Parents and Families  

eNewsletter: March 2010

When Your College Student Comes Home For The Summer...
Back Under the Parents' Roof
Sophomore Pinning 2010
Academic Integrity
Exam Cram: Spring 2010
It's Almost Move out Time
Van Andel to be Commencement Speaker
2010 Commencement Update
Summer Jobs: The Search Begins Now
Summer Reading Suggestions
Major Spotlight: English
AQ Campus Ministry
AQ Responds to Haiti Earthquake
Updates: The Science Initiative and The Sports and Fitness Center
Got a Question? Get an Answer!
When Your College Student Comes Home For The Summer...
How to survive your new young adult in close quarters.
By Anna Marie Bartels, Class of 1980
Anna Marie Bartels So, you have been anxiously waiting to have your college student home for the summer. Three months as a complete family again. Your son or daughter has completed their first year away, and now will be home for you to parent and make a fuss over.

OK, so that lasts a week or less. Both the parental units and the college student have done a lot of growing in the past few months. The parents have become accustomed to less clutter, fewer grocery bags and less chaos. The student has been fending for themselves and enjoying the freedom of adulthood. Now comes the greatest challenge, or the most fun; depending on how you approach the summer break. My husband Dave (Class of 1978) and I have survived two daughters returning for the summer and we learned a few things along the way. Hopefully some of our lessons will help make your summer enjoyable with your college student.
First, understand that parents and students have grown and both need to understand and respect this change. It’s too late for you to wish they were six. Embrace the fact that your college student is becoming the adult you always hoped they would be
Your child has become more independent and learned how to handle more responsibility. The rules of the game have changed since the student departed last fall. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, sit down and discuss expectations. Communication is the key here. Help balance the freedom and responsibility by setting a few ground rules. You will know what will drive you crazy. You will also know what you can ease up on. If clutter drives you nuts, then ask the Student to confine it to his or her own room. As long as you can shut the door, then the clutter is out of sight. If they want to live in a mess, that’s their choice. If your spouse hates to have the gas tank in the car less than half full, then the student must keep it full, if they want driving privileges. If the student’s nightly chore at home was to clean the kitchen, make it so again. Your student obviously can handle more responsibility if they survived the year away at school. Help reinforce what they have learned by making them continue doing things they did while at school, like their laundry. Even if you did your son or daughter’s laundry when they were in high school, they can do it now, so let them. In return, give them the freedom to hang out with his or her friends on the weekend or take a day trip somewhere.
Now that you’ve made your student feel like an adult, make sure you make them feel a part of the family again. This is especially important if there are younger siblings, Your family unit had to adjust in the absence of the student and if you don’t readjust, they might feel left out or unimportant. Do things together again that you used to when they were in high school. If you and your spouse go to your younger child’s sporting events, invite your student to come with you and cheer them on. If your family had dinner together every night, eat together now. Everyone gets to hear about each family member's day and it is a good time for the student to feel connected to the family again. You will find that the student will share antidotes from the school year in this relaxed setting. Also if regular worship was a part of the family routine before the student left for college; make it so again. Your children are probably already strong in their faith, but this is a nice “booster” shot. Besides, the congregation will be happy to see them and fawn all over them.
Another helpful hint, assist them in finding a job. A job will help keep the student’s mind occupied and their wallets full. The last thing you want is them sitting around the house being unproductive. Your student probably won’t want to get stuck babysitting or cleaning the house. A job will help them by improving their resume and help you have some peace of mind. It will also give you something to talk about at dinner.
Finally, remember that your student is now an adult, but you will always be the parent and in your house they must obey and abide by your wishes. Just like at college, once they know the rules, they know how to act. Enjoy every minute while you can. Soon they will graduate with honors, move to another city and be on their own. Of course, then you can visit and bunk at their place!
Remember, it’s great to be a Saint!
Back Under the Parents’ Roof
Three tips for an easier summer at home.
By Rachel Bartels, Aquinas College Sophomore
Rachel Bartels Passed your finals. Check. Said sayonara to your roommate and tiny dorm room. Check. Packed your entire life plus a refrigerator into your car. Check. After surviving your first year at school, you are back at home to enjoy twelve paper-free and exam-less weeks, along with parents, rules, curfews, little siblings, chores, and bedtimes. But unlike breaks or random weekends at home, these twelve weeks of “vacation” can turn into the longest summer break of your life if you and your parents don’t get along. Having already survived that awkward transition summer from child to a Bonafide adult, I’ve learned a few things that can smooth the way for an easier shift and an enjoyable break for you.
