Rochester College cultivates academic excellence, principled character, servant leadership, and global awareness through a rigorous educational experience that integrates liberal arts and professional studies within an inclusive Christian heritage.
Dr. John Tyson, President
Dr. John Tyson Jr. is a man who makes an impact. As president of Rochester College, Tyson brings together passions for Christian education, fund development and strategic planning to lead the 56-year old Christian college, and its students and staff, to great heights.
Joining Rochester College in 2013, Tyson worked quickly to ignite change and growth. Under his watch, a new Center for Social Entrepreneurship and a Social Entrepreneur degree program have launched. Funding for a new multi-million dollar gym has been secured and a major campus beautification project – Lake Norcentra Park – on the Rochester Hills campus has broken ground. Read More
Prior to joining Rochester College, Tyson honed his leadership and development skills in his native Texas. Starting in 1987, he served as chair of the Department of Biblical Literature at Texas Tech University and later as executive assistant to two presidents at Abilene Christian University (ACU), his Alma Mater.
A 17-year track record of leadership in philanthropy began in 1993, when Tyson directed more than $330 million in charitable gifts and tripled the alumni giving percentage to ACU. During that time, he also led several notable initiatives including the ACU Centennial Celebration, the Madagascar Presidential Scholars Program, and the recruitment of students in China.
For two years, Tyson led Abilene Christian Schools, a preK-12 private Christian school, as President. There, Tyson developed the school’s strategic vision and long-range plan, increased student enrollment and raised major gifts for capital improvements.
Tyson has served on the boards of various civic and professional organizations, including the United Way, National Christian Schools Association, and World Christian Broadcasting Association. Tyson has traveled, lectured and preached in 30 different countries.
Tyson is married to his wife, Valinda, of 27 years. Together, they have three adult children: Victoria, John III (Trey) and James (Trevor).
Dr. Brian Stogner, Provost
As provost for Rochester College, Brian Stogner leads an efficient administrative team; ensuring degree programs surpass expectations, leaving students well prepared for the real world.
Teaching Psychology at Rochester College since 1998, Stogner found a sense of inclusion and faith that matched nothing else. His affinity for Rochester College grew and 16 years after beginning to teach there, Stogner added provost to his title. Read More
As Provost, Stogner believes in remaining actively involved in the classroom and continues to teach a few courses each year. This provides an unmatched understanding of student life and aids in designing design effective courses and degree programs. He continues to be inspired by students’ thirst for knowledge and desire to impact the world around them.
Stogner is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Psychosomatic Society and Christian Association for Psychological Studies. Key recognitions include earning the American Psychosomatic Society Scholar Award, Rochester College Faculty Member of the Year and being included as an Oxford Round Table Discussant.
Stogner has practiced as a clinical psychologist for 20 years and has worked in church ministry for more than 25 years. He integrates his clinical and ministry vocations by serving on the National Missionary Care Task Force of the Missions Resource Network. He and his wife Lisa have a daughter, Katie. He enjoys exercise, the outdoors, college and NFL football, and he and his family love the Detroit Tigers.
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Klint Pleasant, Vice President of the College
Success, character, and, of course, basketball, all come to mind when considering Klint Pleasant. As athletic director, vice president of enrollment and head coach of Men’s Basketball at Rochester College, Pleasant knows well how each of these things weave into the tapestry of a team, its college and the malleable young lives of each player and student.
Since taking his various posts – athletic director in 2008, vice president of enrollment in 2009, head basketball coach in 2011 – success has followed. Five new sports have been brought to Rochester College; enrollment has increased more than 40 percent, also bringing in the largest class in Rochester College history (2012); and the men’s basketball team has a record of 103-31 after his first four seasons. Read More
Pleasant brings with him a storied career in coaching, including leading the NCAA Division II Abilene Christian University Wildcats and serving as assistant coach at NCAA Division I Kent State University, NCAA Division I University of Tennessee-Martin and NCAA Division II Wayne State University. Awards, recognitions and players who have gone on to play professionally also add to his achievements.
A love of sports and a taste for excellence began at an early age for Pleasant, who played high school football, basketball and baseball and college football for Abilene Christian University, earning respect and awards along with many wins.
