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Aquinas picks former diocese schools chief as new president

Aquinas Institute has a new president: Anthony S. Cook III, a 1999 graduate of the Catholic school and formerly the superintendent of schools of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

Cook returned to his alma mater in September as executive director of alumni relations and development. Previously, he worked for six years as superintendent of schools for the Rochester diocese, spent a year as principal at Seton Catholic School in Brighton, and was middle school dean of students and teacher at Aquinas from 2004 to 2011.

Anthony S. Cook III
Anthony S. Cook III

“As the oldest of four Aquinas graduates in my family, this school holds a very special place in my heart,” Cook said in a statement about his hiring. “I attribute so much of the success that I have had in both my professional and personal life to the outstanding education that I received at Aquinas.

“To be named president of such a special place is easily the proudest moment of my professional career. I am so excited, thrilled and honored to be in a position where I will be able to help shape and strengthen the direction of Aquinas, and positively impact our wonderful students for many years to come.”

Cook starts his new role Feb. 3, replacing Michael R. Daley, who plans to retire after 17 years as president of the school. According to the school, Daley will remain at Aquinas as assistant to the president to help in the transition of leadership.

Cook graduated from SUNY Geneseo and received a master’s degree in education there. He earned an additional master’s degree in educational administration for the University of Notre Dame, and a doctorate in education administration from the University of Rochester.

Though the school is 118 years old, Cook is just Aquinas’ third president in a principal role. Prior to 1994, the Bishop of the Diocese served as president of the school’s corporation.

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