Firstly, the rules of the game have changed since you’ve been away at school. You’re used to staying up late, eating when you want, and coming and going as you please. Understand that your parents aren’t accustomed to this, and may not be able to live with it. So be prepared to make some exchanges for what you want. That means taking on responsibility in return for some freedom. Offer to take on the kitchen/laundry/lawn as your “job” in return for an extension in your curfew or use of the car. Make sure you sit down with your parents and discuss the new “rules” of the house. Be the adult you are and assert your wants so you don’t overstep the boundaries later, but remember to give them the respect they deserve, they did raise you after all.
You’ve spent the entire school year being social - making new friends, joining clubs, attending functions. Don’t change these tendencies just because you are home and become a homebody. But alter your focus from finding new friendships to nurturing old olds. Reconnect with friends from high school. Maintaining a local social life will keep life from being dull in the summer months and prevent spending a bundle on gas visiting college friends far away. And don’t forget to have a bit of fun with your family too. Go to a sporting event or take a little sib out for ice cream. It will make you feel a part of the family again, and in a few short months you won’t be able too.
That being said, there’s only so many times you can hang out with friends before it becomes a bit monotonous. The cure? Find a job. As my mom likes to say, “it keeps your mind and your wallet full.” The more time you spend around the house being unproductive, the more likely you will be to get “the list” of dreaded housework from Mom. A job will not only keep you from boredom at home, but will get you money so you’re not mooching from your parents, and beef up your resume. Can’t find a job in today’s market? Try volunteering instead. It will still get you out of the house and look good on your resume.
If you still find yourself at odds with your parents, remember everyone is working on the transition, so be patient. Talk about things when problems arise. Just like you did if you had a problem with your roommate at school, be sure to handle situations like an adult, with rationality and purpose in mind. Because if you don’t treat them like parents, remember they can technically kick you out of the house. And funding independence is a lot harder than having semi-independence under your parents’ roof. Ultimately, your parents just want what is best for you. And while their view and your view of what that is may differ, both of you have a common goal, so try and work towards that. With a little compromise and understanding, a job and some social activities, you can have a relaxing and fun summer and stress-free parents.
Sophomore Pinning 2010
By: Sara Sanders, Current AQ Student and Vice Chairperson Student Senate
Sophomore Pinning Ceremony Aquinas College’s Student Senate introduced the Sophomore Pinning Ceremony in 2009 to commemorate each student’s transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen. Promoting traditions that unite current students and alumni is an important task that Student Senate hopes to provide through this new event. Along with uniting present and past Saints, this event celebrates the many achievements each student attains in completing the first two years of their bachelors degree at Aquinas. With those important achievements comes a very important decision in a student’s life; the declaration of their majors and minors. The next few years at Aquinas will be based around these selected courses of study and most likely their chosen careers. The Pinning Ceremony officially welcomes a student into their chosen academic discipline and to commemorate this, each participating student will receive a pin that will serve as a reminder of this momentous step in their lives.
Academic Integrity
By: Francine Paolini, Co-Director Grace Hauenstein Library
In October 2007, Aquinas President Ed Balog appointed the President’s Task Force on Campus Integrity, made up of AQ faculty, staff and students. The Task Force was charged with developing a plan to promote academic and personal integrity on campus. Since then Aquinas College has:  
  • Joined the Center for Academic Integrity organization
  • Conducted an academic integrity survey on campus
  • Started a subscription to for faculty
  • Written an Integrity Statement that was approved by the Faculty and Staff Assemblies and the Student Senate
The "Integrity Statement" is as follows:
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.
>>Review all of AQ's integrity activities
Exam Cram: Spring 2010
By: Francine Paolini, Co-Director Grace Hauenstein Library
Exam Cram! Yes, it is back, the ever popular Exam Cram. The event that answers the question, "How many students does it take to eat their way through four cases of craisins?
Answer: Approximately 1,800! That is the number of students who participated in our last Exam Cram. For those of you who do not know, Exam Cram is a concentrated effort to offer academic support to students the week before final exams. The support comes in the form of one-on-one tutoring, moderated study sessions, research assistance and writing help. But wait, there's more! As well as addressing critical issues of the mind, Exam Cram also addresses your students' holistic, physical needs. Programs include nightly refreshments, holistic massage, yoga and wellness tips. Most of the activities take place in and around the Grace Hauenstein Library. The next Exam Cram will be held April 26 through May 3. The details will be announced at the beginning of April.
This event is produced through the combined efforts of the following departments: Student Development, Student Support Services, Residence Life, the Grace Hauenstein Library, Academic Achievement and Health and Wellness Services.
It's Almost Move Out Time
By: Doug Greenslate, Director of Physical Services
It's Almost Move Out Time

