Doesn’t take government money
Godless New Englanders, be warned.
California-based Thomas Aquinas College is opening its second campus this weekend in Northfield, Massachusetts, less than an hour from some of the most secular, far-left colleges in America, including Smith, Amherst and Mount Holyoke.
The classical Christian school, founded 48 years ago by lay Catholics and based around a “great books” curriculum, was gifted the campus of a former prep school by the National Christian Foundation two years ago.
TAC’s first New England class matriculates on Saturday, with 30 freshmen and sophomores each. It plans to grow to between 350 and 400 students, according to a media alert from the college Wednesday. Like its original California campus, the New England campus accepts no government money.
It’s benefiting from the demise of another nearby liberal arts college, Newbury, which welcomed TAC to the area by giving away its furniture and other equipment:
The regrettable collapse of other small schools has proven fortuitous for [TAC], which must furnish its new campus in time for the start of classes in late August. “We’re a good, big buyer, so the shuttered colleges and liquidators have been happy to give us first look,” says Vice President for Finance Dennis McCarthy. “We got a first look at Newbury College a few weeks ago and bought the entire administration building, which was full of great desks, chairs, conference tables, etc. We also bought the contents of the gym, most of the dorms, and the kitchen.”
The college has long bucked the culture. It accepted a statue of Christopher Columbus from another Christian college that found it too controversial to leave on campus, and its graduation speaker a year ago told students they “have to be politically incorrect” on sex and marriage.
TAC was the top-ranked Catholic institution on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of 300 Best College Values in 2018, beating out much bigger names such as Notre Dame and Georgetown.