Elmhurst College Names Its 14th President

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Dr. Troy VanAken, who currently leads Thiel College in Pennsylvania, will be introduced to the College community at an event on Thursday, February 18.

The Elmhurst College Board of Trustees has announced that, by unanimous vote, they have selected Dr. Troy VanAken to serve as the 14th president of Elmhurst College.

Dr. VanAken will begin his presidency this summer. Chosen through a nationwide search, Dr. VanAken currently is the president of Thiel College, in Greenville, Pennsylvania, where earlier this month he announced that Thiel had surpassed the largest fundraising goal in its 150-year history. His career in higher education includes a wide range of experience, including years as a senior administrator, a mathematics professor, a business entrepreneur and an athletic director.

Dr. VanAken will succeed Interim President Larry A. Braskamp.

Elmhurst College will welcome Dr. VanAken and his wife, Annette, and introduce them to the campus community on Thursday, February 18, at 11:30 a.m. in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center.

Dr. VanAken has served since 2009 as president of Thiel College, an independent Lutheran liberal arts and professional studies institution in Greenville, Pennsylvania, that enrolls approximately 1,000 students. Dr. VanAken also is a mathematics professor at Thiel, and recently oversaw the Thiel 2016 capital campaign. On February 6, Dr. VanAken announced that the Thiel 2016 Campaign had exceeded its $60 million goal 10 months early, attributing the campaign's success to the efforts and gifts of more than 8,500 donors.

Previously, Dr. VanAken served in a number of roles at Albion College, in Albion, Michigan, including executive vice president, vice president for finance and management, and athletic director. A native of Michigan, he began his career in higher education as an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.

Dr. VanAken earned his bachelor of science degree from Hillsdale College, in Hillsdale, Michigan, and master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

In addition to his experience as athletic director at Albion, Dr. VanAken has assisted the NCAA and collegiate athletic conferences through committee work and served as a high school football and track coach. He also is active in economic and community development, and has started three successful technology-related companies.

Dr. and Mrs. VanAken have two children, Trey and Gabriella.

Elmhurst College is a leading four-year college that seamlessly blends liberal learning and professional preparation to educate students for life in a global society and help them to reach their potential. Elmhurst College is the one of the Top 10 Colleges in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report; and U.S. News, Money and Forbes magazines consistently rank Elmhurst as one of the Midwest's best values in higher education.


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