Skip to Content


The Board of Governors is a self-perpetuating body entrusted with the task of supervising, controlling, and managing the affairs of Thomas Aquinas College in such a way as to achieve its end as outlined in the College’s founding document, A Proposal for the Fulfillment of Catholic Liberal Education. All authority and responsibility within the College originates with the Board of Governors, which is its legal board of trustees under the laws of the State of California. The Board consists of no more than 30 men and women, seven of whom must be either the founding members or members of the Faculty of Thomas Aquinas College. The other members, drawn from various parts of the United States, are chosen for their knowledge, experience, and general ability to assist the College in achieving its purpose. 

Current GovernorsGovernors Emeriti | Deceased Governors


(* indicates College faculty member)

Chairman: R. Scott Turicchi
President of j2 Global, Inc.

Vice Chairman:Dieter Huckestein
Chairman and CEO of Hotel and Procurement Services, LLC,

President: Michael F. McLean*
President of Thomas Aquinas College, 2009-present; Dean, 2003-2009; Vice President for Development, 1987-92; senior tutor

Vice President: John W. Neumayr*
Founder and senior tutor; formerly taught at Santa Clara University and at St. Mary’s College of California; served as Dean of the College from 1971-81

Secretary: Brian T. Kelly*
Senior tutor, Thomas Aquinas College

Treasurer: Dennis McCarthy
Vice President for Finance, Thomas Aquinas College

Robert W. Andrews
Managing Director, Cambridge Associates LLC; Board Member and Treasurer, Canyon Heights Academy

Robert J. Barbera
President of Barbera Management, a real estate investment company in Monrovia, California; Chairman of the Board, Americanism Educational League

Judy Barrett
Owner, Chateau Montelena Winery in Calistoga, California; board member, St. Helena Montessori School (St. Helena, California) and NPH-USA, an organization that supports homes for orphaned and abandoned children in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries

James P. Conn
Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Financial Security Assurance based in New York City; former President and CEO of Bay Meadows Operating Co.; served as a Trustee at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley

Angela Y. Connelly
Board Member, Archdiocese of Seattle Fulcrum Foundation for Catholic Schools and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital; a member of the Thomas Aquinas College Class of 1987.

R. Glen Coughlin*
Senior tutor and former Dean, Thomas Aquinas College

Milton F. (“Bud”) Daily
Managing General Partner of the M.F. Daily Investment Company, a Ventura County-based property ownership and development company

Peter L. DeLuca*
Founder, former Interim President, senior tutor, Thomas Aquinas College 

John J. Goyette*
Dean of Thomas Aquinas College and senior tutor

Michael K. Grace
Senior partner in Grace & Grace, a Los Angeles law firm specializing in intellectual property and complex business litigation

Maria O. Grant
An Overseer of the Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Gardens in Pasadena, California; Board Member of the Dan Murphy Foundation and the Don Bosco Technical Institute; former President, Treasurer, and Board Member of the Pasadena Mental Health Association

Thomas J. Kaiser*
Senior tutor, Thomas Aquinas College

Thomas R. Krause
Founding Partner, Krause Bell Group; Chairman of the Board, Geo-Links; Chairman of the Board, Ojai Chautauqua; President, Agora Foundation 

Mark E. Montgomery
Member of the Board of Directors and officer of Montgomery Management Company, a real estate management and development business in Los Angeles, California

Bernarda Neal
Board member: Catholic Leadership Institute, EWTN, Legatus and the Magnificat Foundation. 

Lloyd Noble II
Investor, oil and gas ventures and marketable securities; Director and Officer for various privately held companies; Director for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs; Knight of the Holy Sepulchre

Paul J. O’Reilly*
Vice President for Development, senior tutor

Frederick J. Ruopp
Chairman and CEO of Chelsea Management Co., an investment firm in Los Angeles, California

Thomas P. Sullivan
President of Jefferson Realty Corp. and Jefferson Development Corp. in Los Angeles, Calif.; a board member of the Right to Life League, and Vice President of the Salvation Army board

Donald E. Swartz
President of Quest Property Corporation, a Los Angeles land development and consulting company; previously partner in Blakely/Swartz, a California property development and investment partnership

Esther Wachtell
Founder/Chair of the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy; member of the Board of Governors, Ojai Music Festival; director, Museum of Ventura County; committee member, Campaign for Ojai Hospital/Community Memorial; director, Ojai Community Bank

Stephen A. Walsh
Chief Investment Officer of Western Asset Management Company; Member of the boards of Catholic Relief Services, University of Colorado Investment Committee, Sacred Heart Sisters Investment Committee, and the Harvest of Hope Catholic Food Pantry (Boulder, Colorado)

R. James Wensley
Retired President and CEO of Capstone Turbine Corp.; former CIO and Vice President of Hughes Aircraft Company

Henry J. Zeiter
Founder and Director of the Zeiter Eye Clinic in Stockton, Calif.; fellow of the American College of Surgeons; member of the American Board of Ophthalmology

Andrew W. Zepeda
Formerly Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Griffin Industries; formerly Senior Partner in the Los Angeles, Calif., law firm of Lurie, Zepeda, Schmaltz & Hogan; currently with The Alvarez Firm in Westlake Village, California; founder and director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation; member of the Thomas Aquinas College class of 1979


(* indicates College faculty member)

Frances O’Connor Hardart

Member of the Board of Directors of Mohawk Paper Mills, Inc. and of St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center Auxiliary in New York City; Hospitaller of the American Association of the Order of Malta


(* indicates former College faculty member)

William Bentley Ball
Senior partner in the Harrisburg, Penn., law firm of Ball, Skelly, Murren & Connell; prominent constitutional lawyer noted for his defense of religious liberty and litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court

