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Summer Program Blog

Summer Program Blog

Below is the final installment in our three-part series introducing the prefects for this year’s High School Summer Program. (See Part 1 and Part 2.)

Veronica Jost (’17) Veronica Jost (’17)Yesterday’s prefect introductions concluded with John Jost (’17), and today’s begins with his sister, Veronica (’20), a rising junior from Algonquin, Illinois. In 2015 Veronica attended the program as a student and she made dear friends with whom she remains in regular contact. “My favorite thing about my Summer Program was how many wonderful and inspiring people I got to meet, from my fellow attendees to the staff and prefects themselves,” she says. “The feeling of the complete greatness of a real Catholic culture overwhelmed me.” At this year’s program, she looks forward to “meeting more great people” and “sharing the beauty and fun that I experienced at my own Summer Program.”

Joe Daly (’19) Joe Daly (’19)If you have spent any time on the Thomas Aquinas College website over the last three years, you have likely seen Joe Daly (’19 ), a rising senior from Berwyn, Illinois. He’s the tall fellow who appears in most plays, directs others, and helps lead the annual trip to the Walk for Life West Coast (along with fellow prefect Meg Downes). “I love that the Summer Program makes the discussion method and the great books so accessible to high school students who are trying to figure out their next big step in life,” he says. “I almost didn’t enroll at TAC. I was ready to sign on the dotted line at another university to study music until I visited for the first time. The classes blew me away then, and continue to do so now.”

Rachel Rivera (’19) Rachel Rivera (’19)When she attended the Summer Program as a student in 2014, Rachel Rivera (’19) of Kendall Park, New Jersey, “fell in love with the school, especially the spiritual life and the study of Euclid.” She even used to joke — whenever asked why she was choosing Thomas Aquinas College — that it was “60 percent Jesus and 40 percent proving the square!” Now, as a second-time prefect, she aims to share what she has learned with the high school students. “Working the Summer Program is really wonderful because I get to see so many new people come and take the first few steps of this journey,” she says. “I love watching students get excited about the great books and the Discussion Method, and knowing that their lives — whether they know it or not — are going to be changed forever!”

George Stypa (’21) George Stypa (’21)Attending the High School Summer Program as a student in 2016 made such an impression on George Stypa (’21) of Tucson, Arizona, that he actually passed up a scholarship from another school in order to attend Thomas Aquinas College. “It was one of the highlights of my life,” he says. “It not only allowed me to delve deeper into some of the greatest minds of Western civilization, but also allowed me to meet some very exceptional people.” Among his favorite memories was the student-prefect basketball game. “I am very excited now that I have been ‘drafted’ to the prefect team!” he jokes, adding that he’s looking forward to experiencing the Summer Program from the “other side” as a first-time prefect.

Zoe Appleby (’18) Zoe Appleby (’18)A member of the College’s newest graduating class, Zoe Appleby (’18) of Santa Paula, California, “can’t wait to return” for this, her fourth year as a Summer Program prefect. She attended the program while in high school and “fell in love” with the College’s unique curriculum and teaching method. Her favorite program authors are Euclid, Fabre, Flannery O’Connor, and Søren Kierkegaard. She has always been passionate about museums, art, and beauty, and she wrote her Senior Thesis on “The Beauty of the Crucifixion.” This fall she will continue her studies in a medieval art history master’s program. When not studying the great books or art history, Zoe enjoys rock climbing, swimming at the beach, oil painting, and reading poetry. She reports that she is “extremely looking forward” to the Summer Program’s trip to the Getty Center.

Andrew Rossi (’13) Andrew Rossi (’13)Returning for his sixth year is Andrew Rossi (’13), a native of Bakersfield, California. A graduate of the College, Andrew works at St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, California, where he teaches logic, geometry, history, and chemistry. “My favorite part of the program,” he says, “is interacting with the students and listening to their first thoughts on the great books.” In past years he has overseen the Summer Program’s athletic competitions, a role he looks forward to taking up once again. “I am very excited for the sports,” he notes, “especially the basketball game between the prefects and the students.”

Shelby Heaton (’21) Shelby Heaton (’21)This past fall, Shelby Heaton (’21) of Kalispell, Montana, enrolled at Thomas Aquinas College as the age of 26, making her the senior member of the Freshman Class. She had intended to apply when she was 19 but was, she admits, “complacent and intimidated.” Seven years of working as a waitress and as her parish’s director of religious education, however, led her to realize that the fruits of a Catholic liberal education would outweigh the sacrifices. “I’m loving being here,” she says. “It’s really hard, but I’m not scared. I have a peace of mind because, for all that it took to get me here, this must be where God wants me.” Her advice to Summer Program students: “Be packed 24 hours before you travel, and sleep as much as you can beforehand!”

