It was 2003 when Berni Neal of Capistrano Beach, Calif., first learned about Thomas Aquinas College, and “it truly has been a love affair” ever since, she says. For Mrs. Neal and her husband, Robert, the relationship was a natural fit. “We have come to appreciate more and more what Thomas Aquinas has developed, as well as its curriculum, and the rich faith that’s so alive and well on campus,” she explains.
Following a professional career in corporate marketing and advertising, Mrs. Neal now dedicates her time to Catholic evangelization and philanthropy, purposely identifying organizations that cover global, national, regional and local spheres that have a passion for awakening the fervor of faith. She serves not only on the board of Thomas Aquinas College, but also the boards of the Catholic Leadership Institute, EWTN, Legatus, and the Magnificat Foundation. Additionaly, Mrs. Neal chairs the advisory board of the Obria Group. Her committee work includes the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, the Leonine Forum, and the Philanthropy Roundtable’s Culture of Freedom Initiative.
Mr. and Mrs. Neal are members of the Papal Foundation and the Legatus Orange Coast Chapter. They have two children: Kira, a development officer at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and Collin, an international management consultant for TriVista Business Group.
Previously a member of Thomas Aquinas College’s Board of Regents, Mrs. Neal has served on the Board of Governors since 2008. She and Mr. Neal, she says, have come to see their support for the College as “a critical component of our belief in sound Catholic formation brought about through discernment, knowledge, and wisdom, but above all, grace.”