At the start of the academic year, the seniors of Thomas Aquinas College take on a yearlong project, a culmination of their four years’ study of the Great Books: the Senior Thesis. Each member of the class chooses a curriculum-related question and then — with the guidance of a faculty advisor — spends the next several months researching and writing a work addressing that question. Theses range from 20 to 40 pages in length.

Last Saturday, members of the California Class of 2024 turned in their senior theses.

That night, with the deadline fast approaching, seniors made their way to St. Cecilia’s Hall, flash drives in hand. One by one, they handed them over to Associate Dean J. John Baer, who formally accepted the documents. Elated, relieved, and joyous, they then ceremoniously rang a commemorative ship’s bell, marking their return to harbor. Their peers cheered them on each time. This then led to the celebration!

In the Fritz B. Burns Auditorium, the seniors mingled with Dean Michael Letteney and Assistant Dean Travis Cooper, recounting the experience to each other, refreshments in hand; they reminisced over the last four years, took group photos of freshman-year sections, and at last relaxed.

Dr. Letteney took to the floor for a toast. “This is a capstone achievement,” he said. Reflecting on how far each senior had come since freshman year, adding, “Here’s to the seniors! I hope you look back on this time as a beautiful memory.”