Antillean Adventist University Board Elects New President

Edwin Hernández will replace Myrna Colón, who retires in June.

Lorell M. Varela, Antillean Adventist University, and Inter-American Division News Staff
Antillean Adventist University Board Elects New President
Science building at Antillean Adventist University in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. [Photo: Antillean Adventist University]

The Board of Trustees for Antillean Adventist University (AAU) recently appointed Edwin Hernández as the new president of the institution, effective July 1. The decision came after the current president, Myrna Colón, announced her retirement after serving as head of AAU for a total of eight years at two different times.

Hernández has been serving as executive director of the Louisville Institute in Kentucky, United States, and previously served as president of AdventHealth University in Orlando, Florida.

“Without a doubt, [Hernández’s] extensive academic and leadership career positions him as the ideal candidate to lead Antillean into a new era of growth and excellence,” said Luis Rivera, president of the Puerto Rican Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and chair of the AAU board.

“Dr. Colón is a high-caliber professional who has been a model of Christian service and unwavering faith, who closes a historical chapter. She became the first president of a higher [education] institution in Puerto Rico and led Antillean during the periods 1996-2001 and 2022-2024. While we appreciate the extraordinary contributions of Dr. Colón, we welcome Dr. Hernández, who is also an academic leader with a deep commitment to higher education,” Rivera said.

Reacting to his new position, Hernández said he is honored and excited to join the Antillean Adventist University community as its president. “My passion for Christian education and commitment to fostering an environment of academic excellence aligns perfectly with the mission and values ​​of the university,” he said. “In collaboration with the faculty, staff, and students we will continue the legacy of the institution by providing quality Christian education.”

Edwin Hernández, recently elected president of Antillean Adventist University. He is expected to start in his new role on July 1. [Photo: courtesy of Edwin Hernández/AAU]

Hernández’s professional career includes his work at Notre Dame University, Doug & Maria DeVos Family Foundations, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Andrews University.

In addition, Hernández served as vice president for academic affairs of AAU during the first term of Colón’s presidency. Commenting on his vision for the university, he stated that returning to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, the place of his roots, has deep meaning for him. “It is not just about taking on a new role, but a return to contribute to the community that shaped my early professional years,” Hernández said. “I am very enthusiastic and committed to promoting Antillean’s role as a catalyst to promote the education of professionals with a vision deeply rooted in Christian service.”

The purpose of AAU, Hernández said, “is to nurture, not only academic excellence, but also the spiritual growth of students, fostering people with moral integrity dedicated to serving the church and society.”

Hernández holds a PhD in sociology from Notre Dame University in the U.S. with a specialization in sociology of religion, and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University. He has authored books and a number of academic articles and reports.

Colón, in addition to working in other educational functions on and off the island, leaves a presidential legacy of dedication and loyalty toward AAU. This is what earned her the designation of President Emeritus by the Board of Trustees, Rivera said. “We appreciate the great contributions of Dr. Colón and extend a warm welcome to Dr. Edwin Hernández, hoping that under his leadership God will allow Antillean to continue to be recognized for spirituality, excellence, and service, and the ideal place to connect, grow, and share,” he said.

AAU is a Seventh-day Adventist university that was established in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in 1961. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, programs, and certifications. 

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Lorell M. Varela, Antillean Adventist University, and Inter-American Division News Staff