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Alicia Córdoba. Alicia Córdoba. COURTESY PHOTO

Aquinas names Alicia Córdoba as school’s new president

BY Thursday, May 05, 2022 12:49pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Aquinas College has named Alicia Córdoba as its ninth president in the school’s 146-year history.

Córdoba starts in July following her current role as associate vice president and director of the Center for Catholic Studies at St. Mary’s University in Texas. She’ll succeed Kevin Quinn, who departed in December after deciding not to pursue a renewal of his contract with the 1,500-student Catholic liberal arts college.

Córdoba has more than two decades of experience in Catholic higher education as a faculty member and administrator. Her background includes experience in strategic planning, financial management and stewardship, curriculum and program design, fundraising, marketing, team building, process improvement and related areas, according to an announcement on her appointment.

“After a rigorous national search, extensive on-campus interviews and prayerful discernment, President-elect Córdoba was the clear and unanimous choice to lead Aquinas College at this pivotal time in higher education,” board Chairperson Marcie Hillary, a 1997 graduate of Aquinas, said in a statement. “Alicia is a servant-leader who brings decades of experience in higher education leadership, demonstrated fundraising success and stewardship, and strong financial acumen within the higher education business model. Her skill set is a perfect match for the criteria we have established for our next president and will be a strong complement to those of our current leadership team.”

A Chicago native, Córdoba also worked for 19 years at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., in faculty and administrative positions of increasing authority.

She graduated from The Juilliard School, where she was the first woman to receive a doctorate of musical arts in English horn performance. Córdoba has performed oboe and English horn with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She holds the position of principal English horn in Sinfonia da Camera, a chamber orchestra at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, Ill. 

A 14-member search committee consisting of faculty, staff, students and alumni selected Córdoba among four finalists who visited the campus for interviews in April.

“I am genuinely humbled and honored to have been selected by the trustees as the ninth president of Aquinas,” Córdoba said. “From the moment I stepped foot on campus last month, I felt right at home – and I feel equally confident we are going to accomplish many great things together.”

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