An Advent Message from President McLean

“In Him was life; and His life was the light of men.”
— John 1:4

Advent 2011

Dear Friend,

I am mindful of the many blessings that have been showered on the College since its inception. Not least among them is the tremendous generosity of those who make our work of authentic Catholic liberal education possible.

You should know that your generosity accomplishes great good in the lives of the students we educate. But the good you do reaches beyond them, for they share the intellectual and spiritual formation they receive at the College with those whom they touch in their lives.

One good example is Father Sebastian Walshe, a priest and a professor of theology at a Norbertine seminary, who not only found his Catholic faith at the College, but also his vocation. He is now having a profound influence on the minds and souls of many more young men who after ordination will themselves go into the world as vibrant sources of good for the Church and the country.

Another is Brenna Scanlon, a young lady who came, as she says, “kicking and screaming” to our summer program for high school students. Fully intent on availing herself of one of the soccer scholarships that were coming her way, she wanted no part of Thomas Aquinas College. Yet, after two weeks on our campus, participating in our seminar classes, attending Mass, and enjoying the company of young people from across the country, the course of her life changed and she applied only to Thomas Aquinas College. Now, a short five years after her graduation, she is the principal of a parish elementary school, reinvigorating its Catholic identity and overseeing the instruction and formation of more than 300 girls and boys.

 Your generosity makes the work of Fr. Sebastian and Brenna possible, as well as that of the many other graduates engaged in nearly every field of endeavor who, like them, are sharing with their colleagues, parishioners, neighbors, and friends the truth they have come to know and love at Thomas Aquinas College.

A long-time donor and friend of the College used to say joyfully that his many contributions to the College were “the best investment he had ever made!” It was clear to him that providing for our students would yield a plentiful harvest for the Church and for our country, so sorely in need of the Truth that sets men free.
And so I come to you now on behalf of our current students, many of whom cannot afford this education without your help. They are eminently deserving, and they want nothing more than to continue in our program that provides a genuinely Catholic formation. You can help them with your generous gift of $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 — or whatever you can afford.

Your gift to our financial aid fund this Christmas will not only have a profound effect on the lives of these young men and women, but will have more far-reaching effects as well. For, like their predecessors, they will take up positions of leadership and influence as priests, nuns, brothers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, professors, teachers, architects, journalists, servicemen — and more.

Please be as generous as you can so that through our graduates the Light of Christ that first shone in Bethlehem will shine more brightly in a darkened world.

 May God bless you for the great good you do, and may you and yours have a most blessed Christmas.


Michael F. McLean, Ph.D.

P.S. Remember that gifts can be conveniently made through the College’s online giving form, and that a pledge with monthly payments may make a larger gift more affordable.

P.S. A provision in the current United States tax law allows taxpayers over 70½ years of age to make tax-free charitable distributions directly to Thomas Aquinas College from their traditional and Roth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts). The provision allowing these charitable rollover gifts will expire on December 31 this year. Read about how to make such a gift to the financial aid fund at Thomas Aquinas College, or contact our Director of Planned Giving, Tom Susanka, 805-421-5928.

Michael F. McLean
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

“The Catholic Church may be justly proud of this unique college of Saint Thomas Aquinas on account of the high quality of its professors and its cultural contribution through philosophy and theology.”

– Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo

President Emeritus of the Governatorate

Vatican City State