Aquinas President Named to College Association Board


GRAND RAPIDS — Juan Olivarez, president of Aquinas College, has been elected to the Council of Independent Colleges board of directors and will serve a three-year term.

Olivarez and the board will work on advancing the agenda for the future of independent higher education, participate in the development of future leaders, create programs for the development of quality and practice, and advocate for underrepresented students in independent colleges and universities.

Before becoming president of Aquinas College in 2011, Olivarez held leadership positions at Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than 10 years, and Grand Rapids Community College for more than 20 years. Through the years, he has also volunteered his time on a number of local, state and national boards and committees, including the National Institute for Literacy, Higher Education Research and Development Institute, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Michigan’s Colleges Alliance, and Van Andel Education Institute.

Olivarez graduated from Aquinas College with a bachelor’s degree, Wayne State University with a master’s degree in educational psychology, and Michigan State University with a doctorate in family and child ecology.