Group of students stands on a wall that marks the entrance to Champlain College

Community Congratulations

Members of the Champlain Community and friends and colleagues of Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande have offered their congratulations on the announcement of his presidency.

To leave your own welcome message for Dr. Akande, click here.

“Dr. Akande is an agent of change and a visionary leader with a global perspective. His enterprising mindset and commitment to student success will be essential as he leads Champlain College in an evolving higher education landscape. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Akande to Champlain and supporting his work to advance the College's strategic position and build on the strength of our distinctive academic offerings." 

Charlie Kittredge, Champlain College Board of Trustees Chair


“It’s my honor to congratulate and warmly welcome Dr. Akande to lead the Champlain community as our next President. Complex times test great leaders, and we are fortunate to be a strong community with a great new leader transitioning in at this time. I'll be proud to serve Dr. Akande’s team and to chart Champlain’s future together.”

Dr. Laurie Quinn, Interim President of Champlain College


“During the search process, it was clear that Dr. Akande is a thoughtful listener and natural storyteller. I know his door will be open to all students and he will bring their voice to his work leading Champlain.”

Molly Kathleen Aldrich '20, President of the Student Government Association and member of the Presidential Search Committee


“Benjamin Akande is a proven leader with a commitment to excellence, innovation and growth. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Benjamin for many years and appreciate the way he encourages students to think critically and creatively to solve the challenges of tomorrow. His passion for innovation extends beyond the walls of academia as he actively seeks to unite the community toward a bold vision for the future.

While the St. Louis community will miss Benjamin, we are grateful for the many ways he has contributed to the long-term success of our region. We congratulate Champlain College for recruiting such a remarkable leader to serve as President and wish Benjamin all the best as he takes on this new role.” 

Kathy Mazzarella, Chairman, President, & CEO, Graybar


“Benjamin Akande is a gifted academic leader and is an inspired choice to become the next President of Champlain College. I have known Benjamin for many years, and he is a St. Louis treasure who can creatively tackle the major challenges that now confront colleges and universities. He is an excellent communicator, a consensus builder, and sensitive to all in the community he serves. Benjamin will be missed by Washington University and by the St. Louis community, and we congratulate the Champlain College community on their good fortune in recruiting him to lead the College.”

Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D, Professor and Chancellor Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis


“Benjamin Akande is a force of nature. He is an effective leader, which is so important in uncertain environments like this. He will bring to Champlain College a global perspective on the future of higher education. In addition to Dr. Akande’s experience as an academic, he understands business and corporate partnerships, vital to the career prospects of future graduates. I have known Benjamin for decades and Champlain College is fortunate to have him at the helm.”

George Walker, Chairman and CEO, Neuberger Berman


“Professor Benjamin Ola. Akande's appointment as the ninth president of Champlain is a confirmation of the confidence and respect we have for him. Professor Akande is a scholar, leader, and a shining light who understands the value of proactively seeing around corners and confronting the challenges and opportunities head on. I have the highest regard for Professor Akande and wish him success in this new exciting assignment. I am proud of him.”

Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria (1999-2007)


“A special welcome to Champlain College for Benjamin and Bola Akande and your daughters! As a trustee and member of the Search Committee it has been an honor to get to know you and hear your ideas on how we can all work together for our students. When we first met, COVID-19 seemed far away and now it adds to the challenges all higher education institutions face. Champlain’s motto, “Let us dare” will lead us forward with you as our President. It is a great place to live and work!”

Linda Tarr-Whelan
Member, Presidential Search Committee
Visiting Fellow on Women's Leadership, Champlain College


“Champlain College made a wise decision in selecting Dr. Benjamin Ola Akande as its next President. Dr. Akande is an innovative 21st-century educator who has the vision, expertise, and passion to lead Champlain College as it navigates the constantly changing higher education environment.”

Byron Bagby, Major General (Retired)


“On behalf of the faculty at Champlain College, I wish to extend the warmest of welcomes to our new President and colleague, Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande. We look forward to your thoughtful leadership and vision and look forward to going farther, together, with you.”

Kathy Seiler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Division of Information Science and Technology
President, Faculty Senate
Member, Presidential Search Committee