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For more information, or to attend the inauguration, please contact: 
Chris Weinkopf, Executive Director of College Relations

805-421-5926 |


Thomas Aquinas College’s Presidential Inauguration

Paul J. O’Reilly (’84) – First Alumnus to Take Office
October 22 ∙ Santa Paula, California


SANTA PAULA, CA — The bishops who serve Thomas Aquinas College’s two campuses — California and New England — will both preside when Dr. Paul J. O’Reilly formally takes the oath of office as the College’s fifth president on October 22.

The principal celebrant and homilist at the morning’s Mass in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel will be the Most Rev. José H. Gomez, who, as Archbishop of Los Angeles, is the ordinary for the California campus. Serving as the principal concelebrant will be the College’s New England ordinary, the Most Rev. William D. Byrne, Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts. Both bishops will also offer an episcopal salutation at the ensuing inauguration ceremony.

“It is fitting that both of our bishops, who have been so generous and supportive of the College and its mission, will be with us on this day when we pledge our continued fidelity to the apostolic church and her teachings,” says Dr. O’Reilly. “We are honored that Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Byrne would take time from their busy schedules to be with our students, faculty, and staff; our governors and benefactors; and our friends and visitors.”

“I am honored to take part in Thomas Aquinas College’s celebration of Dr. Paul O’Reilly’s inauguration as the College’s fifth president,” says Archbishop Gomez. “As I welcome Dr. O’Reilly, I want to express my esteem and gratitude for Dr. Michael McLean, who has served with distinction as president for these past 12 years. Please join me in praying that Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, will continue to guide Dr. O’Reilly and the entire Thomas Aquinas College community in the noble vocation of forming young men and women to be true lay apostles, spreading truth, beauty, and goodness in our culture and society.”

A frequent visitor on the New England campus, Bishop Byrne is making his first visit to TAC-California. “This inauguration gives us a moment to look back with grateful hearts on the wonderful leadership of Dr. Michael McLean,” he says. “At the same time, we look forward to an exciting and blessed future under the leadership of Dr. Paul O’Reilly.”

Although Dr. O’Reilly officially took office at the first New England Commencement last spring, the formal inauguration on October 22 will allow for more friends and guests to attend the event. “We look forward to welcoming Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Byrne, visiting dignitaries, and many friends of the College, old and new,” says Dr. O’Reilly, “as we celebrate 50 years of Catholic liberal education, the generous benefactors who have made it possible, and the College’s bright future on two coasts.”


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About Thomas Aquinas College

A four-year, co-educational institution with campuses in California and Massachusetts, Thomas Aquinas College has developed over the past 50 years a solid reputation for academic excellence in the United States and abroad. It is highly ranked by organizations such as The Princeton Review, U. S. News, and Kiplinger. At Thomas Aquinas College all students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The college offers one, four-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology. The academic life of the college is conducted under the light of the Catholic faith and flourishes within a close-knit community, supported by a vibrant spiritual life. Graduates consistently excel in the many world-class institutions at which they pursue graduate degrees in fields such as law, medicine, business, theology and education.