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PAULA, CA-January 15, 2010-Dr. Michael F. McLean, the newly appointed president of Thomas Aquinas College, has announced that Dr. Brian Kelly has been appointed Dean of the College, to succeed him in that office. The selection, made after extensive consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Selection of the Dean, numerous conversations with members of the faculty, and much deliberation, has been approved unanimously by the executive committee of the college's board of governors.

"Dr. Kelly has served the college ably as a tutor since 1994," says Dr. McLean. "Over the course of that time, he has also served as assistant dean for student affairs, taught in the Summer Great Books Program for High School Students, and served on numerous committees, including the admissions and instruction committees."

A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College's class of 1988, Dr. Kelly went on to earn a master's degree and a doctorate in medieval studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he studied under renowned Catholic philosopher Ralph McInerny, an emeritus member of the Thomas Aquinas College board of governors. During that time, Dr. Kelly worked as a research assistant at Dr. McInerny's Jacques Maritain Center and as a teaching assistant. He also was awarded a prestigious Bradley Fellowship. Upon completing his graduate work, Dr. Kelly returned to his alma mater as a member of the teaching faculty.

Dr. Kelly grew up in Indiana and Illinois along with 13 older siblings. It was while a student at Thomas Aquinas College that he met his wife, Karen, also a graduate of the class of 1988. The couple now lives in Santa Paula with their six children.

As dean, Dr. Kelly supervises the college's program of Catholic liberal education and is responsible for the general welfare and discipline of its students. He also chairs the instruction and curriculum committees and oversees a wide range of programs, from student activities and alumni relations to the chaplaincy and faculty hiring. Of his new job, Dr. Kelly candidly admits, "I am not certain of what to expect, but I know that we have extremely good leadership, an extremely good faculty, and some very wise minds for me to lean on for advice and support."

Observes President McLean, "Dr. Kelly has a solid understanding of the workings and the principles of the College. He is fully committed to its mission and to the college's discipleship to Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. I am confident that he and I will work well together and that he will be successful in his new position."