2015-16 Schedule

An integral part of the College’s curriculum, the St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series complements both the content of the academic program and the Socratic discussion method used in its classes. Because it is also necessary for students to learn how to grapple with long, extended arguments — unlike in the classroom, where they analyze arguments in smaller steps — lectures are scheduled throughout the year. These addresses are followed by open-ended discussions that permit careful questioning and detailed answers. In addition, concerts of classical, operatic, or sacred music are hosted two or three times a year in order to encourage students to develop a love of the best kinds of music.

Inspired by the charity of St. Vincent de Paul — both to the materially poor and to “spiritually poor” heretics of his time, whom he helped through his gentle correction — Barbara and Paul Henkels endowed the Lecture Series in 2007. “We think Thomas Aquinas College graduates are uniquely gifted to serve those poor because they receive a profound and unique classical education,” said the Henkels. “As God called St. Vincent, He is also calling our graduates to bring the Truth to a society maimed by distortion and the culture of death. The ‘poorest of the poor’ today, as always, are those who do not know the Truth.”

In giving their most generous donation, the Henkels made only one stipulation, which, they noted, “should be easy for Thomas Aquinas College to meet,” namely, that “the lectures shall clearly show that the College supports the official Church of Rome and abides by its teaching. They should serve to sharpen the clear image that Thomas Aquinas College is truly and responsibly Catholic. Whatever the topic and whoever the speaker, it is hoped that they will be the kind of people who will bring honor to our Church and the College.”

The St. Vincent De Paul Series provides for the College’s annual Convocation and Commencement speakers, many of whom travel from abroad. It includes the All-College Seminar, in which, once a semester, tutors and students of all classes — seniors and freshmen, sophomores and juniors — gather in small groups of roughly 20 to discuss a reading that is not part of the regular curriculum.

In total, these cultural and intellectual events play a vital role in the mission of the College. As Mrs. Hinkels said in 2007, “We believe that Thomas Aquinas College students, who receive the richest of blessings — an education and formation unsurpassed by any university in our nation — will appreciate St. Vincent de Paul as they bring their gifts to society.”

Lectures and concerts take place in St. Joseph Commons and are open to the public, free of charge. Below is the current St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series schedule:

Aug. 28
7:30 p.m.

Dr. Phillip Wodzinski
Thomas Aquinas College

Sept. 18
7:00 p.m.

Fall Concert
The Symbiosis Ensemble

Oct. 16
7:00 p.m.

All-College Seminar

Oct. 30
7:30 p.m.

Dr. Jeffrey Lehman
Assistant Professor of Education
Hillsdale College
“The Psalms in St. Augustine’s Confessions

Nov. 13
7:00 p.m.

The Thomas Aquinas College Concert

Nov. 20
7:30 p.m.

Dr. Glenn Arbery
Associate Professor of Humanities
Wyoming Catholic College
“Achilles and the Truth of Poetry”

Jan. 15
7:30 p.m.

Dr. Glen Coughlin
Thomas Aquinas College
Topic: Charity in St. Thomas

Jan. 28
12:30 p.m.

Rev. Thomas Joseph White, O.P.
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Dominican House of Studies
St. Thomas Day Lecture

Feb. 5
7:00 p.m.

All-College Seminar

Feb. 19
7:30 p.m.

Dr. John Agresto
President Emeritus
St. John’s College
Presidents’ Day Address
“Equality as the Central Principle of America”

March 18
7:30 p.m.

Dr. John Cuddeback
Christendom College
“Friendship and the Political Life in Aristotle and St. Thomas”


Lecture & Concert Series
Suzie Jackson (’15)

“The texts we are reading ask the fundamental questions in life, which every human person needs to be able to answer. You want to answer these questions, and you experience the beauty of wonder in discussing them.”

– Suzie Jackson (’15)

Manassas, Va.

“I am deeply touched by the quality of the intellectual and spiritual formation that you offer. The study of philosophy should lead to a conviction that truth can be known, articulated, and defended. Your college shows that this is possible, and on a high level!”

– Rev. Wojciech Giertych, O.P.

Theologian of the Papal Household