James L. Barrett
Owner/operator, Chateau Montelena Winery in Calistoga, Calif.; served as senior partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Barrett, Sterns, Collins, Gleason & Kinney from 1957 to 1979; onetime director and president of the Napa Valley Vintners Association and director of Family Winemakers of California

Marcus R. Berquist*
Founder and senior tutor; formerly taught at St. Mary’s College of California and the University of San Diego

John W. Blewett*
Retired in 1997 after 18 years as Vice-President of the College; previously held senior management positions in employee, industrial, and labor relations with the Kaiser companies from 1963-80

Harry G. Browne, M.D.
Vice President of Therapeutic Antibodies, Inc., New York, New York; Clinical Assistant professor of pathology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; specialist in tropical medicine

Margaret Browne
Dame of Malta; long active in Catholic social services and orphanage work

Walter J. Conn
Chairman, Charles Dunn Co., a property management company in Los Angeles; Trustee Emeritus of Gonzaga University; board member of the International Theological Institute, the Los Angeles Opera, the California Hospital Medical Center Foundation, and the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart

Thomas E. Dillon*
President of Thomas Aquinas College, 1991-2009; Dean, 1981-91; tutor since 1972; member of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the Secretary of Education on matters of accreditation

Rosemary E. Donohue
A Trustee of the Dan Murphy Foundation in Los Angeles, California, previously worked as a clothing designer and marketer.

J. Peter Grace
Chairman and president of W.R. Grace & Co.

William R. Hayden

Founder, Shopping Bag Food Stores; Vice-President, Vons Stores; President, William R. Hayden & Associates, San Gabriel, Calif.; Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory; Knight of Malta; member of the Board of Governors of Thomas Aquinas College 1972-1974

William J. Isaacson
Senior partner in the Chicago law firm of Henehan, Donovan & Isaacson; co-founder of the Institute on Religious Life; Knight of Holy Sepulchre; board member of the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights and many other Catholic organizations

Carl N. Karcher
Founder of Carl’s Junior restaurant chain; Chairman Emeritus of Carl Karcher Enterprises; Horatio Alger Award Winner; Knight of Malta

John R. Kiely
Executive consultant to Bechtel, Inc. in San Francisco; Knight of Malta

William S. Lawton, Jr.
Founding Board member of the College; served in the Korean and Vietnam wars and later as a liaison officer in France and Japan; graduate of the State Department’s School of Foreign Service

Sr. Eileen MacDonald, I.H.M.
Superior General of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Wichita, Kan.

J. Edward Martin
Partner at Albert C. Martin and Assoc. in Los Angeles, one of the oldest and largest architectural, engineering and planning firms in the West; instrumental in soliciting the funds necessary to open the College in 1971

Ronald P. McArthur*
President Emeritus and tutor of the College; previously taught at San Francisco College for Women, St. Mary’s College of California, University of San Francisco, and Santa Clara University.

Herbert H. McDade, Jr.
Chairman of Access Pharmaceutical Corp. in Dallas, Tex.; CEO of Thomas Corp.; former chairman and president of Armour Pharmaceutical Corp. and several other pharmaceutical companies

Felix S. McGinnis
President of the Leonardt Foundation of Los Angeles; Knight of Malta; Knight of the Holy Sepulchre; Knight of St. Gregory

Ralph M. McInerny
Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and Director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame; prolific author and co-founder and publisher of Crisis and Catholic Dossier magazines

Edward N. Mills
Founder of Milsolv Companies, a group of chemical and energy concerns in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa; Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

Francis J. Milligan, Jr.
Senior partner in the Chicago law firm of Hoogendoorn, Talbot, Davids, Godfrey & Milligan; co-founder of the Institute on Religious Life; Knight of Holy Sepulchre; director of National Conference on Christians and Jews and many Catholic organizations

Francis J. Montgomery
CEO of Montgomery Management Co., a real estate management and development business in Los Angeles; Knight of Malta; Knight of the Holy Sepulchre; member of Board of Governors of Thomas Aquinas College, 1971-2003

Richard L. Noble
A partner in the Los Angeles-based law firm of Noble and Campbell; lecturer at the USC Tax Institute and contributor to legal publications; Member of the board of Thomas Aquinas College 1977-2002

John E. Schaeffer
Senior partner in the law firm of Cooper, White and Cooper in San Francisco; member of the Board of Governors, Thomas Aquinas College, 1971-1995

William Weber Smith
Specialist in internal medicine with practice group in Beverly Hills, Calif., associated with Saint John’s Hospital, Santa Monica, as former Chief of Staff and member of its Board of Trustees; associated with Santa Monica Hospital; examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration

Chauncey Stillman
Founder of the Homeland Foundation and the Wethersfield Institute

William A. Wilson
The first United States Ambassador to the Holy See, 1984-86; Personal Envoy to the Vatican (1981-84); Chairman of San Vincente Investments Co., an independent business and financial consulting company in Los Angeles

Joseph A. Wynne
President, Joseph A. Wynne Insurance Agency, San Francisco, Calif.; Knight of Malta; member of the Board of Governors of Thomas Aquinas College 1975-1987; d. 1988


Members of the Board of Governors at their Winter 2011 meeting

Patrick Nazeck (’19) -- quote 1

“No one here tells us what to think. We read the great books, look into them deeply, and then discuss them actively in class, which has forced me to take responsibility for my own education.”

– Patrick Nazeck (’19)

Ridgecrest, California

“Thomas Aquinas College is one of the premiere liberal arts colleges in the country and the pride and joy of the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.”

– Most Rev. Robert E. Barron

Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles