SANTA PAULA, CA-March 5, 2010-Thomas Aquinas College is happy to announce a new addition to its website. The 4-year, Catholic great books college now features 25 panoramic photographs ("panos") that show off its beautifully landscaped campus, its Spanish Mission-style architecture, and the striking beauty of its location at the entrance to the Los Padres National Forest. The photographs are a gift of the parents of current students at the college and were provided through his company, Rack Photography.
Says Jon Daly, Director of Admissions, "This panoramic tour offers a wonderful window into Thomas Aquinas College for the many applicants who seek admission to the college but have not yet been able to visit the campus." Each year, the college welcomes a steady 65% of entering freshmen who come each year from outside of California, as well as a small percentage of students from overseas. "We fully expect these 360-degree, interactive photographs will inspire students to want to know more about the College - and to schedule a visit to sit in on classes and meet some the students, staff and faculty in person. They also provide a convenient way to check in on campus development. To my knowledge," he adds, "we are one of only a handful of colleges and universities in the country to have this feature on its website, and, again, we are deeply grateful to Rack Photography for offering it to us."
Digital cameras, computers, and cutting-edge software are all required to produce panoramic photographs. In addition, expensive motorized equipment is needed to precisely regulate the movements of a camera so that about 7 overlapping, flat photographs can be stitched together to create the one interactive image file. When completed, the viewer then "stands" in the center of the resulting spherical photograph and with the computer mouse, "turns around" in the space as though he were actually there.
Vice President for Development, Quincy Masteller, remarks, "Not only will applicants to the college benefit from this new feature on our website, but so also will our benefactors - individuals and foundations - so many of whom reside in cities and states all across our country. Through their generous gifts to the college, we have been able to build out a truly beautiful campus. Now, though they may be 3,000 miles away, they can have an almost firsthand look at the good their generosity has brought about."
Among the 25 new "panos" are tours of the residence halls, the student coffee shop, St. Bernardine of Siena Library, Albertus Magnus Science Hall, and beautiful outdoor locations around the campus. Perhaps of greatest interest to viewers are the "panos" of the school's recently completed Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, which has been featured in publications such as Architect magazine and Traditional Building.
To take an interactive, panoramic tour of Thomas Aquinas College, please visit the school's website at www.thomasaquinas.edu  and click on the link on the homepage