Dillon Raum (’21) Dillon Raum (’21)It’s been a great summer for Dillon Raum (’21) of Anthem, Arizona. First he went to Rome as part of a singing tour with a men’s choir, The Floriani, composed of Thomas Aquinas College students and alumni (including Joe Daly). And now he’s coming to Santa Paula for his first-ever Summer Program! “I hope to make lots of great memories this summer,” he says. As a rising sophomore, he has some practical experience to share with the high school students. “Try not to split the program into two parts: the classes, and the ‘fun stuff,’” he advises. “Keep thinking and talking about the ideas and conversations from class while you’re having fun, and have some fun in class!” He’s looking forward to sharing the “TAC culture” with the summer visitors, and “can’t wait to see all the high-schoolers learn to swing dance!”

Maggie Dillon (’21) Maggie Dillon (’21)“I attended the Summer Program two years ago, and it was life-changing,” says Maggie Dillon (’21), a rising sophomore from Lunenburg, Massachusetts. “I met some of the best people I have ever met and had some of the best times. In just two weeks my intellectual life, my spiritual life, and my social life took a turn for the better.” Returning for the first time as a prefect, she is now eager to pass along that experience to this year’s students. “I am really looking forward to being a part of it again,” she says. “I am very excited to make new friends and to be with them through this incredible experience. These upcoming two weeks are going to be so much fun, and I cannot wait!”

 
 

The 2018 High School Summer Program is just four days away! The prefects for this year’s program — all students and recent graduates of Thomas Aquinas College — cannot wait to get to meet this year’s attendees. But until then, you can now “meet” them, virtually, through the following profiles (part one of three):

Kathleen Sullivan (’06) Kathleen Sullivan (’06)This year’s head prefect for women is Kathleen Sullivan (’06), a beloved teacher in Virginia who has contributed to many a Summer Program and is its greatest champion. She first attended as a high schooler, served as a prefect for two years while a student at the College, and then continued to serve for several more years while earning her master’s in English literature from the University of Dallas and a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. “I’m still excited as I am every year to meet the students and work the program,” she says. “It’s always encouraging to go back to the same books year after year and discover new questions, new ideas, while still remaining grounded in their truths — this shows how timeless and endlessly rewarding it is to study the great books when guided by the light of Wisdom Himself.”

Graham Crawley (’20) Graham Crawley (’20)Serving as the men’s head prefect is Graham Crawley (’20), a rising junior from Scottsdale, Arizona. Graham came to the College as a second-time freshman in 2016 — that is, having already earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science, he decided to pursue a second undergraduate degree in order to experience the College’s program of Catholic liberal education. “Live the spirit of the school,” he advises this year’s Summer Program attendees. “And remember that men spend decades and more contemplating these very texts. You’re not expected to know, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. The mind that wonders flourishes.”

Nico Zwemke (’20) Nico Zwemke (’19)Returning for his fourth Summer Program — one as a student and three as a prefect — is Nico Zwemke (’19), a rising senior from Tempe, Arizona. His “favorite memory” of past Summer Programs, he says, is “the first time I saw a Van Gogh at the Getty Center.” And he offers some practical advice to this year’s programmers: “Bring sunscreen. I didn’t when I was a student, and I looked like a lobster after the trip to the beach — which is not a good look.”

Andrea Florez (’14) Andrea Florez (’14)When she’s not serving as a prefect for the High School Summer Program — something she has done for the last five years — Andrea Florez (’14) is a theology teacher and the campus minister at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, California. “The highlight of the Summer Program for me are the play performances and the talent show,” she says. “There is always some hidden talent that comes out, and it is great to see a different side of the students.” She adds that she is also looking forward to “reading and discussing the readings with the students and prefects. It gives me a chance to think about these things again!”

Alexis Pomietlo (’18) Alexis Pomietlo (’18)When she first arrived at the High School Summer Program four years ago, Alexis Pomietlo (’18) of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, had never before been to the College or participated in the classroom Discussion Method. Now a new graduate and in her third year as a prefect, she seeks to help students who also may be facing the unknown. “I hope to be someone the students can feel comfortable talking with, whether about their readings or just their experience of the College in general,” she says. “One of the most beautiful aspects of the program is witnessing the group come together and realizing there are people their age who also share the desire for the truth and love for the Lord.”