Think back to last August when you moved your son or daughter into the residence halls at Aquinas College. The anticipation, the anxiety, and the relief, it was a major event that was emotionally and physically demanding. Remember the smiling faces greeting you when you arrived on campus, and the friendly staff and students that helped you move in? Well, ready or not it's time to prepare for moving out of the residence halls. Brace yourselves, there won't be the same emotions as with move in, and to be sure, you won't see as many smiling faces or helping hands for moving.


As we prepare to clean and renovate the residence halls this summer, we hope that your son's or daughter's experience living on campus was positive and enjoyable. Here's a list of ten things they should know about moving out of their room or apartment:

  1. All students with the exception of those participating in Commencement activities are required to vacate their rooms by Friday, May 7 at 6 p.m.
  2. Students can request to stay until 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 9 if they do so by Tuesday, May 4. No exceptions will be granted beyond Sunday, May 9 unless summer housing has been contracted.
  3. All requests for summer housing should be made prior to April 30, 2010
  4. Dining services close after lunch on Friday, May 7.
  5. There are room checkout procedures that your son or daughter has been made aware of. Failure to comply with the checkout policy could lead to a fine.
  6. All rooms and bathrooms are expected to be cleaned and vacuumed. Furniture should be moved to its original set up. Failure to do so will lead to room charges that are made equally to all occupants of the room or apartment.
  7. Your son or daughter must contact their resident advisor and schedule a room checkout spot 24 hours prior to moving out.
  8. At move out, students return their key and confirm the correct summer address for the Goodwill refund check/charges statement.
  9. The College will refund your $100 Goodwill Deposit minus any damages to your room as long as you comply with proper checkout procedures and return your room key.
  10. An itemized statement regarding your Goodwill account will be mailed by late June should you incur any charges. A refund check would be included if applicable.
Van Andel to be Commencement Speaker
By:Jan Sommerville, Executive Assistant to the President

Aquinas College is pleased to announce Mr. David Van Andel (pictured at right) as our 2010 Commencement Speaker. Mr. Van Andel is the CEO of Van Andel Institute (VAI), an independent, world-class research facility in Grand Rapids. VAI stands as the cornerstone of West Michigan life science and biomedical research, and supports the Van Andel Research Institute and the Van Andel Education Institute in their endeavors to make a significant impact in enriching and enhancing lives throughout the world.


The Van Andel Institute (VAI) has gained world-wide recognition for research into the genetic and molecular origins of cancer, and more recently, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Biology students at Aquinas are invited to work on research projects at the VAI labs through internships which require 10-12 hours of commitment per week. Additionally, Aquinas students have secured summer internships at VAI which can blossom into invitations to continue on through the academic year, as well as offers of employment following graduation.

