Gil J. Villanueva, University of Richmond’s associate vice president and dean of admission, has been named chair of the Board of Directors for The Common Application, a leading higher education membership organization.

Each year, more than 850,000 students, including University of Richmond applicants, use the Common Application to submit over 3.5 million applications to a broad and diverse group of colleges and universities. 

Villanueva has 20+ years of experience in admissions, working at Bucknell University, Harvey Mudd College and Brandeis University before coming to Richmond in 2009. He has served as a member of The Common Application board since July 2012.

An immigrant from a working class family, Villanueva is an advocate for educational opportunities and often speaks to young people about realizing their dreams. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pitzer College and a master's degree in higher education from Bucknell University.

"Without question, an educated America is better poised to stay competitive in the global marketplace," Villanueva said. "As an association of educators, we strongly embrace our responsibility of educating all students – regardless of circumstance – about the value, attainability and affordability of a college degree.”

Villanueva’s one-year term as chair will run through August 2016. In this role, Villanueva will work closely with admissions colleagues from colleges around the country.

"As we strengthen our efforts to improve the college admission process for all students, I am especially excited to have such an accomplished and experienced leader as Gil to serve the membership as the chair," said Paul Mott, chief executive officer of The Common Application. 

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