Aquinas College inaugurates 9th President and first woman to head institution

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – With tears in her eyes before a crowd of students, faculty, families and friends of Aquinas College, Alicia Córdoba officially became the school’s ninth president and the first woman to hold the position in the school’s 136-year history.

“I think I should say ‘Go Saints,’ right,” Córdoba said after his inauguration on Friday. “If you could feel my heart racing right now, you would know to the depths of my being how honored I am to be the ninth president of Aquinas College and, as Sister Sanders said, the first female president here at Aquinas College.”

Córdoba is no stranger to being the first woman in areas of her life. She graduated from the Julliard School and became the first woman to receive a Doctorate in Musical Arts in English horn. She has spent the last 19 years in faculty and administrative positions at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois.

(Courtesy of Aquinas College)

She has been on the Grand Rapids campus as President-elect since July 1 and had this message to the 1,500 students she serves at the school:

“Students, you know that I love you all. If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to believe in yourself. I truly believe in each and every one of you,” she said during her speech. “And if you’re walking across campus on your way to class or a practice, regularly take some time to contemplate the beauty of your campus. Look up into the trees, listen to the wind, take in the colors and remember to thank God. I thank God for you every day.”

Córdoba remains professionally active, writing and presenting on a variety of subjects, from mission integration, which she co-founded at Benedictine University, to strategic planning for music. She is married and has three children.

“As you are all here, I make a commitment as your President to serve you with compassion and humility, to listen to you and to bring you joy,” Córdoba said to the students and those present at the inauguration. “I want you to see how much I appreciate you and your work. And to work for you to make Aquinas College the premier college in the Midwest and beyond.”

Learn more about the President here or click here to see the inauguration ceremony. Aquinas College inaugurates 9th President and first woman to head institution

Dais Johnston

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