About President VanAken

Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D., began his term as the 14th president of Elmhurst College on July 1, 2016.

President VanAken has an extensive and varied background in higher education, including experience as a senior administrator, a mathematics professor, a business entrepreneur and an athletic director.

Before coming to Elmhurst, President VanAken served as president and professor of mathematics at Thiel College, an independent Lutheran liberal arts, sciences and professional studies institution in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Among his accomplishments at Thiel, President VanAken oversaw a major capital campaign that exceeded its $60 million goal 10 months early.

Previously, President VanAken served in a number of roles at Albion College, 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 addition to his experience as athletic director at Albion, President VanAken has served as a high school football and track coach and has done committee work for the NCAA and collegiate athletic conferences. He also is active in economic and community development, and has started three successful technology-related companies.

President VanAken holds master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor of science degree from Hillsdale College.

President VanAken and his wife, Annette, have two children: Trey and Gabriella.

The VanAken family (L to R): Troy, Gabriella, Annette and Trey after the Inauguration Ceremony in October 2016

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