St. Norbert’s College has been appointed the 8th President of Aquinas College. He will be moving to Grand Rapids from Wisconsin.
During his campus visit as a candidate, Quinn stressed accessibility and affordability. He stated that if Aquinas is only available to the wealthy, that does not fulfill the Catholic mission of the college. During this visit, he also mentioned that the academic catalog needs some tightening and there needs to be investing in the programs that are central to Aquinas.
Quinn was introduced as President-elect by Sr. Maureen Geary, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters and member of the board of trustees, through a press conference given on April 12. “In Dr. Kevin Quinn, we have a very worthy successor to the previous seven leaders of Aquinas College,” Sr. Geary said. This was emphasised to her through a statement President-elect Quinn made at one of his campus visits: “We must keep the promise our heritage provides.”
Aquinas Senior Kascha Sanor, who was part of the Presidential Search Committee, described President-elect Quinn by saying: “He’s such a fun, spunky guy. I’m excited for the energy he will bring.”
President-elect Quinn’s personality showed through at the press conference. He began by saying, “I was telling Sister just before I got up here that I’ve spent most of my life as a sinner, but today I’m a Saint.”
At the press conference, President-elect Quinn said he was drawn to Aquinas due to “the unique tripartite mission of Aquinas College that combines the Dominican Catholic values, the liberal arts experience and career readiness.” President-elect Quinn also said he and Terry, his wife, are both “looking forward to furthering the next chapter in the College’s partnership with the great community.”
President-elect Quinn’s emphasis on career preparation and liberal arts is something that stood out to Sanor during the presidential search. “In terms of the search, I think what stood out to me was his focus on career preparation with a solid foundation in our liberal arts. He understood that Aquinas provides both and was very interested in the experiential learning programs at Aquinas such as internships, study away, service-learning and student leadership opportunities,” Sanor said.
President-elect Quinn talked about the transformational power of Aquinas. He referred to Aquinas graduates as “people we can be proud of; not just academically, although that’s very important, but because of the people they are.” Earlier in the press conference, he said, “those who become part of the Aquinas College community as students are extraordinarily prepared for a good life, both personally and professionally.” President-elect Quinn values this about the Aquinas experience and that stood out to Sanor.
“I felt he was wholeheartedly invested in the holistic development of each student — focused on the academics but also personal and spiritual dimensions of the Aquinas experience as well,” Sanor said.
President-elect Quinn’s term will begin July 1, 2017. An inauguration will be held early fall.
About the Writer:
Valentina Garcia is a second-year student who loves sunny days, Jane Austen, and preferred tea to coffee until she started college.