Community Leadership at Aquinas College

Program History

The Community Leadership major was approved by the Academic Assembly in 1998. Designed by professor Michael Williams and Rev. George Heartwell, the major is intended to prepare students to serve as effective leaders in the non-for-profit sector, giving future heads of service organizations or other non-profits the social, service and financial skills they will need to run successful organizations.

Rev. George Heartwell was elected Grand Rapids' new mayor in 2003. Heartwell won 84-percent of the votes cast in the primary. He remained mayor until 2016 becoming the first Grand Rapids mayor to term out of office.

Mike Williams chaired the boards of the Eastown Community Association and the citywide Council of Neighborhood Associations and worked with community groups for civic improvement. In 2004, Mike became dean of the School of Education, a position he held until his retirement in 2006. He remained an adjunct professor Community Leadership major. He published three books on community organizing and education and co-authored Eastown.