Seamus O'Brien (’19) Seamus O'Brien (’20)“St Augustine says that the truth is like a lion that only needs to be let loose, so let the truth loose!” says Seamus O’Brien (’20), a rising junior from Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, who is working his second Summer Program. “Throw yourself into the classroom discussions,” he urges this year’s attendees, whom he looks forward to getting to know by “playing sports and games, going on hikes, and having great conversations.” Fun fact: When Seamus was a boy, he longed to be an international man of adventure, à la Indiana Jones. “Even though I wasn’t afraid of snakes, I told myself that I should be afraid of them, since Indiana Jones was. And now I’m actually kind of afraid of them,” he admits.

Tom Cavanaugh (’18) Tom Cavanaugh (’18)A member of this year’s graduating class from Larkspur, California, Tom Cavanaugh (’18) is enjoying his last few months of quiet before he enters the busy world of law school at the University of Southern California (where he earned a 50 percent scholarship) this fall. In his free time, he has been coaching a U14 USA water-polo team, surfing, and mountain biking. Also, “on the nerdy side,” he notes, “I’ve really enjoyed following Supreme Court news by listening to podcasts while I ride my bike.” An alumnus of the program, he is excited for this year’s “Getty trip with the students, visiting their classes, and the prefect v. student basketball game.”

Sarah ABood (’20) Sarah Abood (’20)Three years ago Sarah Abood (’20) came to the Summer Program as a high school student, and her favorite memory from that experience was the Punch Bowl hike, specifically making friends with her peers along the trail. “Many laughs were had as we bonded,” she recalls. A rising junior from Cleveland, she is now serving as a prefect for the second time, and she can’t wait for “the various trips planned” as well as “showing the students just how fun the Summer Program can be.” She is especially eager to introduce students to the spiritual life of the College. “Take advantage of the opportunity to grow spiritually with our chaplains,” she encourages, “especially at daily Mass.”

Jack Blewett (’20) Jack Blewett (’20)“One of the greatest blessings in life is friendship,” reflects Jack Blewett (’20), “and the TAC Summer Program gave me some of the best friends I have.” A resident of Santa Paula, California, he has been working at the College this summer. On his days off, he has taken several trips to the beach with his family — which has whetted his appetite for the Summer Program’s beach day. “I also would love to get the students involved in the talent show,” he says, adding that he has high hopes for this summer’s program. “It's incredible what can happen in two weeks!”

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!

 
 
 

With the 2018 High School Summer Program less than a month away, we thought we would take a moment to introduce this year’s students to their tutors, who are all members of Thomas Aquinas College’s fulltime teaching faculty. Three of the tutors are themselves new to the College, and they will co-lead classes with seasoned faculty members.

Brian Dragoo Brian DragooBrian Dragoo came to the College in 1997 as a 25-year-old, married freshman, having previously earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at the University of Arizona. He graduated as his Class Speaker in 2001 and joined the faculty in 2004. Now, after working 13 previous High School Summer Programs, he is serving in his first year as director. “Students should take the studies seriously,” he urges attendees, and “spend time outside of class thinking through the new ideas with friends and on your own.” He and his wife, Amy, have six daughters, the eldest three of whom will be students in this year’s program.

Thomas Kaiser Thomas KaiserWhat can Summer Program students expect from their two weeks on campus? “They should be prepared for a life-changing experience,” says Thomas Kaiser, “by reading wonderful works and having great conversations, by meeting future best friends, and by deepening their spiritual lives.” Mr. Kaiser knows whereof he speaks: He has participated in so many programs, starting with the first in 1997, that he has lost count of how many. A member of the College’s first graduating class, he earned a master’s in philosophy and a doctorate in biology at UCLA before returning to TAC as a tutor in 1982. He also holds the distinction of being the only member of the faculty, thus far, to have taught all 23 classes in the College’s classical curriculum.

Katherine Gardner Katherine Gardner In this, her fourth year as a tutor in the Summer Program, Katherine Gardner says she is most looking forward to “meeting a new section of bright, enthusiastic people to discuss some amazing things with for two weeks.” Miss Gardner holds a master’s degree in theology from the International Theological Institute and a doctorate in philosophy from Ave Maria University. This summer, when she is not leading Summer Program discussions, she will train for her first sprint distance triathlon. “Anyone with experience racing on land, water, or wheels,” she says, “is hereby invited to tell me everything I need to know over lunch!”