David Van Andel
Mr. Van Andel is the son of Grand Rapids philanthropists, Jay and Betty Van Andel, and he and his wife Carol continue to carry on that philanthropic legacy. He is active in numerous business and community organizations including The Right Place Program, the American Cancer Society Foundation, and he is a member of the Hope College Board of Trustees.
Additionally, Mr. Van Andel serves as Chairman of IdeaSphere, a supplier of natural and organic products; he is a member of the Alticor Board of Directors; and he is Co-Owner and Chairman of the Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey Team.
2010 Commencement Update
By:Jan Sommerville, Executive Assistant to the President
Commencement 2010

In light of the on-going renovation of the Sports and Fitness Center on campus, Commencement will be held at Sunshine Community Church this year. Sunshine is located at 3300 East Beltline Avenue, about 6 miles northeast of campus.

Commencement informational packets will be mailed from the Provost to all students who have completed the paperwork to graduate, as well as to the parents of the traditional-age students. This information should have arrived around the third week of March.


We will be issuing tickets for commencement this year, something we have not had to do in the past. Details and instructions are in the Provost's mailing. Initially we will be allowing five guest tickets per graduate; those not needing five will have their extra tickets placed in reserve and those wishing to have more than five will be able to pull from that reserve. We are confident that all reasonable requests will be honored.

If you have any questions after receiving the informational packet, do not hesitate to contact Jan Sommerville in the President's Office (632-2881 or or Monica Edison in the Provost's Office (632-2151 or
Summer Jobs: The Search Begins Now
By: Ann Post, Assistant Director Career and Counseling Services
Summer jobs are not just an opportunity to earn that much needed extra income but to also further develop and enhance skills along with networking opportunities for future full time employment. In a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers; excellent communication skills, strong work ethic, team work, and initiative were the top four soft skills that employers say they look for in a candidate.
With spring just about here and summer right around the corner; Career and Counseling Services has already begun to receive summer employment opportunities. Most of these opportunities are with a variety of summer camps; although we anticipate that many parks and recreation departments, resorts, golf courses, conferencing centers, and youth programs have already begun to access their summer employment needs and will be posting their employment opportunities soon.
Encourage your student to begin their summer job search now! Waiting until April or May may prove to be more difficult to find that dream summer opportunity. Similar to full time employment after graduation; networking with friends and extended family can assist your student in securing a great summer opportunity.
In addition to employment, summer is also a great time to volunteer in an organization or agency that relates well to your students' academic major or minor. Many of these organizations rely on volunteers to fulfill their summer programming needs. Volunteering is another excellent way to develop those skills that employers are looking for in a candidate.
Don't delay, encourage your student to begin looking for that summer opportunity today!
Summer Reading Suggestions
By: Francine Paolini, Co-Director Grace Hauenstein Library
Are you looking for a good book? How about a book recommendation from an Aquinas faculty or staff member? Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading. Why not explore a couple of the books on the annual "Aquinas Faculty/Staff Book Pick" list? The list features everything from classic fiction to biography to current, non-fiction. >>Download the annotated list of the book picks and the folks who picked them (pdf)
Major Spotlight: English
By: Dr. Rebecca Coogan, Chairperson of the English Department
2009-2010 LIT Club Officers

Lambda Iota Tau is the national literary honor society for literature majors and minors. The three Greek letters, L I T, are an acronym for the motto of the society, Logos Idean Telei, "The word gives form to the idea."
Pictured at left are the LIT officers for 2009-2010. From bottom to top: Kyla Sisson, President; Katie Carty, Vice President; Zarah Moeggenberg, Secretary; Kyle Austin, Treasurer


It’s a good semester for bibliophiles! This spring the BFN (Big Fat Novel) is playing a starring role in the English Department curriculum. In Dr. Jennifer Dawson’s American novel class, students are joining Captain Ahab in his relentless 500-page pursuit of the great white whale in Moby Dick or, the Whale (1851). According to Dr. Dawson, "reading Moby-Dick is an English Major rite of passage only to be surpassed by tackling Walden."

