Aquinas has a rich history of helping build strong foundations for our students. Over the course of the last 130+ years, our graduates have gone on to solidify their own paths to success. These paths that each of our alumni have carved started with their experience at Aquinas.
Areas of Study
Business Administration and Communications
“Even when you’re long gone, the connections the Aquinas community has throughout the world are amazing. Once a Saint, always a Saint.”
I chose Aquinas College because I want to be a leader. Because of the small size of the institution, I felt I could explore leadership positions as early as my first year.
As an Aquinas College student, my education has taught me to search deep inside myself and push through mental barriers. Furthermore, education has influenced me to push myself in all I do.
My ambitions after Aquinas include learning as much as I can before taking on a leadership role. I enjoy collaborating with people, and I feel that if given the opportunity, I might thrive as a leader.
It’s great to be a Saint because we Saints show unity. We have a pride that makes the average student want to come to school. It makes the school feel less like a school and more of a fun place to be. You feel more like a part of your community. Even when you’re long gone, the connections the Aquinas community has throughout the world are amazing. Once a Saint, always a Saint.
Area of Study
Early Childhood Education
“Aquinas has re-shaped and strengthened my courage and determination to conquer hard things, no matter what barriers are ahead.”
After six years of working in early childhood classrooms post-high school graduation, I decided that I wanted to further my knowledge and professionalism in the field of early childhood. Because I worked for Grand Rapids Catholic Dioceses, I qualified for the Donnelly scholarship, which made it easier to go back to college.
Honestly, the pure joy that I received when I walked through campus is my favorite thing about Aquinas. I felt an honor every time I walked through the green or snowy paths from my car to class.
Being surrounded by trees is exactly what my heart needs and I’ll never forget studying at the outside picnic tables anytime the sun decided to peek out from the clouds.
Aquinas has re-shaped and strengthened my courage and determination to conquer hard things, no matter what barriers are ahead. The professors and classmates in the education field were the village of people I needed to be successful and remain motivated.
Amazing educators are coming from Aquinas because the way the program is running is the future of education and teaching and for that, it’s a great day to be a Saint!
Areas of Study
Business and Communications
“...there’s not a doubt in my mind the incredible friendships I’ve made at Aquinas will last long after I graduate.”
I chose Aquinas College because I loved that Aquinas was a small, liberal arts school where I would be able to create close relationships with my peers and faculty on campus. I knew that whatever school I attended I didn’t want to only be a number, and I wanted to know I could come to my professors with questions or for help in my classes.
I automatically felt that sense of comfort when I stepped onto campus.
From late-night movie nights to de-stress from classes, to fall photoshoots around campus when the leaves were changing colors, to exploring GR together, there’s not a doubt in my mind the incredible friendships I’ve made at Aquinas will last long after I graduate.
It is great to be an AQ Saint because there will always be a part of me that was changed and grew in a positive way from the memorable experiences gained and the supportive community of peers and professors that I encountered during my time at AQ. I know I will always have a home here.
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Areas of Study
Mathematics, Chemistry and French
“Accepting the mantle of being an AQ Saint means acknowledging a heritage of excellence.”
Aquinas was an excellent opportunity to continue doing all of the things that I loved: hockey, math, science and music.
I remember when my team won the NAIA national tournament in hockey. I don’t think I stopped smiling for a week. Upon reflection, I wasn’t smiling because of the big trophy we won, but rather because of the feeling of fulfillment that encapsulated me. I was acutely aware of the dedication that was required to win that tournament, and I have a lasting sense of pride in all of the hard work that was put into that season.
Accepting the mantle of being an AQ Saint means acknowledging a heritage of excellence. To claim that you are an AQ Saint means you accept the challenge that is extended to each of us. We strive for greatness in each endeavor, we study rigorously, we practice relentlessly and we compete with a purpose. It is great to be an AQ Saint because when you live by these expectations, your life is enriched with challenges and opportunities you never would have thought possible.
Communications and Research
Areas of Study
Political Science and Spanish
“A close friend at the time told me about Aquinas. I did some research and talked to my family, who thought that a smaller school would be a good community for me. They were right.”
I was a pretty confused 17-year-old. I wanted to get out and start my own life, but I didn’t know where to go or how to get there. A close friend at the time told me about Aquinas. I did some research and talked to my family, who thought that a smaller school would be a good community for me. They were right.
I remember making my way through the first semester. My professors cared about how I did; they wanted me to succeed. Everyone was so incredibly gracious, so at ease and kind that I felt a deep responsibility to push myself more and more over time. This effort toward becoming a better person, of finding grace and forgiving others and myself — Aquinas embodied all of this, and, I hope, filled me with some of its virtue.
So often in adulthood, we’re put on a kind of treadmill. The speed increases, but we don’t get anywhere. There’s this elusive promise that by working harder, trying more, being faster, smarter and quicker, we will find joy, not only for ourselves but also for everyone around us. Aquinas wasn’t worried about the treadmill. It was a bastion of mindfulness, patience and love. It emphasized charity, learning and compassion. It taught me the joy in giving and the blessing of community. These things are so treasured at Aquinas and impart significance to those who go there.
Dean of International Programs, Pepperdine University
Areas of Study
Political Science and Spanish
“The knowledge and experiences that I gained at Aquinas opened social, economic and political doors that had been closed to my family for generations.”
I discovered Aquinas at a college fair. I had already decided to go to a university in Ohio, but the representative from Aquinas was really enthusiastic. The more I learned about the college, the more I felt that it aligned with my values. So I decided to attend Aquinas instead.
Aquinas played a critical role in my faith journey. My experiences with Campus Ministry and the college community helped solidify my identity as a Catholic woman. It helped me examine what I believe and why, and that motivated me to share my faith with others.
During my time at Aquinas, I studied in Costa Rica and Spain. Those experiences profoundly impacted how I understood the world and my place in it. I became a better communicator and negotiator. The experiences made me more creative and resilient, too. After graduation, I started working in international education, and 20 years later I’m still helping universities create cultural experiences for students.
As a first-generation college student, the impact of my education went beyond myself as an individual. It has impacted my entire family. The knowledge and experiences that I gained at Aquinas opened social, economic and political doors that had been closed to my family for generations.
Director of Foodservice at Methodist Children’s Home Society
Owner of Xav’s Catering & Xav’s Jamaican Fusion Food Truck
“One of the best aspects of Aquinas is how the faculty and staff encourage students to be actively involved on campus."
I came to Aquinas to run cross country. I am from New York, so I didn’t have the opportunity to be around many grassy fields and trees growing up. I chose Aquinas after seeing the gorgeous pictures of the campus that were sent to me during recruitment.
My education at Aquinas helped me become the leader and business owner I am today. Having small class sizes where I was able to connect with my professors allowed me to grow and develop my skills. I also think that through the liberal arts, being able to take a variety of classes shaped my views on how to approach various situations I’ve encountered throughout my career.
One of the best aspects of Aquinas is how the faculty and staff encourage students to be actively involved on campus. I took this to heart during my time in college. I was even given the nickname “Mr. Aquinas.” I joined everything I could and was very active in clubs and organizations.