New England

To mark the completion of the first week of classes at Thomas Aquinas College, New England, last Friday, prefects served root-beer floats to their fellow students outside the Gould Commons. “This is a great way to reward the students for completing their first week on campus,” said senior Peter Goyette, who helped set up the social. 

The students were delighted to find floats ready for them right after classes. “Ending the week on a high note is such a big plus,” said sophomore Georgiana Egan. The treat was a fittingly festive end to the first week — and a hopeful sign for all that is to come. Said sophomore Norah O’Brien, “I’m so excited for the rest of the school year!”

Later that night, students gathered for the year’s opening lecture, “It Changes in Order to Remain the Same: The Development of Christian Doctrine and Catholic Liberal Education,” by tutor Dr. Patrick Gardner. Text and audio from the lecture will be available on the College’s website later this week.

Friday Root-Beer Floats
  • Three students walk toward Gould, passing the chapel
  • Two prefects prepare root beer floats
  • Two students chat over their floats
  • Five students pose for a picture, root beer floats in hand
  • Two freshman chat over their floats
  • Students make conversation around the float preparation table
  • Two other students chat over their root beer floats
  • Five students pose for a photo, floats in hand
  • Two students pose with their floats
  • Prefects laughing around the table as they construct floats
  • Two students pose with a prefect for a photo
  • Two students, laughing, pose with root beer floats

On Saturday evening, students kicked off the weekend by enjoying a hearty barbeque on the Gould Lawn. 

“The freshman class has nearly doubled the entire college,” observed sophomore Eamonn O’Reilly. Also joining the party were members of the teaching faculty and their families. “Having the tutors at meals helps further the conversation we have in our classes, and it’s always fun to hang out with the tutors’ kids,” reflected junior Irene Collins.

All-College Barbeque
  • Students admire a cheese board with crackers
  • Two students pose over the juice cooler
  • Difficult decisions: two thoughtful students assess their options at the cheese board
  • Three students pose for a picture
  • Two students pose with their plates laden with food
  • A prefect chats with a staff family member under the shade
  • Two students and a prefect pose for a picture: the prefect strikes a mock grumpy face
  • Two students and a staff member pose with their food at a table
  • Three students in silhouette give a "thumbs up" over their food
  • Two students laugh at something out of frame to the left
  • Another two students laughing together over a joke
  • Enthusiastic students walking down the path

To wrap up the weekend’s activities, on Sunday resident director Joe Wiebersch (’20) organized a tug-of-war competition amongst the classroom sections. With many upperclassmen retiring for the evening to study, the senior and junior classes joined forces to claim bragging rights against the underclassmen. 

The championship match consisted of members of the sophomore class versus Section Three of the freshmen class. In a best-of-three match, the freshmen earned the early win, then dropped the last two to the sophomores. “Now for the rest of the year, we have bragging rights across the entire campus,” said Margaret Duffy (’24). “I worked pretty hard, but I’ve got to give credit to my awesome team.”

Tug of War
  • The left team takes their places
  • The right team assembles
  • Left team pulls for all it's worth!
  • Students pulling at full power on left team
  • Right team pulls; various members fall over backwards
  • One of the teams rejoices in a victory
  • Closeup: students on right team pulling
  • A new team positions themselves for maximum traction
  • The left team pulls as hard as possible
  • Right team pulls back!
  • Right team students pulling
  • Left team pulling back with enthusiasm