Skip to Content

U.S. News Ranks Thomas Aquinas College Second in the Country for Alumni Giving

October 18, 2016
10,000 Ojai Road
Santa Paula CA 93060
Contact: Anne Forsyth, Director of College Relations
(805) 525-4417      


U.S. News Ranks Thomas Aquinas College Second in the Country for Alumni Giving

Rate More than Six Times National Average,
Reflects Alumni Satisfaction


SANTA PAULA, CA—October 18—U.S. News & World Report has named Thomas Aquinas College No. 2 out of 1,374 colleges and universities nationwide on its newly released rankings of alumni giving. The rankings are based on the 2-year average percentage of alumni donors to their colleges and universities for the years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Explaining the importance of alumni-giving rates, the magazine has said that they are “a gauge of alumni satisfaction” and a sign of “school spirit” — a reflection of how much graduates value the education they received as students.

“Our graduates donate to their alma mater,” says Thomas Aquinas College Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer, “because they recognize the worth of the education they received and want to help make that possible for a new generation of students.”

He notes that “Many of our alumni are just starting out in the world, or have large families to provide for, or are priests — but they choose to make sacrificial contributions to the college. Most of them received financial aid as students, and they are happy to give back to the nearly 75% percent of our students who receive financial aid today.”

U.S. News has named the college to its Top 10 list for alumni giving for the last six years. Whereas the national average for alumni giving in 2014 was 8.3 percent, Thomas Aquinas College’s rate of 58.7 percent is more than six times that figure, giving it a ranking just behind Princeton University.

“We are deeply grateful to our alumni for their generous support,” says Vice President for Development Paul O’Reilly. “Not only do alumni gifts help to cover our $5 million in annual financial aid and operating costs, but they also attract the support of philanthropic foundations, which view alumni-giving as a measure of the college’s institutional strength.”

Thus alumni gifts benefit the college many times over. As Dr. O’Reilly explains, “There is no stronger endorsement for the work we do than the loyalty and generosity of those who know our unique program of Catholic liberal education best — our graduates.”

About Thomas Aquinas College

Thomas Aquinas College has developed a solid reputation for academic excellence in the United States and abroad. At Thomas Aquinas College, there are no majors, no minors, or electives because all students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The College offers one 4-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology. Rather than listening to lectures, they engage in rigorous Socratic discussions about these works in classes of 15-18 students. The academic life of the college is conducted under the light of the Catholic faith and flourishes within a close-knit community, supported by a vibrant spiritual life. Genuinely committed to upholding civic virtue and leading lives dedicated to the good of others, Thomas Aquinas College graduates enter a wide array of fields where they are a powerful force for good in the Church and in the culture. Well-versed in rational discourse, they become leaders in education, law, medicine, journalism, public policy, military service, and business. In addition, a steady 10% of alumni go on to the priesthood or religious life.