Each year, starting in the fall and continuing well into the spring, the Seniors of Thomas Aquinas College labor to create what will be the culmination of their four years of academic effort — the Senior Thesis. Based on a subject of each student’s own choosing, and drawing from the College’s classical curriculum, the thesis represents its author’s effort to apply his or her education to a matter of scholarly and personal importance.
After months of hard work, members of the Class of 2014 submitted the final versions of their theses on Saturday evening. At around 6 p.m., College Registrar Mark Kretschmer arrived at the Dumb Ox Café to collect the final drafts, which were due no later than 11 p.m. This strict deadline led to a high-energy evening, with Seniors feeling the stress of final editing and proofreading before the deadline and the thrill of being finished afterward.
One by one, the Seniors trickled into the coffee shop, flash drives in hand, to turn in their work. At 10 p.m., Mr. Kretschmer moved to the faculty building, where a balcony had been decorated for a well-deserved feast. Joined by Dean Brian Kelly and Assistant Dean Steven Cain, Seniors enjoyed hamburgers and refreshments. They relaxed while a few remaining classmates turned in their theses, the last arriving just minutes before the deadline. Then, with a sense of relief and exhaustion, the Class of 2014 began the celebration in earnest, delighting in good food and conversation until a late hour.
Looking back on the experience, Senior Felicity Seeley says, “Writing the thesis was stressful but bonding. During the year I would remind myself to pray for students who I knew were having a hard time with their theses. And the celebration party afterward was like a great feast day… like Easter after Lent!”