Thomas Aquinas College to Open in Northfield | Connecting Point | Dec. 5, 2018

By | August 23, 2019


>>>A NEW COLLEGE IS SET TO OPEN
IN NEW ENGLAND BRANCH OF THE CALIFORNIA BASE MOUNT HERMAN SCHOOL. I SPOKE WITH THE ADMISSIONS
COUNSELOR AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIES SIS OF SPRINGFIELD TO SEE
WHAT THIS WILL MEAN FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN THE REGION.>>FOR US AS A CATHOLIC
COMMUNITY, IT MEANS IN FRANKLIN COUNTY, WE WILL HAVE A WONDERFUL
EDUCATIONAL PRESENCE FOR NOT ONLY THE PEOPLE OF FRANKLIN
COUNTY BUT REALLY WELL BEYOND.>>WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PEOPLE
WHO THINK WOW, I AM SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT A CATHOLIC SCHOOL IS
OPENING?>>WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THERE HAS
BEEN SUCH SUCCESS ON THE WEST CODE — COAST WITH THOMAS
AQUINAS COLLEGE, THAT OPENING THIS CAMPUS ON THE EAST COAST
OPENS IT UP TO A LOT MORE STUDENTS AND I THINK IT MEANS
THERE IS A HUNGER FOR REALLY STUDYING PHILOSOPHICAL TRUTHS,
THE FAITH AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE FAITH SO THERE IS A
REAL HUNGER IN OUR SOCIETY TO KNOW WHAT IS FAITH ABOUT AND HO
DO WE LIVE FAITH IN THIS MODERN AGE.>>I KNOW YOU WERE ON THE WEST
COAST AND WORKING ON ADMISSIONS HERE ON THE EAST COAST AS WELL?>>YES.>>HAVE YOU HAD ANY INQUIRIES
FROM FOLKS WHO WERE INTERESTED OR IN THE PROCESS OF RECRUITING?>>OH, YEAH, DEFINITELY. THE REASON WE DID THIS ON THE
WEST COAST CAMPUS, WE CONSISTENTLY HAD MORE INTEREST
THAN WE COULD –>>AND YOU HAVE 400 STUDENTS ON
THE WEST COAST CAMPUS, IS THAT RIGHT?>>WE AIM AT 350, MORE OR LESS,
AT DIFFERENT TIMES. WE WANT TO HAVE A SMALLER CAMPUS
FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE INTELLECTUAL LIFE BUT REALLY THE
REASON WAS BECAUSE WE HAD SO MUCH INTEREST ON OUR CALIFORNIA
CAMPUS THAT WE THOUGHT WE COULD START A NEW CAMPUS AND WHEN THE
NATIONAL CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION OFFERED THIS, WE THOUGHT YES, WE
HAVE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY SO EVEN THIS YEAR WE HAVE HAD A LOT
OF INTEREST IN APPLYING FOR THE EAST COAST CAMPUS.>>AND IT IS AN INTERESTING WAY
THAT YOU CAME BY ACQUIRING THE PROPERTY, THE NORTH FIELD MOUNT
HERMAN CAMPUS. THE FORMER CAMPUS. ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT
NORTHFIELD MOUNT HERMAN, IT IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS BUT A VERY
BIG CAM CAMPUS AND THEY HAD LIA $150 MILLION ENDOWMENT AND
STRUGGLED TO MAKE THE NUMBERS WORK. ARE YOU CONFIDENT YOU CAN MAKE
THE NUMBERS WORK HERE?>>ABSOLUTELY. OUR DEVELOPMENT OFFICES HAVE
LOOKED INTO THIS OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS AND FEEL VERY
CONFIDENT AND WHEN WE WENT TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THEY
WERE CONFIDENT WE COULD DO THIS.>>AND COULD YOU TALK A LITTLE
MORE ABOUT CURRICULUM? YOU SPOKE ABOUT FAITH AND PEOPLE
WANTING TO CONNECT WITH THAT BUT I IMAGINE THAT WILL ONLY BE A
PIECE OF IT.>>I THINK THE CATHOLIC FAITH
REALLY PER VADES THE CAMPUS, LIE THE LITURGICAL LIFE, THE STUDIES
THAT OCCUR THERE. GOING BACK TO THE ANCIENT
PHILOSOPHERS ALL THE WAY THROUGH
TO OUR AGE OF CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHERS, IT REALLY DOES P
ERVADE THE ENTIRE CAMPUS. IT IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT IN THAT
IT IS A GREAT BOOKS CURRICULUM, TRULY A LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION
AND ONE THAT IS — INSPIRES THE STUDENTS THERE TO REALLY THINK,
REFLECT, BE CRITICAL AND CRITIQUE WHAT’S GOING ON IN OUR
SOCIETY TODAY.>>AND SO TO START OUT, I HAVE
READ, I THINK, 30 TO 35 STUDENTS YOU ARE HOPING TO TARGET IN THE
FIRST YEAR?>>WE’RE AIMING AT TWO SECTIONS
OF STUDENTS AND TWO SECTIONS OF US AROUND 18 TO 35, 36 STUDENTS.>>AND I KNOW THEY HAD BEEN
REPORTING WHEN THE LAND TRANSFER INITIALLY TOOK PLACE THAT YOU
HOPED TO OPEN IN THE FALL OF 2018 BUT THINGS WERE DELAYED DUE
TO LICENSURE THROUGH THE STATE. ARE YOU NOW ON TARGET TO OPEN
FALL 2019?>>YES, AUGUST 2019. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION GAVE US
APPROVE IN, I THINK, AUGUST AND NOW EVERYTHING IS ON TRACK TO
OPEN IN THE FALL.>>SO THERE ARE MANY LIBERAL
ARTS COLLEGES IN THIS REGION QUITE NOW. WHAT DOES THOMAS AQUINAS OFFER
THAT DOESN’T EXIST RIGHT NOW?>>WELL, THE UNIQUE THING ABOUT
OUR PROGRAM IS IT IS EXCLUSIVELY A LIBERAL ARTS GREAT BOOKS
PROGRAM. IT IS A BA IN LIBERAL ARTS AND
EVERY STUDENT WHO ATTENDS, IT IS THE SAME DISCIPLINE. PHILOSOPHY,
SCIENCE CLASS, AND SO IT IS EXCLUSIVELY A LIBERAL ARTS
EDUCATION WHERE A LOT OF LIBERAL COLLEGES HAVE A FOCUS ON LIBERAL
ARTS BUT THEN MOVE AWAY FROM THAT.>>WHEN YOU SAY GREAT BOOKS,
TELL ME WHAT YOU MEAN BY THAT.>>THE GREAT BOOKS ARE THE
SELLINAL TEXTS IN THE WESTERN INTELLECTUAL TRADITION SO THEY
ARE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL THINKERS IN EVERY SINGLE
DISCIPLINE. SO FOR EXAMPLE, THE GREAT BOOKS
PROGRAM, INSTEAD OF STUDYING A MATH TEXTBOOK, YOU WOULD STUDY
THE ORIGINAL WRITINGS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN OR SIR ISAAC NEWTON
SO YOU’RE GOING BACK TO THE ORIGINAL WRITINGS OF THE AUTHORS IN THE
DIFFERENT ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES

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