Champlain College Welcomes New President | Off Message

Champlain College Welcomes New President


Donald J. Laackman at his inauguration ceremony - MATTHEW ROY
  • Matthew Roy
  • Donald J. Laackman at his inauguration ceremony
Champlain College’s new president, Donald J. Laackman, told the crowd at his Saturday inauguration that the school is on the brink of greatness and will continue to educate students for professional and life success.

“Your presence today reinforces our commitment to realizing our ... vision for Champlain College to be the finest small professionally and globally focused college in the United States,” he said in the Argosy Gymnasium. “The boldness of this vision has captivated me since I first considered the possibility of leading Champlain College.” 

Several hundred people were on hand for the ceremony and speech.

“Champlain’s agile and entrepreneurial approach to higher education blends technology leadership, market savvy, innovation and fiscal responsibility with a commitment to liberal learning, community involvement and the human touch,” he said. 
Laackman delivering his inaugural address - MATTHEW ROY
  • Matthew Roy
  • Laackman delivering his inaugural address

Laackman officially started his tenure in July, replacing former president David Finney, who retired after nine years at the school’s helm.

Laackman was previously president of Harold Washington College, part of the City Colleges of Chicago. He has also worked at a Chicago nonprofit and for Accenture, described by Champlain College as “one of the world's leading consulting, technology and outsourcing firms.”

Champlain will remain nimble, he said. “We are aware that higher education is increasingly competitive and beset by forces that threaten the existence of some colleges and universities. Standing still means falling behind."