Pleasant’s roots are deeply planted in the soil of Rochester College. His grandfather, Lucien Palmer, was a founding father, Dean of the College, and eventually President. His father, Garth Pleasant, was head Men’s Basketball Coach for nearly 40 years. Father and son served the college together for four seasons when Klint assisted.
A family man, Pleasant resides in Rochester Hills with his wife, Rachel, and their two daughters, Abigail and Julia. Together, they like to travel and play sports. Pleasant preaches part time at the South Lyon Church of Christ.
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Tom Rellinger, Vice President of the College
As vice president for development at Rochester College, Tom Rellinger uses his vision and precision to successfully pair financial partners who care to make a difference in the world of Christian academics with Rochester College. This is achieved by igniting within each partner a passion for the college’s mission: to learn in a Christian setting, achieve academic excellence, and start down a path of servant leadership and social justice.
Since Rellinger took his post in 2011, some of his greatest achievements have included cultivating a $1M gift—the largest alumni gift in Rochester College history; reestablishing the Rochester College Foundation; and leading efforts to increase contributions to the Annual Fund by 92 percent between FY 2012 and 2015. Read More
Rellinger, a Rochester College alumnus himself, brings to his position a 15-year career as both a systems engineer and a marketing executive (while at Conoco-Dupont, IBM, and Unisys). After completing an associate degree at Rochester College, Rellinger went on to earn a double major in computer science and chemistry from Oklahoma Christian University. After his time in the corporate world, Rellinger made a career move to ministry, serving the Petoskey Church of Christ for 15 years as minister. During that time, Rellinger served on the Board of Trustees for Rochester College and the Board of Trustees for the Public Schools of Petoskey.
Rellinger lives in Rochester Hills with his wife, Diane, and enjoys time with his three adult children: Kali, Mackenzie and Gabriel. Rellinger is a musician and plays guitar, bass guitar and piano, and enjoys spending time in outdoor activities.
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Garth Pleasant, Athletic Director Emeritus
Athletic Director Emeritus Garth Pleasant is known for many things. Perhaps most prominently are a legacy of faith, family, and basketball. After serving Rochester College for 38 years as head men’s basketball coach, Pleasant continues to stay involved with the Rochester College community and local youth through his Lake Norcentra Basketball Camps, now in their 35th year.
Pleasant’s 720 wins and numerous awards and recognitions define his career, but it is his wife Pat and six grandchildren, his former congregation at Lake Orion Church, where he preached for 30 years, and the thousands of children who attend the basketball camp he founded that define the rest of his life. Read More
During his tenure, Pleasant also served Rochester College as dean of students, coordinator of housing, and athletic director.
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Elliot Jones, Director, Communication Services
Think of Elliot Jones as a maestro; the internal and external communications of Rochester College in-tune thanks to his leadership and vision in print, digital and social communication services. Jones, an alumnus, has made his career as a professional communicator at Rochester College and currently serves as communication services director.Read More
Jones is responsible for the Rochester College website, catalog, handbooks, North Star Alumni Magazine, and dozens of other marketing materials and campaigns.
In addition to day-to-day communications, Jones is involved with special projects that uphold the college’s brand and expand its reach. Notably, Jones is the resident photographer, has published an article in Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine, and recently updated the Rochester College visual brand identity and set brand standards across all departments.
Jones volunteers design and marketing services for Kibo Group International and Rochester Church Preschool, is an active member at Rochester Church of Christ and spends time each year as team captain for the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan’s annual zoo walk. He resides in Sterling Heights, Michigan with his wife, Shannon, and their two sons, Trent and Jace.
Jaymes Vettraino, Director, Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Jaymes Vettraino, director for the Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Rochester College, has long been passionate about the spark that gives entrepreneurs both their ambition and their grit.
Vettraino studied entrepreneurship at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. During his career as a city manager, he worked side-by-side with entrepreneurs, developers, and managers in the public and private sectors. Most recently, Vettraino served as Rochester City Manager for the city of Rochester, Michigan for seven years. Read More
In addition to launching the Center for Social Entrepreneurship and a Social Entrepreneur degree program at Rochester College, Vettraino is an assistant professor. He is most excited about giving students the tools they need to make a positive change in the world.
He lives in Rochester, Michigan with his wife Lynne and their children, Lia and Julian. Vettraino can be found on Rochester’s running trails or tennis courts in his spare time.