Thomas Aquinas College
|Thomas Aquinas College|
|Motto||Verum • Bonum • Pulchrum (The True • The Good • The Beautiful)|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|President||Dr. Michael F. McLean|
|Dean||Dr. Brian Kelly|
|Location||Santa Paula, California, USA|
Thomas Aquinas College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college offering a single integrated academic program. It is located in Santa Paula, California north of Los Angeles. It offers a unique education with courses based on the Great Books and seminar method. It has school accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accrediting board for California and Guam. It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.
Thomas Aquinas offers one degree program: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts.
As a matter of principle, to ensure the institution's autonomy, the school does not accept any direct government funding; neither does it receive funding from the Catholic Church. Rather, it offers need-based scholarships funded by the private donations of individuals and foundations.
In 2012, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni included Thomas Aquinas College in its What Will They Learn? study, which is an annual evaluation system of colleges and universities. The report assigns a letter grade to 1,070 universities based on how many of the following seven core subjects are required: composition, literature, foreign language, American history, economics, mathematics and science. Thomas Aquinas College was one of 21 schools to receive an "A" grade, which is assigned to schools that include at least six of the seven designated subjects in their core curriculum.
Thomas Aquinas offers one degree, a bachelor of arts in liberals arts. This is an integrated liberal arts curriculum made up primarily of the Great Books of the Western Tradition, with order of learning emphasized in the structure of the curriculum. Much of the first two years of the 4-year program is devoted to the Trivium (logic, rhetoric, and grammar) and the Quadrivium (geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and music.) Natural science, philosophy, and theology are studied all four years. Papers are assigned in the various subject areas throughout the year; fourth year students produce a senior thesis, and defend it before a panel of faculty members.
The college replaces textbooks with original sources, the seminal works in all the major disciplines. Thomas Aquinas College acknowledges that not all texts in their program are of equal weight. They regard some as masterworks and others as sources of opinions that "either lead students to the truth, or make the truth more evident by opposition to it." Students read some texts in their entirety and only excerpts from others.
The college's St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series complements its regular academic program, providing events at least once a month during the academic year.
Four chaplain-priests live on campus. They provide the sacraments and spiritual direction.
The school has a club soccer team that plays in a Ventura County league. There is also an intramural sports program offering soccer, tennis, football, and volleyball on the school's courts.
The St. Genesius players produce one play a year, commonly a selection from Shakespeare. The College Choir presents an annual concert and a spring musical, often a production of Gilbert and Sullivan. It sings at Sunday Mass and special events. Another student choir and various instrumentalists and vocalists in the student body provide informal recitals throughout the year, at formal and informal events.
Unmarried students are housed on-campus in six dormitories. Married students may live off-campus. Men's and women's residence halls are off-limits to members of the opposite sex.
The possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs on campus or in the dormitories is not allowed and may entail expulsion from the college.
As the “crown jewel” of the Thomas Aquinas College campus, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel was dedicated on March 7, 2009. The design for this 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2), $23 million building employs Early Christian, Renaissance, and Spanish Mission styles. Designed by University of Notre Dame architect Duncan Stroik, it is cruciform in shape and features both a 135-foot (41 m) bell tower and a 89-foot (27 m) dome. Pope John Paul II blessed the chapel’s plans in 2003, and in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI blessed its cornerstone . Adoremus Bulletin has called Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel “A Triumph of Sacred Architecture”.
The ceiling of the college's Saint Bernardine of Siena Library has been constructed from recovered wood from a 17th-century Spanish monastery. The library has a collection of rarities, including thousands-year old Hittite seals, and devotional and sacred objects of saints.
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