North Central College announces Dr. Anita Thomas as new president

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“Ladies and gentlemen for the very first time, I present to you North Central College president elect Dr. Anita Thomas,” said Chair of North Central Board of Trustees, Dr. Holly Humphrey.

Faculty, students, and the community gathered at Wentz Concert Hall to meet North Central College’s 11th president in its 162-year history, Dr. Anita Thomas.

About Dr. Anita Thomas

Before arriving in Naperville, Dr. Thomas served as the executive vice president at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is also a researcher, educator and psychologist. Dr. Thomas always had the vision of wanting to lead a campus and this opportunity was too good to pass up.

“Every institution I’ve gone to, people have said, you’ve got a real natural style, both in terms of connecting with other people, but really thinking about strategic direction and vision, problem-solving, a lot of issues. So being a college president has sort of been buzzing in the back of my ears for a while. And so this is a great time to really see that dream fulfilled,” said Dr. Thomas.

First woman and first person of color

Not only is Dr. Thomas the 11th president in school in history, she is also the first woman and the first person of color to lead the Cardinals.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for me to really be able to have a more collaborative leadership style, to really come together. Emphasize diversity in a way that I think helps to move the needle for the campus,” said Dr. Thomas.

A special afternoon to remember

The audience gave the new president-elect a standing ovation at the end of her address.

“This was a very surreal experience for me in a lot of ways. I have been preparing to become a college president and certainly going through the interview I learned more about myself and the interest and the role. But coming here today, seeing an almost packed house and the community really excited about the future of the college was just really exciting,” said Dr. Thomas.

Dr. Thomas will start her tenure on July 1st however, she’s already getting into the school spirit.

“Let’s go Cardinals,” said Dr. Thomas.

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Image courtesy: North Central College