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August 25, 2005 -

Grand Rapids, Michigan (August 25, 2005) - The Reverend George Heartwell, director of the Community Leadership Institute (CLI) at Aquinas College, has announced his resignation, effective September 30, 2005. At a morning press conference, Heartwell announced that he will join Pilgrim Manor, a Grand Rapids retirement community at 2000 Leonard N.E., as its executive director

Aquinas College President Harry Knopke told The Grand Rapids Press, "It's a wonderful situation and opportunity for him and the community as well."

Aquinas hired Heartwell in July of 1999 to create the Community Leadership Institute, which began in January 2000, and to assist in developing an interdisciplinary academic component for those students wanting to major in community leadership.

Early on, the CLI played an essential facilitative role in the development and operation of Get the Lead Out!, a collaborative effort of more than two dozen organizations working together to end childhood lead poisoning in Kent County. This effective four-year-old effort has resulted in childhood lead poisoning rates being cut in half in the county since 2000.

In fall of 2003, Heartwell successfully campaigned for mayor of Grand Rapids and was sworn into office in January 2004.

Heartwell will begin his duties at Pilgrim Manor on October 1, 2005.

Aquinas will soon begin its search for a new director for the Community Leadership Institute.