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Slideshow: St. Bernard Croquet and Date Night Slideshow:
St. Bernard’s Croquet Night
Dr. David R. Arias Lecture Audio: College Tutor
Dr. David R. Arias
Audio: Dr. McLean on “Teaching Our Students to Think Critically in a World Filled with Sound Bites” Audio:
Dr. McLean on Salem Radio
Sarah Dufresne Audio: Sarah Dufresne (’14) on Ave Maria Radio
Luke Macik (’87) Audio:
Luke Macik (’87) on Salem Radio
Audio & video: Handel's Messiah Video & Audio: Handel’s
Slideshow: Russian Tea Party Slideshow: Librarian Hosts Russian Tea Party
Clara Diodati Audio: Prefect’s Song about Summer Program
Join the President's Council
Tutor Talk: Dr. Phillip D. Wodzinski
“Music, Culture, Politics: Aspects of the Hymnal”
January 21
Feast of St. Thomas
January 28
St. Thomas Day Lecture
Rev. Romanus Cessario, O.P.
St. John’s Seminary, Boston
“Mediated Religion: Aquinas on the Sacraments”

January 28
Legatus Summit Seminar
“On Human Dignity & Religious Freedom”
Naples, Florida

January 29
All College Seminar
“Father Sergius,” by Leo Tolstoy
February 6
Presidents’ Day
Office holiday
February 16
Board of Governors Meeting
February 17
Ash Wednesday
February 18
Anniversary of the Death of
Rev. Thomas A. McGovern, S.J.

February 19
Presidents’ Day Lecture
Dr. Daniel Mahoney
Assumption College
February 20
Don Rags — evening classes only
March 3-5
Solemnity of the Dedication of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel
March 7
Spring Schubertiade
March 8
Lecture: Dr. Mark Blitz
Claremont McKenna College
On Plato’s Political Philosophy
March 27
Palm Sunday
March 29
Join the Legacy Society!
Dr. Robert G. Olsen
November 14, 2014
Legacy Society member

James Nolan
December 3, 2014

Helene Calvanico
December 17, 2014
Legacy Society Member

Thora Isabelle Netzel
December 31, 2014
President’s Council member, mother of Joanne Ambuul (’93)

Margaret Rose Raab
January 8, 2015
Mother of Paul (’78) and Leo (’80), grandmother of Emily (’02) and Anna Zalesak (’05)

Dr. Harry V. Jaffa
January 10, 2015

Bernard Bujnak
January 13, 2015
Father of Danielle (’95), Stephanie Ward (’07), and Alexandra (’09)

Edward N. Mills
January 10, 2015
Former member of the Board of Governors; benefactor; father of Julie Teichert (’79), Anne Miller (’80), James (’88), and John (‘88); grandfather of Michaella (’12), Maria (’14), and Bridget (’17) Pape; Henry (’06), Jonathan (’06), Mary (’08), Joseph (’08), and Cecilia (’15) Teichert; and Bernadette (’12) Teichert Langley
College Serves as Filming Location for Video Series about Our Lady

In the final days of Christmas vacation, just before students began to return to campus, Thomas Aquinas College served as the filming location for a forthcoming video series, The Bible and the Virgin Mary. A production of Dr. Scott Hahn’s St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, this 12-part catechesis will include discussions of the Scriptural roots of the Church’s teachings about Our Lady, an examination of the 10 Vatican-approved Marian apparitions, and stunning videography — shot almost entirely in and around Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel.

“Aesthetically, the Chapel was the most perfect place for our discussions of the Virgin Mary,” says Linda Kane Hitchcock, art director for the project. “The cleanness of the environment allows the viewer to focus on what is being said, while still understanding that we’re in this beautiful, majestic space.”

Collaborating on the project are Ms. Kane Hitchcock’s Skyrocket Pictures and Falling Upwards Productions, whose president, Lannette Turicchi, is the wife of R. Scott Turicchi, chairman of the Thomas Aquinas College Board of Governors. The St. Paul Center’s executive director, Matthew Leonard, is the presenter for the series, delivering nearly six hours of Biblical catechesis.

