Welcome to the Aquinas College E-Newsletter - your source for the latest news and events happening at AQ! Read on to find out what amazing things AQ faculty, staff, students and alumni are up to as well as what exciting projects are going on at Aquinas.
Visit Aquinas College for AQDay on Friday, April 12, 2013
We welcome all prospective students interested in Aquinas College to join us for AQDays. Come and discover what Aquinas is all about! Get the scoop on everything from scholarships to study abroad. Meet with faculty in your career interest, tour our beautiful 107-acre campus, eat lunch with potential classmates and learn about various aspects of college life!
Since our program is on a Friday, if you are visiting from afar, consider making a weekend of your trip to Grand Rapids. Visit our Grand Rapids website and take in all Grand Rapids has to offer!
A current Aquinas Student shares their amazing experience of studying abroad in Pura Vida, Costa Rica.
The Aquinas College Costa Rica Program is a semester-long, cultural immersion and study program with a substantial service-learning component. The Program is designed around the principle of interactive cultural immersion. To achieve the cultural immersion objective we have designed the academics, excursions, housing, and service-learning to interrelate and intensify the immersion experience. Moreover, students are afforded the unequaled opportunity to work with six different indigenous tribes and learn from them while providing an environmental service of replanting and reforestation of indigenous plants and trees. >Read More
AQ’s Coach Wojciakowski Given Lifetime Contribution Award
Aquinas’ own men’s and women’s cross country and track coach, Mike Wojciakowski, has been recognized for his numerous contributions to the West Michigan running community. Coach Wojciakowski was given the 2012 Lifetime Contribution Award at the inaugural A.I.M. High Endurance Awards held this past November. >Read More
2012 Fall Sports Wrap-Ups
Women’s Cross Country
The women's cross country team lost their three year hold on the WHAC Championship this past fall. Despite the one point setback at the conference meet contested at Riverside Park, the Saints received an at-large bid to the NAIA National Championships in Fort Vancouver, Washington. The berth was well deserved and the Saints took advantage of the opportunity. Aquinas finished in seventh place at the NAIA National Championships to mark the highest ever finish by a women’s cross country team. The Saints were led by All-WHAC First Team performers Rachael Steil, Alina Dhaseleer, Britta Patterson (WHAC Newcomer of the Year) and Carley Woolcott.
Men’s Cross Country
The men’s cross country team capped another strong campaign by taking home the WHAC Championship at Riverside Park. The Saints earned their ninth conference title in the past eleven years to receive the WHAC’s automatic bid to Nationals. The Saints placed fifth at the NAIA National Championships which were contested in Fort Vancouver, Washington. The fifth place performance marked the third highest finish ever for the Saints. The Saints were led by All American and WHAC “Runner of the Year”, Grant Gunneson. Gunneson teamed up with Stephen Glinski, Jacob Towne (WHAC Newcomer of the Year) and Dan Foley on the All-WHAC First Team, while Brendan Molony, Jeff Cherry and Kevin Mahar were honored on the All-WHAC Second Team. Mike Wojciakowski was given the WHAC Coach of the Year Award.
The Saints volleyball program saw some familiar faces in some new places this past fall. Betsy Vander Meer and Katie Vander Meer took over as co-head coaches for the 2012 season. The mother/daughter duo led the Saints to a record of 18-19 and finished in sixth place in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference. The Saints were led by Elle Sturgell, who was named to the First Team All-WHAC squad. Sturgell’s classmate, MacKenzie Kolstad was named to the WHAC’s Honorable Mention Team for her successful play during her sophomore season. The Saints only graduated one senior (Jessica Bredeweg) and will look to 2013 to rejoin the top-tier teams in the conference.
The men’s soccer team was the buzz around campus this fall as the Saints were crowned tournament champions in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference. The Saints, guided by Coach Veal, posted a 13-6-3 regular season record and were 7-3 in league play to finish in second place during the regular season. Aquinas defeated Cornerstone in a shootout to claim the WHAC Tournament Championship and punched their tickets for the National Tournament. The Saints bowed out to Rio Grande (2-1) in the first round, but the setback did not damper a very successful fall for Coach Veal’s crew. Junior midfielder Tyler Fischer, who was named a NAIA All-American and the WHAC Offensive Player of the Year, led the Saints in scoring with a school record 26 goals. Fischer led the nation with a 148 shots this season. Senior forward, Casey Higgason was also named First Team All-WHAC for his high level of play throughout the season. Heath Somers and Kyle Haverkate were also recognized by the WHAC on the Honorable Mention Team.
The women’s soccer team posted a record of 8-10-1 for the 2012 season. Aquinas finished conference play in sixth place with a 3-4-1 record. The Saints season ended in the WHAC Semifinals as the Saints fell to Indiana Tech 3-1. Coach Fales team was led by the All-WHAC First Team efforts of Elizabeth Vaughan. Vaughan, a midfielder from Jenison, ended her season with five goals and one assist. Melissa Hogan earned Honorable Mention accolades as she notched ten goals during her sophomore season. Kelli Sprenger, the women’s soccer Champion of Character representative, led the Saints in 2012 with a dozen goals.
Women’s Golf Claims WHAC Championship
The Saints finished the fall season in grand fashion as Coach Pupel's crew was crowned WHAC Champions following the fourth and final conference jamboree. The championship is the first for the women's golf squad since they earned the title in 2007. The final jamboree was contested at the Coyote Creek Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Madonna and Aquinas tied for the top spot during the final round, while Aquinas' Abby Hagan claimed meet medalist honors as she shot a school record 76. Hagan's performance matched the 76 that teammate Kristina Raiz shot earlier in the year.
The Saints also received scoring performances out of Raiz (83 - 6th), Valerie Muyskens (87 - 11th) and Liz Couturier (88 - 14th).
Final WHAC Standings (Fall Season)
Indiana Tech 1669
Siena Heights 1800
Northwestern Ohio 1979
The fourth Jamboree concluded the fall conference schedule and the Saints will now host a spring event at a date to be named later to determine the automatic qualifier for the NAIA National Championship.
Former student-athlete Dino Paganelli took center stage on Super Bowl Sunday when he served as back judge for football's biggest game. The Rogers High School grad who roamed the Saints outfield for the baseball team during the 1989 and 1990 seasons made his first appearance on "Super Sunday." >Read More
Students at Aquinas honor Martin Luther King Day
The students marched through campus, carrying signs scrawled with quotes from King and other civil rights leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi. >Read More from MLive.com
New Scholarships: Family Scholarship Endowment Program
Our mission statement reads: Aquinas College, an inclusive educational community rooted in the Catholic, Dominican tradition, 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 is a Catholic liberal arts college within a Dominican heritage that is universal in welcoming all who will profit by their experience here. The College seeks to assist students in making good life decisions and preparing them for a vocation and career that will enrich them and enhance the broader community. Aquinas seeks Blessed John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae describes the ideal - "In a word, being both a University and Catholic, it must be both a community of scholars representing various branches of human knowledge, and an academic
institution in which Catholicism is vitally present and operative" (14) Echoing Paul in Galatians, Aquinas, rooted in its Catholic faith tradition, welcomes all peoples regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, creed and disability.