News & Press

News & Press

Maybe there’s not a major Supreme Court decision lurking in every case that’s in the headlines. That’s our takeaway from the court’s order to litigants in Zubick vs. Burwell ... 

California Catholic Daily has recently published a series of letters that Jack Grimm (’15) wrote to his family during a six-week pilgrimage to the motherhouse of Bl. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India.

The latest news about Thomas Aquinas College’s Supreme Court challenge of the HHS Contraceptive Mandate:

At its spring meeting, the Thomas Aquinas College Board of Governors voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Michael F. McLean to his second term as president of Thomas Aquinas College.

Photos from the final two events prior to Commencement 2016.

A recap of all graduation-related events leading up to, and including, Commencement 2016.

Photographs of the Class of 2016 and this year’s Commencement exercises are now available, for viewing and from Ojai-based photographer Timothy Teague.

“The reasoned debate that is the cornerstone of the Thomas Aquinas College education was cited often during its 42nd gradation ceremony Saturday.”

Today the United States Supreme Court unanimously issued an order in Zubik v. Burwell, the College's challenge of the HHS mandate, remanding its 35 component cases back to the courts of appeal.

At its 2016 Commencement exercises, Thomas Aquinas College honored Viltis Jatulis, who, after 45 years of faitful service, is stepping down as the head librarain of St. Bernardine of Siena Library.

Today is a day especially to give thanks to Him for so many blessings, but most of all for the blessing of justifying faith.

On May 14, Thomas Aquinas College celebrated its 42nd Commencement Exercises, honoring the 79 members of the Class of 2016. 

“Remembering, Openness, and Grateful Rejoicing”

At its 2016 Commencement exercises, Thomas Aquinas College awarded its highest honor, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion, to the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco.

At the 2016 President’s Dinner, Thomas Aquinas College bid farewell not only to the soon-to-be-departing members of the Class of 2016, but also to four other stalwarts of the community, while honoring a dedicated administrator for his 20 years of faithful service.

Each year the president of Thomas Aquinas College hosts a dinner on the Wednesday before Commencement as a chance for members of the faculty and staff to bid farewell to the graduating class.

On Wednesday, members of the Senior Class completed their last final examination — and then celebrated

At lunch in St. Joseph Commons this afternoon, Thomas Aquinas College bid farewell to Lucinda Anderson, who — after managing food services at the College for 20 years — is retiring this summer.

Commencement Speaker, Supreme Court update, photos & more

“On behalf of the entire community at Thomas Aquinas College, I congratulate you on your appointment,” writes Thomas Aquinas College President Michael F. McLean in a letter to the newly named president of Wyoming Catholic College, Dr. Glenn Arbery.

In anticipation of a verdict in the Supreme Court case of Zubik v. Burwell, members of the Thomas Aquinas College community today launched a nine-day novena, praying for a favorable outcome in the College’s challenge of the HHS Contraceptive Mandate.

“Most of us have a profound appreciation for our mothers that transcends description,” begins Dr. S. Adam Seagrave (’05) in a new essay, timed for Mother’s Day, in The Public Discourse.

Which Catholic colleges and universities are inviting commencement speakers and honorees who are models of faith, virtue and achievement?

These examples show that faithful Catholic education is flourishing on many campuses ...

As part of their long farewell tour — which has included brunch with the sophomores and dinner with the juniors — members of the Class of 2016 gathered with the freshmen Sunday for a “midnight snack.”

On Saturday evening the juniors hosted a reception and dinner for the Class of 2016 on the academic quadrangle, followed by a dance behind St. Gladys Hall.

“While many public universities are in the throes of grappling with the consequences of victimhood culture, some Catholic liberal arts schools say they have not seen the same cultural shift on their campuses.”

On May 14, the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, will give the commencement address to Thomas Aquinas College’s graduating students. 

Rev. Gary B Selin, STD (’89) has authored a new scholarly work, Priestly Celibacy: Theological Foundations, which proposes a systematic theology of priestly celibacy, ordered around the Eucharist.

Upperclassmen v. Underclassmen in a new campus tradition

Construction is now under way on the College’s new lecture and concert building, St. Cecilia Hall!

A recent story in National Review Online highlights the contributions of a new organization that is championing the cause of liberal education, the Alliance for Liberal Learning, whose director, Dr. Thomas R. Krause, is a member of the College’s Board of Governors. 

On Friday evening, nine theatrically minded students staged a murder mystery in St. Bernardine of Siena Library, based loosely on the board game “Clue.”

This past Sunday the sophomores prepared and served an elegant, outdoor farewell brunch for the Class of 2016.

