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Parent Day of Giving


“It was a dramatic day — and then some,” says Nathanael Cassidy, Thomas Aquinas College’s director of alumni and parent relations. “But by God’s grace, and thanks to the generosity of TAC mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers, we made it!”

The College’s 2024 Parent Day of Giving, held on May 1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, began with the ambitious goal of raising $300,000 for student financial aid. To get the day started, Cathryn and Tom Krause — the parents of one alumna and the grandparents of an alumnus and a current student — offered to match, dollar for dollar, the first $100,000 contributed. “The Krauses’ gift really got parents motivated, and we had a steady stream of giving all day long, so we easily met the challenge by 5:00 p.m.,” Mr. Cassidy reflects.

“That is the one message we keep hearing again and again from parents: that they are grateful.”

But the day was far from over. Having reached the $200,000 threshold, parents still had $100,000 to go. “An anonymous TAC mom and dad then stepped forward and offered a $25,000 matching gift of their own, so the momentum just continued,” says Mr. Cassidy.

Indeed, is less than 30 minutes, TAC parents met that challenge gift, too, eclipsing $250,000.

“We thought we were all out of matching gifts at that point,” says Mr. Cassidy. “But we were in for a wonderful surprise: TAC parents Erin (Mackey) and Sam Caughron (both ’96) offered a third challenge gift, this time for $10,000, to inspire their fellow parents to ever-greater generosity.”

The gambit worked, but as the evening pressed on, the gifts began to slow. “Parents rightly turn their attention to their children when the school day ends, there’s dinner to put on the table, and bedtime is fast approaching,” says Mr. Cassidy. “Sometime around 11:30, our TAC parents fulfilled the Caughrons’ $10,000 challenge, but we were still about $25,000 short on our goal for the day. So, we decided to let the ‘day’ stretch out a little longer.”

Sure enough, refreshed and caffeinated on Thursday morning, the parents resumed their giving. “We had several gifts come in, quickly pushing us past our $300,000 goal, and then they continued by mail for the next several days,” says Mr. Cassidy. When the giving finally came to an end, the total had reached $328,809. “It was heartening to see how TAC parents weren’t going to give up. They were determined to see this through.”

The outpouring of effort is a testament to the dedication of TAC mothers and fathers, both of current students and alumni, as well as to their gratitude for the gift that Thomas Aquinas College is in their children’s lives. “That is the one message we keep hearing again and again from parents: that they are grateful,” says Mr. Cassidy.

“We are grateful, too — to the Krauses, who got the day off to a hot start; to our anonymous benefactors and the Caughrons, who kept us going strong; and to the many, many TAC parents who have given sacrificially so that other families and students can continue to experience the blessing that is the College’s program of Catholic liberal education.”