Aquinas College, an inclusive educational community rooted in the Catholic
and Dominican traditions, provides a liberal arts education with a global
perspective, emphasizes career preparation focused on leadership and
service to others, and fosters a commitment to lifelong learning dedicated
to the pursuit of truth and the common good.
Aquinas College is recognized by its values:
Commitment to Excellence
- Career and life preparation
- Use of gifts and talents
- Education emphasizing the interrelatedness of all knowledge
- Developing capacity for critical and constructive thinking
- Prepared to take action in a changing world
- Character development
- Grounded in Judeo-Christian values
- Commitment to the search for Truth
- Ethical and moral formation
- Concern for those who are disadvantaged, poor, and vulnerable
- Intrinsic dignity and interdependence of all creation
- Support and cooperate with each person’s efforts to become his/her self
- Understanding of various cultures
- Dedication to the common good
- Work to ensure the rights of all
- Call and commitment to know, love, and serve
- Diversity and inclusiveness in a challenging and supportive
- Respect for the Dominican intellectual life
- Solidarity with the whole human family and our Earth
- Communicate honestly and openly
Our Diversity and Integrity Statements
Diversity - Aquinas College is committed to equality. This statement of the College speaks to this commitment, as do our history and heritage. We believe that diversity is a blessing, which brings a richness of perspectives to our intellectual, cultural, social, and spiritual life. All members of our community - faculty, staff, students - will demonstrate respect for each other regardless of our differences. All of us will be sensitive in our actions, words, and deeds. We will demonstrate these sensitivities in our classrooms, curricula, offices, meeting places, and living environments. We will maintain the diversity of our Board of Trustees, faculty, student body, and staff and appreciate the different gifts each brings to this community regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability.
Integrity - Aquinas College is rooted in the Dominican traditions of prayer, study, community and service, combined with a deep respect for truth, honesty and integrity. In this spirit, we strive to create an environment in which integrity is prized and practiced. We expect all community members to uphold these values through honesty, fairness, and respect for others.
Founded by the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids in 1886, Aquinas has a Catholic heritage in the Dominican tradition of working and serving as outlined in the Dominican Charisms. It is lived out by Aquinas students who volunteer their time and talents in the Grand Rapids community and by those who travel to places such as Oaxaca, Mexico; Appalachia, Kentucky; or any of several other service-learning locations. To learn more about the history of Aquinas College, check out our Heritage & Traditions website.
The College is named for St. Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century Dominican scholar and teacher considered to be one of the most brilliant minds of his time and one of the most influential thinkers in the history of the Catholic church. St. Thomas stressed the importance of having an open mind and open heart and continuously learning from our life experiences. Throughout the years, the Aquinas community has continued to foster a learning environment centered on these principles.
The Dominican History within the context of Higher Education dates to the 13th century. Curricula innovation is a hallmark of Aquinas. That educational heritage continues at Aquinas each year as approximately 2,300 students register for classes in both its undergraduate and graduate programs, which encompass 61 majors including signature programs in Sustainable Business and Conductive Education.
Our Accreditation and Governance
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association since 1946. >More Information
Aquinas College is governed by its Board of Trustees in conjunction with the President's Office. Juan Olivarez, Ph.D., began his service as the seventh president of Aquinas College on July 1, 2011.