As part of its 1999 Commencement Ceremonies, Thomas Aquinas College inducted three foundations into its esteemed Order of St. Albert the Great.The three foundations — The Dan Murphy Foundation, the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation — have been particularly generous to the College.
The Dan Murphy Foundation has been a faithful donor to the College since 1970. For many years its annual gifts were a mainstay of the College’s financial aid program. Its lead gifts and leadership spearheaded the construction of St. Bernardine Library and Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. Its Donohue Endowed Scholarship Fund more than sextupled the College’s endowment to provide scholarships in perpetuity for deserving students.
The Foundation, since its beginning, has been a promoter of the very best Catholic initiatives, especially Catholic education and religious life. Receiving the award on behalf of the Foundation were Foundation president Sir Daniel Donohue and his sister and College board member, Rosemary Donohue.
The Fritz B. Burns Foundation, also a donor from the earliest years of the College, began in 1971 with unrestricted gifts and later provided gifts to fund student scholarships. More recently, the Foundation’s gifts have helped adorn the campus with several beautiful buildings, including principle funding for Blessed Junipero Serra Hall, the Albertus Magnus Science Hall, and St. Thomas Hall.
Founded by pioneering developer and businessman Fritz B. Burns, the Foundation now carries on his legacy of philanthropy especially to Catholic educational efforts in southern California. Representing the foundation were its vice president, W. K. Skinner and Foundation Trustee Edward F. Slattery.
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation of Los Angeles has generously underwritten the College’s student scholarship program with several major gifts. Established by Ralph M. Parsons, founder of the leading engineering and construction firm which bears his name, the Foundation supports programs in education, social welfare, arts and civic activities, and health care. Foundation President Joseph Hurley was unable to attend the ceremony but accepted the award in a private ceremony.
Sir Daniel Donohue, longtime president of the Dan Murphy Foundation
“It was at the College when I began to take my faith seriously. The community life, all the people, the faculty, the staff — and the Mass — all that really helped.”
– Br. Robert Nesbit, O.S.B. (’07)