From the President

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It is hard to believe that Terry and I have been Saints for a full year. It’s been quite a year, including the opening of Aquinas College's brand new chapel, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, and the start of our ongoing science expansion and renovation project. There is not a day that passes that we do not hear of an important student accomplishment facilitated by a tireless faculty member or staff mentor, or of a special moment of meaning experienced on our campus. This is the “special sauce” of an Aquinas education: inviting great people here as undergraduate, graduate or continuing education students, and then supporting them with the full talents, values and caring of our community to help them get to the next stage of their lives.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about how college is not worth the time or cost. As an economist, I can tell you that these claims could not possibly be more wrong. The difference between earning a four-year degree and not has profound impacts on the rest of a person’s life. College graduates enjoy total mean lifetime earnings that far exceed those who do not complete college, and as a group, experience considerably fewer and shorter — and less damaging — spells of unemployment when the economy inevitably cycles south. College grads are also far more likely to hold jobs that provide better health care benefits and retirement plans. Moreover, there is a growing amount of solid research demonstrating that people with degrees simply get more enjoyment out of life.

As a Catholic college, we cannot allow the experience we offer to get out of reach for those who desire it. Aquinas College has a long history of providing the opportunity for a very high quality, small Catholic college education to those who might not otherwise have been able to have one, and it is my intention to ensure that this remains the case. We are very proud to be included among the top 20 Best Value Schools in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report because it means that we are fulfilling our mission. In an era when college costs seem out of reach for so many, Aquinas College continues to do something important.

The tagline that we use to market the College is “I Can” — the last four letters in the word Dominican. The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids are the source of our mission and values, and are certainly our inspiration. Their commitment to transforming lives and communities resides in all of us, and will continue to define Aquinas College in its work. They can because we do!

Have a blessed year!

-Kevin G. Quinn