Anita Thomas Will Be the First African American President of North Central College in Illinois

Anita Thomas has been selected as the next president of North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. When she takes office on July 1, she will become the first woman and the first African American to lead the college in its 162-year history. In addition to leading the college, she will hold the faculty rank of professor of psychology.

North Central College enrolls just over 2,400 undergraduate students and about 300 graduate students, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 5 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Dr. Thomas is currently the executive vice president and provost at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to arriving at St. Catherine University in 2019, she was the founding dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences at the University of Indianapolis. Earlier in her career, Dr. Thomas taught counseling psychology and school counseling at Loyola University Chicago. She has co-authored two books: Culture and Identity: Stories for Therapists and Counselors (SAGE, 2016) and Dimensions of Multicultural Counseling: A Life Story Approach (SAGE, 2008).

A native of Louisville, Dr. Thomas is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she majored in education and social policy. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling and a doctorate in counseling psychology from Loyola University Chicago.

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