Dr. Brent Chesley’s students, focusing on the British tradition, are currently reading Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) by Samuel Richardson, a novel Dr. Chesley has described as "the most influential and least read of English novels." He has assured students that the more familiar Pride and Prejudice, the best novel in English in his opinion, is on the horizon! And Dr. Dan Brooks is guiding his students in World Literature through "a contemplation of space, time, and the meaning of human existence" in The Magic Mountain (1924), a whopping 700-page novel by the German author Thomas Mann.  Clearly, there is a lot of good reading going on; and English students are no doubt making strides toward acquiring "a broad knowledge of the history and development of literature" (English Department Mission Statement).
In addition to the Bachelor of Arts in English, the department also has under its auspices minors in literature, writing, and journalism. Each semester, our talented writing faculty conducts workshops in a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. This semester’s offerings in writing also include script writing, taught by Randy Wyatt, playwright and director of the Theatre Department at Aquinas, and film and drama review with John Serba, film critic for The Grand Rapids Press. Student writers have the opportunity to submit their work for publication in The Sampler, the department's literary magazine, published each April. Writing
Prospective English students and their parents are often curious as to how our graduates use their knowledge and skills after Aquinas. Not surprisingly, many of our students work in the fields of teaching, writing, and editing. Graduates who have pursued careers in secondary education include Theresa Mienko McAllister ('96), who teaches in the Forest Hills Public Schools, and Sarah Carter Conklin ('02), who teaches at Bridgman High School in Bridgman, Michigan, where she has also served as Language Arts Chair. Sarah tells us that "the personal attention and sense of community" that she experienced at Aquinas have been important to her development as an educator. In the field of higher education is James Bromley ('00). Jim earned his Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in 2007 and is now on the faculty at Miami University, where he teaches and writes about Shakespeare.
Scott Southard ('96) has been enjoying a successful writing career, having had three novels published to date. He also works in the editing field. Other English graduates working in the fields of writing and editing include Heather Young Salter ('99), Elizabeth Dudek ('01), and Jennifer Sikora Wright ('04). Among our many gifted writers pursuing MFAs in writing are Kate Dernecouer ('06) at Western Michigan University and Luke Eschenberg ('06) at Hollins College in Roanoake, Virginia. Luke was recently invited to give a poetry reading at Roanoke College.
Student also pursue graduate study in areas other than literature and writing. Our 2009 Outstanding English Graduate, John Taylor, has recently completed a successful first semester at Michigan State University’s School of Law. Laura Bertram, 2008’s Outstanding English Graduate, and Cheyna Roczkowski, this year’s Patrick Gill Scholarship winner, plan to follow suit by entering law school in the fall.
>>Learn more about our graduates
By: Lt. Mark McCann Sr., Department of Campus Safety
The second annual sophomore tradition of helping the community continues this fall when Sophomore Saints Support sponsors Project REUNITE the week prior to classes starting. Project REUNITE is intended to help students become more acquainted with Eastown. Eastown consists of a group of business and residential houses that over the years has supported Aquinas in many ways. From providing quality eating establishments to offering alternative housing to many of our upperclassmen, it also provides many different perspectives through a neighborhood association and business association.
Project REUNITE introduces sophomores to these different businesses along with meeting many people that have a vested interest in seeing Aquinas students succeed on every level. The Sophomore Saints Support group supervises (works right along with) sophomores with simple tasks such as watering trees, picking up garbage, and cleaning the Eastown area. In the initial year (2009) we had great response as many neighbors saw our students taking a pro-active approach to community.
Some of our students helped with projects that needed to be accomplished on campus as well. We had teams painting the lines of our outdoor basketball courts doing other general maintenance which builds pride in our surroundings. Of course at the end of our adventure in 2009 we asked students for feedback about Project REUNITE over pizza and soft drinks. We received very positive comments including "I had no idea these stores were so close" to "I love being able to help others". Sophomore Saint Support will be asking for all sophomores in 2010 to make this annual event even better.
AQ Campus Ministry
By: Mary Clark-Kaiser, Director of Campus Ministry
Campus Ministry began this school year in a new location on the second floor of the Browne Center, an old mansion across from the library. I have been delighted to see deer from my new office window. From our new surroundings Campus Ministry continues to reach out to all members of the Aquinas college community and walk with them on their journey to God. Grounded in the Dominican charisms of prayer, study, community and service and rooted in the Catholic tradition, we welcome people of all faiths to all of our programs.

