U.S. News & World Report has named Thomas Aquinas College to it its annual list of the 10 Universities Where the Most Alumni Donate, based on a survey of 1,085 colleges and universities. The College, which has jockeyed for the #1 position with Princeton University for years, fell short of that distinction this time, but still claimed the second-highest alumni-giving rate in the United States — and the highest among all national liberal arts colleges.

As part of its annual ranking of American colleges and universities, U.S. News & World Report measures the percentage of alumni who contribute to their alma maters, so as to gauge graduates’ satisfaction with the education they have received. The rankings are based on the two-year average alumni-giving percentage for the years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. Thomas Aquinas College is the only Catholic institution to make the Top 10 rankings, the only one from the Western United States, and the only one founded within the last 100 years.

“We are deeply grateful to our alumni for their generous support,” says Vice President for Development Paul O’Reilly. “Not only do alumni gifts help to cover the College’s $5 million annual financial aid and operating costs, but they also attract the support of philanthropic foundations, which view alumni-giving as a measure of the college’s institutional strength.”

The College’s 56.7 percent alumni-giving rate is nearly five times greater than the national average rate of 11.6 percent. It is also more than five percentage points higher than the average among those schools with the Top 10 highest rates (51.5 percent).

“Our graduates donate to their alma mater out of gratitude,” says Aaron Dunkel, the College’s alumni-relations coordinator. “Most alumni received need-based financial assistance during their tenure as students, and they see their giving as an expression of gratitude for the formation they have received and a way to pay forward the generosity that once was bestowed upon them.”

Adds Mr. Dunkel, “There is no stronger endorsement for the work of the College than the loyalty, generosity, and gratitude of those who know our unique program of Catholic liberal education best — our alumni.”