On April 2, a dozen Thomas Aquinas College students embarked on a nearly 30-mile Divine Mercy hike through the Topatopa mountain range.

From the annual  folk and bluegrass concert in Ojai’s Soule Park

Deneys Williamson (’10), a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 1, at the Basilica of Saint Apollinaire in Rome.

Attorneys representing Thomas Aquinas College and its 34 co-plaintiffs filed a supplemental reply brief today as part of their Supreme Court challenge of the HHS Contraceptive Mandate.

On Saturday, May 14, the Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, will serve as Commencement Speaker at Thomas Aquinas College’s annual graduation exercises.

At their annual East Coast dinner last weekend, alumni of Thomas Aquinas College took time to honor a beloved College chaplain, Rev. Cornelius M. Buckley, S.J., who recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

Alumna Maggie Tuttle (’10), who works as a lead for Talent Solutions Support Services at LinkedIn, returned to campus on Sunday to present a workshop about how students and graduates can use the professional-networking site.

“Prof. Michael McConnell was kind enough to pass along some further thoughts about the Zubik v. Burwell supplementary briefing …”

Supreme Court update, upcoming events, photos & more

While visiting campus last week to meet with students who are considering religious vocations, New York’s Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal paid visits to two of the women’s residences.

Last week a delegation of College officials visited numerous members of the Roman curia.

Responding to a rare order from the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys representing Thomas Aquinas College and its 34 co-plaintiffs today filed a supplemental brief brief in their ongoing case against the HHS Contraceptive Mandate.


Photos from Saturday’s dance in St. Joseph Commons

On Friday evening the Thomas Aquinas College Choir performed Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance before a packed audience in St Joseph Commons.

Hollywood actor, producer, and director David Henrie visited campus on Saturday, where he spoke about the TV/film industry, answered questions, and treated students to a preview of his upcoming short film.

“Catholic Colleges Prepare Responses to SCOTUS HHS Mandate Request”

Homily by His Eminence Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo, President Emeritus of the Vatican City State, given during a visit of College officials to Rome. 

On Sunday, Chrysostomos, a student choir directed by Alan Bird (’16), performed its spring concert in St. Bernardine of Siena Library.

Attentive readers may recall a story from June, 2014, in which Mark Byerly, a pilgrim who was traveling from Delaware to California, visited Thomas Aquinas College. Mr. Byerly recently contacted the College’s with an update on his doings.

Photos from Saturday’s inter-class soccer matches

Donald Schabow, father of Rosemary Harahill (‘78) and Carole (‘82), and grandfather of Margaret (Harahill ‘13) Guynan, passed away on the Feast of the Divine Mercy.

Historians count William Harvey as one of the crucial figures of the scientific revolution.

Please pray for Michelle (Firmin ’97) Halpin, who has Stage 4 cancer.

“The Truth has Power Within Itself”

For the last 15 years — the second act of a remarkable, three-decade career as a social-services executive — Miss Gahan worked to find answers for families struggling with mental-health disorders or intellectual disabilities.

“What brought me to Thomas Aquinas College — some 6,000 miles from my home in Buenos Aires, Argentina — were two of my high school teachers, who were probably two of my favorite people in the world. Both were graduates of the College.”

“I am the fourth of my family to attend Thomas Aquinas College.”

College officials have responded with optimism to the U.S. Supreme Court’s order — less than a week after hearing oral arguments in the case of Zubik v. Burwell — that both sides file supplemental briefs to aid the justices in their decision.

Following the 2013 publication of her first children’s book, Monica Estill (’98) has recently released her first coloring book, Alaska’s Wild Life.

While the Supreme Court held oral arguments in the case that the College and 34 co-plaintiffs have filed against the HHS Contraceptive Mandate, two alumnae spoke at a rally outside the Court.

An explanation of the issues at stake in Zubik v. Burwell.

While the Supreme Court held oral arguments in the case that the College and 34 co-plaintiffs have filed against the HHS Contraceptive Mandate, two alumnae spoke at a rally outside the Court.

Link to transcript and downloadable audio on the U.S. Supreme Court website

“There is a wisdom that belongs to idiots,” writes alumni author Sean Fitzpatrick (’02). “Don Quixote may be mad, but there are forms of madness that are divine.”

Remarks by Elizabeth Claeys, Chairman of the Washington, D.C., Board of Regents, at the rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court

Among the many friends of Thomas Aquinas College who have lent their spiritual assistance to the College’s legal effort against the HHS Contraceptive Mandate are the Missionaries of Charity.

