The Thomas E. Dillon Memorial Scholarship Fund

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“Our intelligence is our greatest gift from God, and our minds are meant to know. In undertaking the program of liberal studies offered here, our students have an opportunity to engage in the highest kind of activity and the most worthwhile in itself. By putting away for a while the transient, the inconsequential, and the mundane, they reach for the enduring, the noble, and the divine.”

— Dr. Thomas E. Dillon

A former student of Founding President Ronald P. McArthur, Dr. Thomas E. Dillon first came to Thomas Aquinas College as a member of the teaching faculty in 1972, one year after its founding. From 1976 to 1981, he served as assistant dean for student affairs, and then as academic dean from 1981 until his first appointment as president in 1991.

Over the course of his 18-year tenure, Dr. Dillon labored to secure the College’s financial well-being, raising some $100 million and building nine new structures, including the library, the laboratory building, five residence halls, the faculty and administration building, and, of course, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. He also worked to strengthen the faculty, and with his fellow tutors refined the academic program, reaffirming the College’s commitment to classical liberal education and its discipleship to St. Thomas. All the while, his uppermost priority was to preserve Thomas Aquinas College’s fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

“Everything Tom did for the College was for the sake of our students: to provide them with an education for the mind and the soul,” says President Michael F. McLean. “We can think of no more fitting way to honor him than to ensure that our present and future students can benefit from that same education.”

In Dr. Dillon’s memory, the College has established the Thomas E. Dillon Memorial Scholarship Fund, an annual fund designated for immediate assistance to worthy students. The fund aims to raise $1 million for financial aid each year, investing all subsequent revenues in a special endowment in Dr. Dillon’s name. 

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Dillon - From the President
Isabella Hsu (’18) on discussion method

“In our classroom discussions, we are responsible for our own education. We have to get our hands dirty, to figure out the material, to let it become part of us and make us better people. That is real learning.”

– Isabella Hsu (’18)

Redondo Beach, California

“I am full of admiration for what the College, its founders, its leadership, its faculty and staff, and its students and alumni have achieved.”

– George Cardinal Pell

Archbishop of Sydney