Phillip Wodzinski Phillip WodzinskiIn his 16 years as a member of the Thomas Aquinas College faculty, Phillip Wodzinski has taught in the Summer Program “about 10 times,” by his count, and he delights in the conversations about Euclid, Sophocles, and Plato. He is a graduate of Xavier University (Cincinnati), where he majored in philosophy, and he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Boston College. His advice to Summer Program attendees? “Between all the reading and conversing, be sure to get sufficient sleep.” And, “If you know other participants from before the program, be sure not to associate exclusively or even primarily with them; make the effort to meet and befriend others.”

Brian Kelly Brian KellyWhile attendees make their way to Thomas Aquinas College for the first day of the Summer Program on July 15, Brian Kelly plans to rise early and cheer for Argentina in the World Cup final. Should Argentina fail to make the final, however — or lose — he promises nonetheless to be in good spirits for the first day of classes on Monday. Moreover, he looks forward to “reading and discussing serious texts and deep questions” with his students. A graduate of the College, Mr. Kelly earned his masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife Karen, are the parents of six and live in Santa Paula.

Travis Cooper Travis CooperA four-year veteran of the Summer Program, Travis Cooper earned his associate’s degree at St. Mary’s College, his bachelor’s at the College of St. Thomas More, and his master’s and doctorate at the Catholic University of America. He joined the faculty in 2012, and he and his wife, Briena, have five sons — the youngest of whom, Frederick, was born 13 days after his due date, and thus narrowly missed arriving when the Thomas Fire threatened the campus and their home last December. “Study diligently and converse regularly, both in and out of the classroom,” he advises his students. “Enjoy all the social activities, and pray fervently.”

Joseph Froula Josef FroulaThis year’s Summer Program will be a homecoming of sorts for Josef Froula, who graduated from the College in 1992 and is returning this fall as a member of the teaching faculty. Mr. Froula holds master’s degrees from Holy Apostles College and Seminary and California State University, Dominguez Hills, as well as a doctorate from Southern Connecticut State University. “After teaching high school for 5 years, I taught in seminaries at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the past 20,” he says. “I am really looking forward to working with high school students again, and I am excited about continuing my teaching career at TAC!”

Margaret Hughes Margaret HughesA fellow incoming member of the Thomas Aquinas College faculty, Margaret Hughes comes from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, where she spent the last six years as a professor of philosophy. She hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, a master’s in education from Seton Hall, and two master’s and a doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University. “For the last 11 years I have lived in New York City,” she says. “So one of the things that I am looking forward to in moving to Santa Paula is being somewhere that is more restful for both the eyes and ears.”

Michael Rubin Michael RubinMichael Rubin is the third new member of the College’s faculty who will be serving on this year’s Summer Program. A graduate of Providence College, he holds master’s and doctoral degrees from The Catholic University of America, and he most recently served as a professor of philosophy at Christendom College. Mr. Rubin reports that he is “very excited to start using the Discussion Method with students,” to whom he offers the following advice: “We learn the most from our mistakes, so don’t be afraid to make them.” If you need to find him, just listen: He can often be heard singing sacred polyphony — or quoting The Simpsons.

Michael Letteney Michael Letteney“I really enjoy it when students whom I’ve taught in the High School Program come back to me a few years later in Junior Philosophy or Senior Theology,” says Michael Letteney, who is returning for his 14th year as a Summer Program tutor. “It’s rewarding to see the potential — and then the transformation.” He also witnesses that transformation at home, with five of his eight children having attended the program. Mr. Letteney and his wife, Marilyn (Ellis ’88), are both graduates of the College. He earned his masters and doctoral degrees in philosophy and the history and philosophy of science at the University of Notre Dame.

Stephen Shivone Stephen ShivoneReturning for his second year in the program is Stephen Shivone, an avid baseball fan with degrees from the College of St. Thomas More (B.A.) and the University of Dallas (Master’s and Ph.D.). “I love teaching great books to students at this age,” he says. “It’s often like assisting at the birth of wonder in a soul. It’s amazing how an encounter with these books can completely change a young person’s life.” A father of five, Mr. Shivone encourages his students to “read, read and re-read, for reading is a discipline as well as a pastime,” as well as to “cultivate a leisurely, contemplative attitude, especially in the discussions where the full truth of something often manifests itself gradually through turning it around and around and looking at it together in speech.”


Two High School Summer Program alumnae with Mother M. Assumpta Long, O.P., and  Sr. Joseph Andrew, O.P.

