Orange County Board of Regents Holds its Inaugural Gathering

Posted: July 16, 2014

The newest of the six Thomas Aquinas College Boards of Regents — representing Orange County, California — held its inaugural event last Sunday. Hosts for the gathering were Drs. Mary and Barton Billeci, parents of Laura (’09), who welcomed some 16 of their fellow Regents to their Laguna Niguel home. There, members got to know one another while discussing their shared mission of promoting the College and its program of Catholic liberal education.

Addressing the members of the new board, College President Michael F. McLean and Vice President Paul J. O’Reilly encouraged the Regents to think of themselves as ambassadors, forging relationships throughout the region on the College’s behalf. A fellow resident of Orange County, College Governor Berni Neal offered practical suggestions for helping to make the College better known in the area, such as hosting seminars at the new Christ Cathedral. And the Board’s chairman, Mark McElrath, spoke about the College’s outreach in Orange County within the broader context of the New Evangelization.

As part of the evening, the College’s director of development, Robert Bagdazian, introduced the Board’s vice chairman, Isabel Cacho (’11) and, in absentia, its chaplain, Rev. Luke Mata, vicar of Opus Dei in California. “We are so thankful to the Billecis for opening their home to us and providing a beautiful setting for the Board’s first event,” said Mr. Bagdazian. “And we are grateful to all of our Orange County Regents for their generous and dedicated support of the College.”

First established in 2004, the Thomas Aquinas College Boards of Regents bring together dynamic local leaders to represent the College within their communities. There are currently Regent boards in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Orange County, New York, and Washington, D.C.