This year again we have had faith filled and joyful liturgical worship, including Mass during the week and our vibrant Sunday evening student Mass. Students, after receiving training, serve in many liturgical ministry roles at our Masses. Other sacramental opportunities are available for students as well, including Confession at 4 p.m. before the weekday Masses. Other spiritual life activities this year include the Pond Reflection during freshman orientation, non denominational weekly bible study for nursing students, daily rosary, and a monthly ecumenical Taize prayer service.


Throughout the year students have an opportunity to go on a variety of retreats. These include a Backpacking Retreat to South Manitou Island, CYBIAC, which is so popular that students are lining up the day of registration at 4:00 in the morning to get a spot, the On Campus Directed Retreats, which introduce students to one on one spiritual direction. The retreat offerings will culminate in April with Arete, a spring biking retreat.

Mass in Bukowski Chapel
Campus Ministry is committed to Catholic Social Teaching and has a strong service learning program. This year students have attended national and international break week service-learning trips which include trips to: West Virginia and Kentucky, to help remodel and build houses; Maine, to work with the park rangers at Acadia National Park; Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, to do needed service projects; and the Dominican Republic, to work in clinics. Trips fill up quickly and students' lives are changed dramatically by their service experiences.
Campus Ministry Retreat Another way students serve is through AQ LIGHT Retreat Team. Last Sunday, Feb. 28, the team presented their last confirmation retreat for the school year. The team, comprised of 27 Aquinas college students has been meeting every Sunday evening from 9:30 to 11 p.m. since late August. This is a volunteer team of freshman through seniors who meet because they have a deep Christian faith which they love sharing with middle and high school youth. The team has been giving retreats since 1993. This year the team is led by Co-Chairs seniors Kristina Krausman, Anna Wright, Tory Valenti and Junior Cecilia Vaughn. They have given 6 retreats this year and traveled as far away as Sturgis. The students who attend give very positive evaluations.
Campus Ministry is committed to building the community of the Aquinas family. We love to celebrate and bring people together for a sense of belonging. Each year we sponsor St. Thomas Aquinas Week in late January to celebrate our patron saint. This year the week was again enjoyed by the whole campus. A highlight was a one woman play about St. Catherine of Siena, a great Dominican saint. During Cram Week before finals we sponsored an Ice "Cram" Social and on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday we handed out 300 donut holes "faux paczki" in front of the statue of St. Thomas in the AB Building.
A graduating senior wrote recently, "Campus Ministry provides many different ways to experience your faith with different kinds of prayer and retreat opportunities, which is great for us college students who are just starting to own and live out our faith.
>>More on Campus Ministry
AQ Responds to Haiti Earthquake
By: Eric Bridge, Coordinator of Service-Learning
Rays of Hope for Haiti Fundraiser

In response to the recent earthquake in Haiti, Aquinas created AQ Hope for Haiti. Aquinas partnered with local organization Rays of Hope for Haiti to collect and ship emergency supplies to Haiti. Donation boxes were placed across campus locations from January 18 to February 12. Supplies collected included: Food - rice, beans, peanut butter, powdered milk, canned milk, cooking oil; Medications - pain relievers, antibiotic ointment, Ace wraps, bandages; Other - soap, blankets, sheets, and towels. AQ students collected and sorted items.


On February 20, students loaded 20,000 cubic feet of donated food/supplies into a truck and delivered them to Rays of Hope for Haiti's warehouse to be shipped to contacts on the ground in Haiti. AQ Hope for Haiti is co-sponsored by Campus Ministry/Service Learning, CAVA, SAC, Student Athletic Advisory Board, and Social Justice Living Learning Community. Special thanks to AQ students Hannah Barker and Annie Parks who spearheaded this project.