Two students from last year’s High School Summer Program —Abigail (left) and Hope (right) — had a reunion of sorts in Washington, D.C., at Monday’s March for Life! While riding the Metro, the two friends met up with Mother Mary Assumpta Long, O.P., (the College’s 2012 Commencement Speaker) and Sr. Joseph Andrew, O.P. There they snapped the above photo, which appeared on the Facebook page of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

Hope, who hails from Ireland, traveled quite a ways to participate in this year’s March. What a blessing that she had a friend who lives in nearby Virginia; and what a blessing to see Summer Program friendships carry on!

If you or someone you know would like to make friendships that will last a lifetime — all while enjoying two weeks of great books, deep faith, and the beauty of Southern California? The College is now taking applications for the 2018 High School Summer Program — open to all high school juniors. 

Summer Program logo


Students say goodbye

Never mind that they stayed up late for last night’s dance, most of the High School Summer Program students were up early this morning to bid their friends a fond farewell. The vans and buses began leaving the campus as early as 4:00 a.m. With tears, hugs, and promises to meet again, the students said goodbye.

Jon, Marie, and Stephen DalyBefore this blog signs off, however, we must make sure to thank Admissions Director Jon Daly — and his wife, Marie, and their seven beautiful children — whose heroic efforts and selfless sacrifices make the Summer Program possible.

To the right is a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Daly and their youngest, Stephen, taken at last night’s gala. Below is a poem, written on behalf of the prefects, that Head Women’s Prefect Kathleen Sullivan read aloud at the dinner:

Poem to Mr. Daly

Thank you, Mr. Daly!

Stay tuned … there will likely be one or more concluding posts to this year’s blog. But until then, we leave you with a watercolor that student Amelia S. left behind in St. Monica Hall — Our Lady, watching over the empty dorm rooms, just as she has been watching over the Summer Program these past two weeks.

Water color of Madonna and Child

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!


A student receives her t-shirt

The 2017 High School Summer Program has, alas, come to an end!

Friday night St. Joseph Commons hosted the farewell banquet, at which several of the program’s young musicians entertained the crowd with classical fare, and prefects performed some highly amusing skits. They also showed a slideshow, recapping the last two weeks, plus the following video, which Prefect Dan Selmeczy directed for Christian Service 4LIFE, a youth event sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, last fall:

Students then gathered in the plaza of St. Gladys Hall, where they danced until nearly midnight.

  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala
  • Summer Program 2017 -- Last Night
    Slideshow: Last Night Gala

Before saying goodbye, they penned yearbook-style notes to one another — oftentimes inside their copies of Euclid’s Elements! After much hugging and bidding adieu, all turned in to the residence halls and prepared for their journeys back home, with the first van leaving around 4:00 a.m., and the last scheduled to depart just after noon.

From the pre-Socratics to Boethius, from Sophocles to O’Connor; from water polo in the ponds to soccer on the athletic field; praying at the Grotto, at Mass, and in Adoration; going to the Getty, the beach, Santa Barbara, and the Hollywood Bowl — it has been an amazing two weeks. The prefects have marveled, throughout, at the diligence, the kindness, the faith, the passion, and the joy of this group. Thanks be to God!

We hope to see a good many of these students again as members of the Thomas Aquinas College Class of 2022!


Six Summer Program  prefects

With the completion of today’s classes, we have just about reached the end of the 2017 High School Summer Program!

This morning students met for their last class on Euclid, where they confidently demonstrated Book I, Propositions 1629, and 32 for their classmates. Then, after Mass and lunch, they had their very last class of the program, in which they discussed Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge. The conversation focused on the symbolism of the story and its fraught relationship between a mother and her adult son, set amid the racial tensions of the mid-twentieth century American south. 

Upon entering the classroom, each student found waiting at his or her seat some farewell gifts from the Summer Program staff, including a copy of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, a TAC water bottle and backpack, photos of his or her class section, and a framed photo of the entire group. When the students left the class, the prefects presented them with Thomas Aquinas College t-shirts, which the students were then seen wearing and autographing throughout the day.

a student receives her t-shirt

This afternoon students have been busy with sports and preparing for tonight’s farewell gala. Be sure to check tomorrow for photos from the gala  … as well as Saturday morning’s early goodbyes.


As promised in yesterday afternoon’s post, we present photos from the “First Annual” High School Summer Program Quad Run!

