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Senior Reflections: Spreading Hope

Posted: May 22, 2015

Note: The following essay is adapted from comments made before the Thomas Aquinas College Board of Governors at its May 15, 2015, meeting.

 

By Morgan Furore (’15)

Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to be here with you today, and above all, thank you on behalf of my fellow students for your generous support of the College as members of the Board of Governors. The education that we have received here is truly priceless, and it would not be possible without your support. Thank you.

I was lucky enough to have a friend in high school who learned about Thomas Aquinas College in the Newman Guide. She convinced me to attend the High School Summer Program, which was my first encounter with the great books and the Discussion Method. I ultimately chose the College because it offered me something truly unique: not only would I earn a liberal arts education, but it would be liberal in the truest sense, because it would be rooted in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

After my first two years here I knew that I was beginning to think about things in a new way, but it was still pretty difficult to gauge the extent to which I was being transformed. At the end of my Sophomore Year, however, I had an experience that helped me understand more clearly just how much the College was beginning to change me.

When the year came to an end, I got onto a plane to return to my family’s home in Michigan, and I sat down next to a man who began asking me about where I was coming from and where I was going. I told him that I was a student at Thomas Aquinas College and that I was studying the great books.

I proceeded to ask him about where he was coming from and where he was going. I learned that he was an executive producer for an Emmy Award-winning TV series on the Discovery Channel called The Deadliest Catch, and that he was flying to my hometown to give a TED talk about the importance of storytelling. Suddenly he turned to me and asked, “Why do you think storytelling is important?”

A smile immediately spread across my face. Just a few days earlier I had had my Sophomore Seminar exam with Mr. Dragoo, and the first question that he had asked me was, “What is the importance of storytelling?” Because of this preparation, this television producer and I ended up talking about The Aeneid and The Odyssey and all of these great texts, and at one point he even asked if he could practice his speech in front of me so that I could tell him what I thought. It was incredible — I never would have expected anything like that!

What was more surprising to me was that, toward the end of the trip, he began asking me about my faith, and about what my views were on controversial topics such as abortion. We realized pretty quickly that we didn’t see eye to eye, but I found myself asking him questions about his own position, pushing him to point out the principles upon which he was basing his argument. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it occurred to me later that what I had been doing was exercising the very skills that I had learned at the College.

At the end of the flight he shook my hand and thanked me for taking the time to talk with him. He told me that I had given him hope that there are schools out there that are doing a good job of educating students in a way that forms them into thoughtful and positive young people who are enthusiastic to share what they have learned with the world.

It was at this moment that I realized how greatly my education was affecting the way that I think and speak. Throughout my four years here, this has become more and more clear to me — I have seen how each day I have spent here has been a blessing on my life.

As for my future plans, beginning this summer I will have the privilege of working for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware, as a development associate. The institute’s motto, “Educating for Liberty” is, after having studied at Thomas Aquinas College, near and dear to my heart. I feel incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to share what I have learned at the College with the world through my career.

As graduates, we are given a charge to bring our light into the world and to share it with others — which is a duty, but it is also a gift. Thank you for providing me and my fellow students an education that is not only a gift for us to have, but enables us to share our gift with the world. We are, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says, and as is found in the marble work in our chapel, “cooperatores veritas,” or, “co-workers of the Truth” — the Truth here being not just some abstract intellectual pursuit, but a Person.

On behalf of my fellow students, I would once again like to thank you, members of the Board of Governors, for all that you do. We, who now have the privilege of being co-workers in the Truth alongside you, will always be praying for you. God bless you, and God bless Thomas Aquinas College.

 

Miss Furore is from Suttons Bay, Michigan.

Morgan Furore ('15)
Rev. Fr. Mark Bachmann

“What we learned about God in the curriculum — St. Augustine, the way he spoke about God, and St. Thomas’ treatise in the beginning of the Summa Theologica — really set me toward my vocation.”

– Rev. Fr. Mark Bachmann, O.S.B. (’82)

Co-founder and Subprior, Annunciation Monastery of Clear Creek

“I am most grateful for Thomas Aquinas College’s resolute fidelity to the Church and her teachings. The young people whom you serve certainly are being formed to think with the Church and to defend the Faith with courage and charity.”

– The Most Rev. William E. Lori

Archbishop of Baltimore

Chair of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty

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