Comments at Priests for Life press conference by Quincy Masteller, general counsel of Thomas Aquinas College

On Wednesday morning the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Zubik v. Burwell, in which Thomas Aquinas College challenged the federal government’s HHS Contraceptive Mandate.

“Thomas Aquinas College students, faculty and staff members will fast and pray Wednesday as the Supreme Court hears the school's case.”

“Members of the Thomas Aquinas College community will be joined by other Newman Guide colleges in observing a day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, March 23.”

“The stakes are high not only for the 35 plaintiffs in this case but for all Americans.”

On Saturday, members of the Thomas Aquinas College community gathered in St. Joseph Commons for the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Inspired by a classic scene from Chariots of Fire, students staged their own quad run this past weekend.

by Dr. John Cuddeback, a professor of philosophy at Christendom College

After months of hard work, members of the Class of 2015 submitted the final versions of their theses on Saturday evening.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Services, Dr. Adam Seagrave (’05) has penned a thoughtful piece for The Public Discourse about the role of the national parks.

Marking the midpoint of the semester, members of the Class of 2017 took to the Ventura beach on Saturday.

“Students, faculty and staff at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula will participate in a day of prayer and fasting as the eight justices of the United States Supreme Court begin hearing oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell.”

The force was strong in St. Joseph Commons on Tuesday, as students took a break from their studies for a Star Wars trivia night.

“It is interesting that on Wednesday of Holy Week, March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a critical case concerning religious liberty.”

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the ABC affiliate in Reno, Nevada, put together a segment about Sierra Silverstrings — a local Irish band whose members are the children of Eve (Bouchey ’97) and Jeremy McNeil (’96).

Kayla (Kermode ’12) Six has been named to the supply-chain industry’s list of 30 under 30 Rising Stars.

Addressing the timely and contentious issue of how Catholic colleges choose their Commencement speakers, a new Cardinal Newman Society story highlights Thomas Aquinas College.

Members of the College community have responded with joy to today’s news that His Holiness Pope Francis will canonize Bl. Mother Teresa on September 14.

An alumna of the College and a consecrated virgin, Rev. Miss Therese Ivers, JCL, OCV (’03) participated in the Vatican's recent symposium, “Consecrated Life in Communion.”

Rally for religious freedom during oral arguments in Thomas Aquinas College’s Challenge of the HHS Mandate.

In the days leading up to March 23, when the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments for the challenges to the HHS contraception mandate, faithful Catholics across the country will unite in prayer and fasting.

Cardinal Burke, college rankings, HHS Mandate update, photos & more

“Thomas Aquinas College has planned a day of fasting and prayer when the Supreme Court hears its case involving birth control coverage.”

Lent is a time of waiting and a time of preparation. For us at Thomas Aquinas College, this year it is doubly so.

In the pages of the Catholic Business Journal, Joseph O’Brien (’93) profiles two of his old friends from Thomas Aquinas College, classmates Rev. Mark Moriarty (’95) and Rev. Jonathan Perrotta (’95).

The Rosary and funeral Mass for Loraine (Ivers ’81) Hoonhout will take place this Saturday, March 12.

Last Friday evening a group of Thomas Aquinas College students sung the National Anthem for some 300 boys and their families at the opening ceremony for the Santa Paula Little League.

At 10:00 a.m., on the morning of March 23 in Washington, D.C., the eight justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Thomas Aquinas College’s case against the HHS Contraceptive Mandate, Zubik v. Burwell.

Day of Prayer and Fasting, Bishop Barron, and more

March 7, 2016 — the seventh anniversary of the dedication Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel in 2009 — was a solemnity at Thomas Aquinas College.

Please pray for the soul of Loraine (Ivers ’81) Hoonhout, who, following a years-long struggle with liver cancer, passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of Saturday, March 5.

President Michael F. McLean recently appeared on Radio Maria’s “Gospel of Life” program to discuss the College’s challenge of the HHS Contraceptive Mandate, which is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“President Dr. Michael McLean will be happy to sit in the back of the room on March 23 when his school’s challenge to the HHS mandate is one of seven consolidated cases — including Priests for Life vs. HHS — to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“When four friends came together in the late 1960s, they had a daring idea: to create a new liberal arts college from scratch that would respond to the growing problems and waning fidelity in Catholic colleges following the Second Vatican Council.”

Mark Langley (’89) reviews an off-Broadway performance of a new play — written and directed by a Tony and Pulitzer award-winning author — about two late members of the Thomas Aquinas College family.

On Tuesday, in between Don Rags sections, Thomas Aquinas College students made their way over to St. Augustine Hall for the campus blood drive.

