On Tuesday, January 12 the Kalamazoo College Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee announced Jorge G. Gonzalez, Ph.D., as the 18th President of the College.
Currently, Dr. Gonzalez serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Formally, Dr. Gonzalez worked at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where he won the Most Prestigious Teacher Award.
Dr. Gonzalez earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey, Mexico where he grew up. During college, Gonzalez studied abroad in Wisconsin and described it as a “life changing experience.”
Charlotte Hall K‘66, who led the Search Committee and is the Board of Trustees Chair, said that the decision was “enthusiastically unanimous,” and read a quote from another committee member who said, “What impressed me most about Jorge Gonzalez is that he wants to be President of Kalamazoo College, not just a college.”
At the announcement, which took place in Stetson Chapel, current President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran stated that it was “a day for rejoicing.”
“I’m so excited to sit in North Carolina and watch K continue to thrive,”
Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran said.
Gonzalez, who will begin his role as President on July 1, said the he is “thrilled to come to an institution with such a strong standing.”
“It’s terrifying to follow [Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran],” Gonzalez said, “Trying to fill half of her shoes is going to be difficult.”
According to Dr. Gonzalez, the four factors that are going to change the world are technology, globalization, diversity, and urbanization, and students need to be provided with education that can help them think critically and creatively, and work with people of many different backgrounds, among other things.
“It’s not enough to simply talk about social justice in the classroom,” President Elect Jorge Gonzalez said.
At the event, Dr. Gonzalez introduced his wife, Suzie Gonzalez (née Martin) as a 1983 Kalamazoo College alumna.
“When I married her, I married the values of Kalamazoo College,” Gonzalez said.
President Wilson-Oyelaran stated that she is eager to work with Dr. Gonzalez before her last day.
“This is a really exciting time for K,” the President concluded, “Welcome, welcome, welcome.”