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Thomas Aquinas College Annual Report

Dear Friends of Thomas Aquinas College,

Over the past few weeks, much of the talk here on campus has been centered around our new campus. Next fall, by the grace of God, we will enroll the first students to Thomas Aquinas College, New England. Please keep them, and all those involved in this undertaking, in your prayers.

Here in Santa Paula, there has also been much to be thankful for. During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which closed on June 30, the Thomas Aquinas College community came safely through the Thomas Fire and the ensuing mudslides. Significant grants from the Edwin L. Wiegand Trust and the Dan Murphy Foundation, along with many generous contributions from private benefactors, have aided us in restoring and improving the campus.

Another major addition to our campus occurred in the spring, when construction was completed on St. Cecilia Hall. We were honored to have pianist Peter Serkin perform the inaugural concert in this beautiful new building, a gift of the Fritz B. Burns Foundation. Since then, St. Cecilia Hall has been the setting for a variety of lectures and student productions, including Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience, and a concert by the student-led choral group Chrysostomos.

Most importantly, through all of these changes, the work of the College has continued. In her Senior Address, Suzanne Urbancic (’18) said:

“We should see this eventful period during which we have been students here as an opportunity to rekindle in ourselves the passion and vision of our founding mission, a mission which, as alumni, it is our duty and privilege to keep alive.”

Our alumni carry the mission of the College into the wider world, and they do so in many different ways. During the 2018 fiscal year, for example:

  • Sr. Maria Battista of the Lamb of God (Maria Forshaw ’07) made her final vows at the Carmel of St. Joseph in St, Louis, Missouri;
  • Mary Neumayr (’86) was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality;
  • An alumni-led team of attorneys from the Life Legal Defense Foundation successfully overturned California’s assisted-suicide law;
  • Patrick Mason (’03) was elected to the national Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus;
  • Dr. Paul White (’95), a vascular surgeon with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, was promoted to the rank of Colonel;
  • Michael Augros (’92) released his new book, The Immortal in You: How Human Nature Is More Than Science Can Say;
  • Jane Nemcova (’98) was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of Global Services for Machine Intelligence at Lionbridge;
  • and Derek Remus (’11) was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Calgary.

As you review the linked audited financial statements for 2017-2018, I hope you will remember all of the good work that they represent. Thanks to your generosity, our students have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of these alumni, and many others. Your support and your prayers are truly the instruments of God’s grace for us.

On behalf of all of our students, faculty, and staff, I thank you.


Michael F. McLean
Michael F. McLean

Michael F. McLean (with caption)

President Michael F. McLean

Kathleen Murphy (’16) on integrated curriculum

“I think about the entire world differently since I have come here. I have learned certain truths, whether in the natural sciences or philosophy, that I never would have imagined I could know.”

– Kathleen Murphy (’16)

Cheshire, Connecticut

“I admire this college and your faithfulness to the Church’s mission for higher education and the New Evangelization.”

– The Most Rev. José H. Gomez

Archbishop of Los Angeles