ADRIAN — Earning a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership at Adrian College in the spring of 2021 had Thomas Doney feeling confident he was going to be rising up the ladder of success in the near future. He had no idea how fast his decision to attain the degree would pay off. Doney was recently named Adrian College’s Dean of Students going into the 2022-2023 school year.
Doney was named Adrian College’s Assistant Dean of Students in January, so when the Dean of Student position opened, Frank Hribar, Adrian College Vice President of Admissions and Enrollment, said Doney was the first person he thought of to fill the role.
“Thomas [Doney] fits the bill, perfectly,” Hribar said. “He is an Adrian College Bulldog, through and through, being an alum. His work ethic and dedication to this institution is what made him the perfect candidate for the position.”
When asked if he was ready to advance into the position, Doney said, “absolutely.”
“That’s the thing about our department, we work so well together and are aware of what everybody else is doing, and know how to do it. At any moment, any one of us could step in and take over because we understand each of the positions.”
Doney graduated Adrian College in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and accepted a job with the College the following November as the Student Life Coordinator, where he performed duties including planning all campus-wide activities during the school year. He also functioned as an advisor for four campus organizations and planned Welcome Week Orientation and activities for approximately 650 new students.
“I want our department to be there for all of the student organizations and help them grow, ” Doney said. “Going through everything with Covid, numbers are down for organizations, and overall campus involvement has been down for a couple of years. We saw a nice uptick last year with everything getting back to normal, so we want to continue building on that momentum, getting students involved and offering them the support they need to have fun outside the classroom. That’s my main goal.”
In August, 2020, Doney accepted the additional duties of being Adrian College’s Title IX Coordinator, educating the campus community on proactive programming to prevent sexual assault and harassment. He reviewed all formal complaints on campus.
Doney was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) as an Adrian College student. The fraternity’s motto is, “Better Men for a Better World.” He said TKE inspired him to become a substitute teacher/coach with Professional Educational Services Group (PESG) after earning his bachelors, where he instructed classes for grades K-12 and assisted the high school football coach for a year.
Doney was a first generation college student out of Dearborn Heights, Mich. who received the Michigan Tuition Grant. Now, as Dean of Students, he is able to offer solid advice and help others who are in similar situations.
“We have open door policies across campus,” Doney said, adding that is one of the reasons he loves Adrian College. “You can’t get that at big universities.”
He reached out to Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking after receiving his undergraduate degree and let him know he was interested in staying and working on campus.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m here,” Doney said. “The fact that I was able to email the president and he offered me a job shows you the tight-knit community we have here.
“I love it here,” Doney added. “I’ve had a chance to see Adrian College through all stages as I worked my way up.”
Doney lives in Adrian and plans on making the area his long-term residence. He is engaged with Adrian native Ashley Oram, a 2019 Adrian College alum.
For more information about Adrian College, visit adrian.edu.