James Vander Hooven


Tribal fanfare will unfold west of Tucson today as the Tohono O'odham Nation welcomes a new leader to its community college.

James Vander Hooven is to be installed as the fourth president of Tohono O'odham Community College in Sells.

Ceremonies will feature traditional singing and dancing, including an O'odham round dance led by the tribe's youth council.

Before taking his new job, Vander Hooven was a vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, N.H.

He holds an English degree from Ohio State University, a master's degree in American studies from the University of Wyoming, and a doctorate in higher education leadership from University of Maine.

Vander Hooven has experience leading institutions through self-assessment and accreditation, skills that will help the college move forward, a tribal news release said.

The new president recently moved to Tucson with his wife, Jennie, and their sons, Jude and Jonah.

The tribal college, founded in 1998, has a mission of preserving O'odham culture while providing higher education. Enrollment is about 300.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.