On Monday, August 26, 2013, a record 103 students from across the country and abroad matriculated as freshmen at Thomas Aquinas College — the Class of 2017.
The morning began with a Mass of the Holy Spirit in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, with the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange (Calif.), serving as the principal celebrant and homilist . His Excellency, clad in red vestments, was joined at the altar by the College’s four chaplains: Rev. Joseph Illo; Rev. Cornelius M. Buckley, S.J.; Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O.Praem.; and Rev. Michael Chaberek, O.P. Walking behind the clergy as they processed into the Chapel were members of the College’s Board of Governors and faculty, dressed in academic regalia. They entered the building to the words of “O God, Beyond All Praising,” sung by the Thomas Aquinas College Choir, led by Dan Grimm (’76).
Following the Mass, students, faculty, and staff convened in St. Joseph Commons for the Matriculation Ceremony. There, members of the Class of 2017 formally began their tenure as students when Director of Admissions Jon Daly called their names. Each approached the dais, greeting President Michael F. McLean and Bishop Vann, and then signed the College’s registry.
In addition to the new students, the College welcomed its newest tutors, Dr. Sean Cunningham, Dr. Katherine Gardner, and Dr. Paul Shields. With Fr. Illo leading them, the three made the Profession of Faith  and Oath of Fidelity , as do all members of the College’s teaching faculty. Dr. McLean then formally welcomed the freshmen in his Matriculation remarks .
After Bishop Vann delivered his Matriculation Address  to the members of the Class of 2017 — who hail from 4 countries, 23 states, and Puerto Rico — Dr. McLean proclaimed the start of the new academic year. In keeping with campus tradition, the students responded with loud applause. Members of the faculty and Board of Governors then processed out of the Commons as all sang “Immaculate Mary” in joyful anticipation of the new year, now at hand.
Posted: August 26, 2013