Full story

Matthew Leonard speaks in front of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel.
Matthew Leonard

Lannette Turicchi and Matthew Leonard
Lannette Turicchi & Matthew Leonard

The crew
The film crew
College Jumps 11 Spots on National List

Kiplinger, the business and personal-finance publisher, has ranked Thomas Aquinas College number 30 out of just 100 schools on its Best College Values list of liberal arts colleges for 2015, while also ranking the College number 8 on its list of the 25 Best College Values in the West/Southwest.

The College’s national ranking marks a significant increase from 2014, when it placed number 41. A likely explanation for this jump is that, for the first time, Kiplinger now measures four-year graduation rates. “That change penalizes schools with a high percentage of students that graduate in five or six years, but it’s based on simple math,” writes Sandra Block, senior associate editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “The faster your child graduates, the less money you’ll spend on his or her education.”

Nationwide, just 39 percent of American college students graduate in four years, compared to 73 percent of the students at Thomas Aquinas College.

Full story
Other college-guide rankings


#30 Best College Values
Casters, A-1 Self Storage, Make Gift in Honor of Msgr. Gallagher

One day last December, the College’s director of gift planning, Tom Susanka, received a telephone call from a longtime, generous benefactor of the College, Terrence Caster of San Diego, California. “Mr. Caster seemed astonished by something he had read in the Fall 2014 Newsletter,” Mr. Susanka recalls — namely, that the College must raise $4 million each year to meet students’ financial aid needs. He wanted to help.

Mr. Caster and his wife, Barbara, then revealed their decision to make an extraordinary gift: $100,000 for financial aid in 2015 with the strong possibility of similar gifts in the coming years. They are making their contribution in honor of their late friend and the College’s first chaplain, Msgr. John Gallagher,

The owners of one of California’s oldest self-storage companies, A-1 Self Storage, the Casters maintain a family charitable foundation that underwrites more than 80 healthcare, educational, and social-service organizations throughout California, the United States, and the world.

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Terrence and Barbara Caster
Terrence and Barbara Caster

A-1 Self Storage
College Officials Discuss Genesis with 70 Executives in Orange County

When Thomas Aquinas College President Michael F. McLean agreed to lead a seminar for the Orange Coast chapter of Legatus, he had no idea what he was getting into. “It turned out to be the largest discussion I’ve ever led,” he said. “At the College, our classes never exceed 20 students, but that night, there were nearly 70 people in attendance. Thankfully, I had asked our vice president for development, Dr. Paul O’Reilly, to co-lead our discussion.”
The subject of the evening’s discussion on January 13, 2015, was the “Wisdom of Genesis,” and it was clear that the assembled Catholic business executives had a strong desire to understand the opening passages of Sacred Scripture more deeply. “Although most had never taken part in a discussion-based class,” recounted Dr. O’Reilly, “there was a great deal of participation from all around the table.”

In recent years, Drs. McLean and O’Reilly have taken the College’s seminars on the road, bringing to friends and benefactors the experience that the College’s students have daily in the school’s classrooms. Topics have included “St. Thomas Aquinas on the Necessity of the Sacraments,” “Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Light of Faith,” and “Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor.”

Full story

"The Largest Seminar Ever"
Past Participants Sing and Talk about How Two Weeks Changed Their Lives

Plans are already under way for the 2015 High School Summer Program, and the College is assembling a team of prefects. Among them will be Clara Diodati (’17), who attended the program in 2012, the summer before her senior year in high school. Back then, Miss Diodati had serious doubts about whether she wanted to apply to the College — doubts that vanished over the course of the program. When the two weeks were over, she returned to her Georgia home, and wrote about her experience in a song called “TAC Chose Me.”
Meanwhile, at the most recent meeting of the College’s Board of Governors, Sarah Rivera (’15) talked about how her time in the Summer Program changed her life. “To be in a classroom where my tutors and classmates were drawing out ideas that I never would have come up with on my own was incredible,” she wrote. “To see that there was a place that was fostering such people, almost as its mission, was life-changing.”

Clara Diodati (’17): “TAC Chose Me”
Reflection by Sarah Rivera (’15)
The High School Summer Program


High School Summmer Program

Clara Diodati (’17)
Clara Diodati (’17)

"The Largest Seminar Ever"
Sarah Rivera (’15)
  Thomas Aquinas College