New College Foundation Adds Two New Board Members

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- by New College Communications

SARASOTA, Fla. — New College Foundation Inc. has added two new members to its Board of Directors for 2024-2025. The Foundation raises money to support student scholarships, academic programs, faculty hiring, capital improvements to the New College campus, and other key initiatives. The appointments of A.J. Janson and Mike Rahn, were made by New College Board of Trustees chair and 1980 New College alumna Debra Jenks.

“The new members joining the Foundation Board share the vision of New College regaining national renown, thus enhancing Sarasota’s reputation as a destination for students, professors, and visiting scholars who wish to learn, teach, and conduct research in an environment where free speech and civil discourse are not restricted by ideologies or outside agendas,” said Jenks.  

“A.J. Janson and Mike Rahn are deeply rooted in our local community and understand the role having a renowned small liberal arts college serves in elevating the region,” said New College President Richard Corcoran. “As we work together toward establishing New College’s place among the nation’s preeminent liberal arts colleges, we will also be strengthening its connection culturally and economically within Sarasota and Manatee counties.”  

“The knowledge, enthusiasm, and diverse expertise brought by A.J. and Mike will merge with our existing members to form an impactful group as we continue to foster New College’s growth,” said New College Foundation Executive Director Sydney Gruters.

New College welcomed a record incoming class in the fall of 2023 and plans to exceed that enrollment this fall. The College is meeting this growth head-on, hiring more than 40 new full-time faculty members, adding additional academic programs, including a Master’s in Marine Mammal Science, and doubling the number of intercollegiate athletics teams year-over-year.

Additional information about the new board members:

A.J. Janson – A.J. Janson has been an active member of the Sarasota community for over 20 years. She has spent countless hours supporting various nonprofits, including: The Salvation Army, Wounded Warriors, Payton Wright Foundation, & The All Star Children’s Foundation. A.J. was appointed by Governor DeSantis to the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine in 2019.

Mike Rahn – A lifelong resident of the Sarasota/Manatee area and a graduate of Sarasota High School, Mike Rahn served 13 distinguished years in the United States Marine Corps, including duty in Operation Desert Storm. Rahn has served on various local and state boards both professional and philanthropic, most recently as the Chairman of the Board for the Safe Children Coalition. He currently serves as District 4 Manatee County Commissioner and is Chairman of the Board for the Manatee County Commission. He has three decades of experience as a residential mortgage leader, helping hundreds of area residents become homeowners.

Learn more about the New College Foundation at