On Saturday evening the St. Genesius Players treated Thomas Aquinas College students, faculty, and families to a production of The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare.

A tutor talk by Dr. Joseph P. Hattrup

“Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, teaches in the tradition of core curriculum.”

Video from this year’s Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, featuring three of the more than 200 Thomas Aquinas College students who attended.

For the first time since being named the region’s auxiliary bishop, His Excellency Robert Barron visited Thomas Aquinas College on Monday evening.

“Grounded and Founded on Rock,” by His Excellency Robert Barron

On Sunday the College’s Office of Career Advisement hosted a Career Strategies Workshop about job discernment, networking, résumé- and cover-letter writing, and interview preparation.

“Thomas Aquinas College ... is still confident about the College’s chances in the HHS contraception mandate case being brought before the nation’s highest court.”

“Equality as the Central Principle of America,” by Dr. John Agresto, President Emeritus, St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico>/p>

Rev. Paul Scalia, son of Justice Scalia, is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, and the chaplain of the College’s Washington, D.C., Board of Regents.

In late May the editors of First Things magazine will hold an “intellectual retreat” in Los Angeles, at which members of College faculty will conduct seminar discussions on the topic, “The Search for Happiness.

Today marks the anniversary of the death of one of the College’s beloved former tutors, Rev. Thomas A. McGovern, S.J., who died on February 19, 1985.

Following high ratings from various secular and Catholic college guides, Thomas Aquinas College has earned the accolades of, being named to the news organization’s list of the “40 Best Colleges for Conservative Values.”

Forbes has included the College’s High School Great Books Program in its list of “Notable Summer Short Courses for High School Students.”

“As Michael McLean rehashed for the umpteenth time blurred scenarios created by Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death Saturday, one thing was clear.”

Two alumni of the College presented two perspectives.

Two prominent Southern California attorneys visited campus on Sunday to offer their advice and encouragement to students who are interested in pursuing careers in law.

A concert at the University of British Columbia featuring two Thomas Aquinas College alumni, Mark (’89) and Colleen Donnelly (’14).

On Thursday evening, in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Chaplain Rev. Michael Chaberek, O.P., led a small group of students in a candlelight procession around the campus.

At this semester’s seminar on Friday night, students and faculty discussed St. Thomas Aquinas’ question on murder from the Summa Theologiae.

Photos from this afternoon’s Ash Wednesday Mass in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

Writing for the Daily Signal, Katrina Trinko (’09) observes that NARAL, its humorlessness notwithstanding, may be on to something.

Matthew Reiser (’00), a graduate of the College and the husband of Sharon (Raskob ’99), passed away suddenly last week on the Feast of the Presentation.

Students celebrated Mardi Gras a few days early this year with a dance in St. Joseph Commons, with Chinese New Year as its theme.

A visit from Cardinal Burke, commitment to affordability, photos & more

In honor of the Year of Mercy, Thomas Aquinas College will host a special Ash Wednesday Divine Mercy service, to which all friends of the College, old and new, are invited.

A website dedicated to college life,, has ranked Thomas Aquinas College No. 6 on its list of the Top 10 Most Beautiful College Campuses.

You can pray with the students, faculty, alumni, and friends of Thomas Aquinas College this Lent ...

Please keep in your prayers two graduates of the College who are struggling with cancer, Carole Schabow (’82) and Loraine (Ivers ’81) Hoonhout.

Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., has asked for prayers for Matthew Reiser (’00) and his wife Sharon (Raskob ’99).

This past weekend some 30 Thomas Aquinas College students enjoyed an educational tour of one of Los Angeles’ finest art museums, thanks to the generosity of College Governor Maria O. Grant.

Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., reports the sad news that Matthew Reiser (’00) passed way at 5:20 this afternoon.

Thomas Aquinas College, a small Catholic campus in Santa Paula, has been named one of the nation's “best 10 colleges for the money.”

Last week some 25 Catholic executives and their spouses gathered for “Laudato Si’: Pope Francis’s Letter on Care for Our Common Home,” a seminar hosted by Thomas Aquinas College.

The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the case on March 23.

On January 28, 2016, members of the Thomas Aquinas College community celebrated the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas with a fitting combination of prayer, scholarship, and fun — and a tribute to one of the College’s founders.

Homily from St. Thomas Day 2016

Thomas Aquinas College celebrates a founder, its first dean, and a senior tutor, Dr. John W. Neumayr.

“How Does the Resurrection of Christ Illumine Human Reason? From Joseph Ratzinger to St. Thomas Aquinas”

The Thomas Aquinas College Board of Governors has voted to freeze the cost of tuition and room & board for the 2016-2017 academic year.