College Launches Thomas E. Dillon Memorial Scholarship Fund

Posted: April 16, 2014

On April 15, the fifth anniversary of the death of Dr. Thomas E. Dillon, Thomas Aquinas College President Michael F. McLean announced the creation of a new scholarship fund, named in memory of the College’s late president. The Thomas E. Dillon Memorial Scholarship Fund will support the nearly 80 percent of Thomas Aquinas College students who require financial assistance in order to afford a genuinely Catholic liberal education.

A former student of Founding President Ronald P. McArthur, Dr. Dillon first came to Thomas Aquinas College as a member of the teaching faculty in 1972, one year after its founding. From 1976 to 1981, he served as assistant dean for student affairs, and then as academic dean from 1981 until his first appointment as president in 1991.

Over the course of his 18-year tenure, Dr. Dillon labored to secure the College’s financial well-being, raising some $100 million and building nine new structures, including the library, the laboratory building, five residence halls, the faculty and administration building, and, of course, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. He also worked to strengthen the faculty, and with his fellow tutors refined the academic program, reaffirming the College’s commitment to classical liberal education and its discipleship to St. Thomas. All the while, his uppermost priority was to preserve Thomas Aquinas College’s fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Dr. Thomas E. Dillon“Everything Tom did for the College was for the sake of our students: to provide them with an education for the mind and the soul,” says Dr. McLean. “We can think of no more fitting way to honor him than to ensure that our present and future students can benefit from that same education.”

Dr. Thomas E. DillonThe Thomas E. Dillon Memorial Scholarship Fund is an annual fund designated for immediate assistance to worthy students. The Dan Murphy Foundation has made an extraordinary lead gift of $350,000 to inaugurate the Fund. Meanwhile, the College has solicited $125,000 in pledges from other foundations and $50,000 from individual pledges, bringing the Fund’s current balance to $525,000.

Noting that the College’s fiscal year ends on June 30, Dr. McLean respectfully asks friends of the College to contribute generously, and soon. “If, before then, we can bring the Fund to $1 million, we will have met our students’ full annual need for the 2013-2014 academic year,” he explains.

That means there are about six weeks left to raise the remaining $475,000. “Anything more that we raise in that time will be used to begin an endowment in Tom’s name,” says Dr. McLean. “Therefore, your generosity now will both provide for our current students and, we hope, help to secure the College’s future.”

The College is now accepting contributions to the fund via its secure online-giving form.