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“Thomas Aquinas to Thomas Aquinas” — New England Campus Receives Treasured Gift on Convocation Day

Posted: August 29, 2019

On the very first day of its inaugural academic year, Thomas Aquinas College, New England, was blessed with a gift which reflects the rich history of its century-old campus, the warm welcome it has received from its new neighbors, and the College’s enduring commitment to its founding mission.

The gift was a 400-year old edition of the Summa Theologiae, the masterwork of the College’s patron, St. Thomas Aquinas. Its giver was Donald G. Glascoff, Jr., Vice-Chair of the Board of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, which occupied the New England campus from its 1879 founding until 2005. As the preparatory school’s designated liaison with the College, Mr. Glascoff presented the tome to President Michael F. McLean on Convocation Day.

“This is a personal gift, although it is prompted by my family’s long connection with Northfield Mount Hermon School and its predecessors,” wrote Mr. Glascoff to Dr. McLean, “beginning with my grandfather in the Class of 1912 and concluding, for the moment, with my son in the Class of 2012.” Mr. Glascoff is himself a member of the Class of 1963 and has served on the school’s Board of Trustees for the last seven years.

Northfield Mount Hermon is the single name that the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies and the Mount Hermon School for Boys — both founded by the 19th century evangelical preacher D.L. Moody — took when they merged in 1971. For 34 years the school operated on both campuses until consolidating onto the Mount Hermon property in 2005. Mr. Glascoff elected to present his copy of the Summa to the College as a “welcome to the neighborhood gift” just before the start of classes, so as “to mark the resumption of teaching on Dwight Lyman Moody’s first campus.”

A devoted book collector, Mr. Glascoff, can often be found, as he puts it, “in the dusty aisles of antiquarian book stores in New York and Oxford, England.” He acquired his copy of the Summa from a rare book dealer in Upstate New York, who in turn had acquired it from a dealer in England. The volume seems to have traveled down the centuries through various religious orders. Printed and bound in 1614, it was part of the first edition of the Summa Theologiae to be published by Marci Wyon of the University of Douai. It contains more than 1,000 pages of fine print, in Latin, punctuated by occasional water stains and burrowing worm holes. Nonetheless, its overall condition is quite good, and its text is accessible to anyone with the ability to read Latin of the era.

In donating the work to the College, Mr. Glascoff joked on Convocation Day, he was “giving Thomas Aquinas to Thomas Aquinas.” The book will become a treasured part of the College’s collection.

“We are grateful to receive this early edition of St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae from Don Glascoff on the occasion of the opening of Thomas Aquinas College on the New England campus,” said Dr. McLean. “It is a very fitting gift for a school that is founded on fidelity to the method and doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, and it will help remind our students of St. Thomas’ long lasting and preeminent position in the Church’s intellectual tradition.”

400-year edition of the Summa Theologiae

Donald G. Glascoff, Jr., presents President Michael F. McLean with a 400-year old edition of the Summa Theologiae on New England Convocation Day

Donald G. Glascoff, Jr., presents President Michael F. McLean with a 400-year old edition of the Summa Theologiae on Convocation Day.

Matthew Dugan (’18)

“When you’re discussing the great works you have to assimilate what’s being said by the author to your own understanding. Rather than passively receiving information, we’re becoming self-learners and independent thinkers, making the great ideas our own.”

– Matthew Dugan (’18)

Wayzata, Minnesota

“Few schools anywhere can match Thomas Aquinas College’s extraordinary blend of deep Catholic faith and rich academic formation.”

– The Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput

Archbishop of Philadelphia