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Bonvillian named Director Emeritus of Yes We Must Coalition

Dr. Gary Bonvillian, who will retire as president of Thomas University on June 30, has been named as the first Director Emeritus of the Yes We Must Coalition.

Bonvillian was one of the first 11 presidents of small, private, non-profit colleges and universities who began meeting in 2010 with the intention of joining forces to help increase the number of low-income students who earn college degrees. By 2012 the Yes We Must Coalition was officially established. Now there are 32 members.

Since that time, the Yes We Must Coalition has received grants from the Walmart Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“From the beginning, when the idea for a Coalition was first proposed, Gary was an ardent and articulate supporter,” said Dr. Gloria Nemerowicz, President of the Yes We Must Coalition. “His work as our first Treasurer assured that we were off on good financial and organizational footing.  In his status of Director Emeritus, he will retain his connection, and the Yes We Must Coalition will continue to benefit from his guidance.”

Bonvillian has been an active member of the Coalition touting Thomas University’s efforts that make its programs more affordable and more accessible to lower-income students. In April of 2013 Bonvillian was one of 12 presidents of private colleges and universities to represent the Yes We Must Coalition in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and key White House staff members in Washington, D.C. In January of 2014, he was one of the three Yes We Must presenters on a national conference call for the College Access Affinity Group hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.

After Bonvillian’s retirement, TU’s new president Dr. James Andrew Sheppard and Dr. Ann Landis, Executive Vice President and Provost, will continue working with the Yes We Must Coalition.

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