SANTA PAULA, Calif.—Young America's Foundation (YAF), a principal outreach organization of the conservative movement with offices at the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, and in Herndon, Virginia, has just published its third annual "Top Ten Conservative Colleges."
According to YAF, institutions that make their list "avoid trends in academe by continuing to study Western Civilization instead of straying toward the study of Marxism, feminism, sexuality, postmodernism, and other modern distractions." Not only did Thomas Aquinas College make the list for the third year in a row, it was again this year the only college in the Western United States to do so.
Explains YAF, "[These] colleges offer an alternative to the liberal status quo….They avoid trends in academe by continuing to study Western Civilization instead of straying toward the study of Marxism, feminism, sexuality, postmodernism, and other modern distractions."
While many of YAF "Top 10" colleges and universities focus on the liberal arts, Thomas Aquinas College is the only one that offers a single, integrated curriculum comprised exclusively of the Great Books. Works read in the college's four-year program include the founding documents of the United States, the original writings of some of the American founding fathers, and works on ethics and political life by great thinkers from ancient to modern times.
Though the mission statements of several of the YAF "Top Ten" include explicitly political goals, Thomas Aquinas College's does not. Instead, its founding document describes an essentially Catholic institution devoted to the pursuit of wisdom-human and divine. Graduates, nevertheless, tend to embrace conservative principles. They go on to pursue a wide variety of careers and professions including education, law, journalism, religious life, business, and medicine. Moreover, many work in public policy or are actively engaged in public or military service.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Thomas Aquinas College has achieved an international reputation for its rigorous academic program. It is widely recognized for helping to cultivate intellectual and moral virtue in its students and consistently ranks among the top colleges and universities in the nation.