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Linfield College president to head national higher ed committee

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) named President Thomas L. Hellie to chair the NAICU Committee on Student Financial Aid. He will also serve on the executive committee of the association, which represents nearly 1,000 private American colleges.

The work of the financial aid committee is central to the mission of the NAICU, which has spearheaded the Student Aid Alliance, an ambitious public initiative that supports students across the country.

“The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance reports that, in this decade, between 1.7 million and 3.2 million academically qualified — even gifted — students will not have the means to go to college,” Hellie said. “Public school reform will be meaningless unless we ensure access to every capable student, regardless of economic background or family need.

“Our goal at NAICU is to ensure that Pell Grants and other student scholarships and loans do not fall victim to the current recession,” said Hellie, who also serves as chair of the Oregon Independent Colleges Association.

“I believe fiercely in the transformational power of undergraduate college education, and it’s heartening to see that all sectors of Oregon’s higher-education community — including private, public and community colleges — are taking on the challenge of ensuring access. We share a goal of keeping our doors open to every student who desires a college education and is willing to work hard.”

Hellie became the 19th president of Linfield College in 2006 after serving seven years as president and executive director of the James S. Kemper Foundation in Chicago, Ill. He previously served as vice president for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of 14 leading liberal arts colleges.

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