A new but already beloved Thomas Aquinas College tradition, the Quad Run was inspired by a classic scene from Chariots of Fire, in which Harold Abrahams successfully completes Cambridge University’s Trinity Great Court Run before the King’s Gate Clock strikes 12. On Thursday afternoon, some 50 Summer Program students staged their own quad run. The athletes sprinted, in pairs, a clockwise course around the academic quadrangle, beginning and ending by St. Bernardine of Siena Library.

  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo
  • Summer Program 2017 Quad Run and Watermelon Polo
    Slideshow: Quad Run and Water(melon) Polo

On the men’s side, the top runner was Lee, a Summer Program student from Ventura, California, who completed the course in 39.5 seconds. On the women’s side, Hope from Dublin, Ireland, blew away all competitors, finishing with a time of 43.8 seconds. Hope even shattered — by a full second! — the previous women’s course record, which April Shonnard (’16) set two years ago!

Many of the men then moved to the campus ponds for “Water(melon) Polo,” in which two teams attempted to bring a greased watermelon across the pond and to the opposing team’s goal. This exhausting and hilarious activity was followed by a hearty dinner, then a study period in the library and classrooms. Students once more practiced their Euclidean propositions with the help of the prefects, and they also prepared for this afternoon’s class on Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge.

Water(melon) Polo

At the end of study hall, all gathered in front of the Chapel for a candlelight Rosary procession to the Lourdes Grotto, led by Fr. Sebastian. Upon arriving at the grotto, which prefects had surrounded with candles beforehand, students, fell silent, deep in prayer. Many stayed behind to keep praying long after rest of the group had departed.

In the short time before curfew there was a dance review in St. Joseph Commons, accompanied by iced coffees and Italian sodas in the coffee shop. At 10:30 p.m., all returned to their residence halls — but the night was not over just yet!

Soon after curfew, the ladies of St. Monica’s Residence Hall were startled to hear music coming from outside their courtyard. When they looked out their windows, they saw the men of the Summer Program — dressed in their Sunday best — singing “What a Wonderful World,” “A Whole New World” (for which the women joyfully joined in to sing the part of Jasmine), and “Red is the Rose.” The serenade, accompanied flowers and chocolates, made such an impression that it was the subject of conversation at breakfast this morning!


August 03,
2017

classroom photo

The 2017 High School Summer Program is drawing to an end, but our young geometricians are as focused and determined as ever! This morning’s session marked the fourth and penultimate class on Euclid’s Elements, and the students have become quite adept at demonstrating propositions. Today they confidently worked their way through Book I, Propositions 1113, and 15, amazed that something that seemed so foreign and complicated — only days ago — is now so familiar and comprehensible.  

At lunch students resumed last night’s conversations from Fr. Sebastian’s “Theology on Float” presentation. They then went to the afternoon’s class, where they discussed Boethius’ treatment of the difference between chance and Providence, comparing it to Sophocles’ depiction of fate in Oedipus Rex. Alas, today’s class marks the end of the Boethius portion of this year’s program. In tomorrow’s afternoon session — the last class of summer 2017! — students will examine Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge.

Before then, though, there is still much fun to be had! This afternoon students will participate in the College’s newest athletic tradition, the Chariots of Fire–inspired quad run! Come back tomorrow for pictures …  


At the conclusion of Wednesday’s classes, students met up in St. Joseph Commons, where prefect Dan Selmeczy led the final dance class (although he’s offering an optional review tonight), preparing students for tomorrow’s farewell gala. As soon as the class ended, the group headed to the athletic field for a prefects vs. students soccer match. The prefects won 5-0 — thanks to the great goalkeeping skills of Seamus O’Brien — in a hard-fought game that seemed closer than its final score suggests.

  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening
  • HSSP17 -- Second Wednesday Afternoon and Evening
    Slideshow: Wednesday Afternoon & Evening

At study hall students prepared for today’s classes on Euclid and Boethius, once again visiting classrooms to practice their propositions on the blackboards. They then met up in the Chapel to pray the Rosary, after which came the highlight of the evening: “Theology on Float.” Prefects served scores of root-beer floats to thirsty students, who sat back and listened to Fr. Sebastian answer their anonymously submitted questions on all matters pertaining to the Faith. The topics included Old Testament–New Testament symbolism,  the order of Creation and man’s purpose in it, human sexuality, and the true understanding of marriage in light of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

The two-hour discussion was so popular that they spilled over into post-curfew conversations around the fire pits in the residence-hall courtyards. Fr. Sebastian joined the women’s conversation, and then the men’s, before leading both groups in their nightly consecrations.

It was another great day — only two more to go!