Former Westminster College president Benjamin Ola. Akande is moving to Vermont to serve as president of Champlain College.
"I just want to thank the folks in Fulton and the entire Westminster family for the opportunity to serve that institution for the time I was there," Akande said. "It was a labor of love. And I really enjoyed our time there, we made some lifelong friends, and we look forward to continue to stay in touch with them in the future."
Akande was at Westminster from 2015-17. Before that, he served as dean of the business and technology school at Webster University in St. Louis for 15 years. After leaving Westminster, he was assistant vice chancellor for international affairs-Africa and associate director of the Global Health Center at Washington University.
"It's been remarkable ride, 20 years in Missouri, and we're going to miss our friends," Akande said.
Looking back on his time in Fulton, Akande was proud of his role in preparing Westminster for the future.
"I think we positioned the institution to be relevant in the future," Akande said. "We were able to accomplish establishing a very critical advancement strategy that yielded results before we left."
At Washington University, he appreciated the chance to work at a research institution.
"My two years at WashU have been a very important highlight of my academic and professional journey," Akande said.
Akande said that research can help find life-saving solutions to real-world problems.
"I was extremely impressed because many of the people that I've met, I had read about their work in major publications like the New York Times and write-ups in the Washington Post," Akande said. "It was an honor for me to finally get to meet these pioneers."
Akande is looking forward to starting at Champlain College.
"This is a very unique time to be a president of a college because we are facing the kind of challenge for which there is no blueprint," Akande said. "There is no 'how to do it.' What is going to be necessary and evident in today's world of leading institutions is the value and impact of leadership."