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July 15, 2009 - Aquinas College has named educational consultant Sheila Pantlind of Grand Haven and businessman Rick Steketee Jr. of Ada to serve as co-directors for its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), effective immediately.

Greg McAleenan, vice president for institutional advancement, said the pair brings a spectrum of experience to OLLI.

"We are very excited that Sheila and Rick are bringing their complimentary talents to OLLI and look forward to the organization's continued success for many years to come."

In addition to being an Educational Consultant, Pantlind was director of curriculum and instruction for Choice Schools Associates, was principal at Three Oaks Academy in Muskegon Heights and was an assistant principal and teacher with East Grand Rapids schools. Steketee is a former vice president of Saint Mary's Health Management Company that oversaw three West Michigan health clubs and was a vice president for Quality Stores of Muskegon.

Aquinas officials believe combination of Steketee's business leadership and Pantlind's educational expertise brings a unique blend of experience that will help ensure continued success of the OLLI program for years to come.

"We believe, in our case, that `two heads are better than one' and hope that our combined skills and expertise in education, management/administration, membership services and marketing, as well as our commitment to the community, will enable us to meet the challenges ahead," they said. "The goal of our partnership is to help perpetuate the success of the OLLI programs."

OLLI offers a broad range of intellectually stimulating non-credit courses taught by professors from area institutions and professionals from diverse disciplines. The former Aquinas Emeritus College, created in 1973 under the direction of former Aquinas College president, Dr. Norbert J. Hruby, is the oldest program of its kind in West Michigan and is considered one of the more established programs in the nation. A grant from the California-based Bernard Osher Foundation in 2008 prompted a change in name to OLLI, bringing Aquinas into a network of Osher Lifelong Learning centers nationwide.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes now operate on 115 college campuses from Maine to Hawaii. Other Michigan institutions that have received Osher grants include Saginaw Valley State University in 2005 and University of Michigan in 2006.