Other AQ efforts include:
  • Financial collections for Rays of Hope for Haiti (for shipping costs). Students working through campus and partner community organizations raised and donated over $3,600 to Rays of Hope for Haiti.
  • Each week AQ students and staff volunteer at the Rays of Hope warehouse, sorting items, packing boxes and organizing pallets of emergency supplies headed to Haiti.
  • Participation with the Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Relief Services Haiti Relief Effort Fund. Over $640,000 has been collected throughout the Diocese of Grand Rapids for Catholic Relief Services.
  • AQ Students volunteered with The Salvation Army and 95.7 W-Lite at the Haiti Earthquake Relief Radiothon on January 19 at Woodland Mall. Event raised over $20,000 for Haiti emergency relief.
  • An AQ Haiti Benefit Dance featuring 80's music was held on February 6.
  • A special Mass remembering Haiti was held on January 13.
  • The AGAPE group led a rosary for Haiti on January 26 at Bukowski Chapel.
  • AQ continues to support our Haiti Sister School by each year raising funds to sponsor seven Haitian teachers, allowing Haitian students the opportunity to receive an education.
Updates: The Science Initiative and The Sports and Fitness Center
By: Cindy Dorman, Manager of Advancement Strategies
The Science Initiative
AQ Science Student The Science Initiative is a long-range effort by Aquinas College to upgrade and strengthen science education for its students. It grew out of a scholarship fundraising project that was undertaken in 2002 by AQ administrators, faculty and science alumni, which ultimately succeeded in raising not only scholarship monies, but funding for undergraduate research as well. This was Phase I of the Science Initiative, and it raised more than $3 million, largely funded by science alumni, for an endowment that ensures the availability of annual funding for both scholarships and undergraduate research.
Having accomplished these objectives and laid a secure foundation for the science program, the Science Initiative has launched Phase II, the fundraising campaign for the renovation of Albertus Magnus Hall. Named for Albertus Magnus, a 13th century empiricist, the original Albertus Hall structure was built in 1959, and in 1989 a four-story tower addition was constructed for faculty and division offices.
Albertus Hall's classrooms, laboratories and lecture auditorium remain essentially unchanged from their original date of construction, other than the addition of web-based network technology which didn't exist in 1959. It is time to bring Albertus into the 21st century.
Seventy-five percent of Aquinas College's graduating science majors continue on to graduate programs or medical school within a year of graduating from our institution. In order to meet the challenges of research on the graduate level and compete successfully for the new generation of science-related jobs that are emerging, students must be trained in a modern, efficient learning environment. The Science Initiative's Albertus Hall renovation project is a reflection of our commitment to preparing our students to achieve their career goals.
For information on how you can contribute to the campaign, contact Greg Meyer, Associate Vice President for Advancement at (616) 632-2836 or
The Sports and Fitness Center
Rendering of Rennovated Sports and Fitness Center

AQ's old Physical Education and Athletic Building - the "Fieldhouse" - was built in 1969. Adequate for the athletic requirements of the time, it has long since become outdated. Our campus community has grown in the past 40 years, and so have the athletic and related academic programs.


On August 26, 2009, the College held a press conference to announce the start of Phase I of the Sports and Fitness Center project, renovation of the Fieldhouse. Expected to be completed by fall 2010, this renovation consists of gutting the original building and constructing an entirely new interior that will include:

  • A new main competition court with seating for 2,000
  • A Hall of Fame
  • An Athletic Training Facility
  • Three new classrooms
  • New locker rooms for AQ and visiting athletes and coaches
  • A Saints Room for meetings and events
  • A Fitness Center with cardio equipment, free weight area and group exercise area
  • New coaching and staff offices
In spite of the inconvenience of being displaced from their home court this year, our athletic teams are eagerly anticipating competing next year in their new home. Once the entire two-phase project is completed, our student athletes and campus community will have a modern sports and fitness complex that will promote health and wellness in addition to housing our athletic programs.
Phase II of the project will consist of construction of a 70,000-square-foot Multipurpose addition that will house:
  • a 200-meter NCAA certified indoor track
  • practice areas for baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse
  • courts for intramural sports
>>More on the Sports and Fitness Center
Got a Question? Get an Answer!
By: Paula Meehan, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Paula Meehan, Vice President for Enrollment Management As the year progresses, parents invariably have questions that may not have been addressed in orientation, AQ visit days or in our quarterly e-newsletters. Not to worry. It's never too late to ask a question and get an answer or a referral to campus personnel.

Just e-mail Paula Meehan, Vice President for Enrollment Management at or pick up the phone and call directly at (616) 632-2852 or 1 (800) 678-9593. You will receive a reply within 24 hours.