New England

Now that you have met the first round of prefects for this summer’s California High School Program, we would like to introduce you to their New England counterparts!

Teresa BinghamHailing from Manassas, Virginia, Teresa Bingham (’26) never intended to come to TAC, and instead was looking into neuroscience programs at larger universities. Thanks to a tip from her grandparents, though, she reconsidered TAC during her senior year of high school — and she’s never looked back. “I was thinking about this bigger question of how the brain works in comparison to the soul, and as I came to know more about philosophy, I realized that was really what I wanted to pursue.” This summer marks Teresa’s second time working the High School Program. “It was really wonderful to get to know the people as they got a taste of what TAC is really about,” she says. “Friendships spring up quickly, since everyone is studying the same things and doing all the activities together.”

Paul HabsburgBorn in Austria, although his family currently lives in Rome, Paul Habsburg (’24) awaits his second summer as a prefect in Northfield. Paul cites TAC’s pedagogy as his prime reason to come as far as he did for his undergraduate education. “The uniqueness of the Discussion Method intrigued me enough to decide against going to university in Vienna,” he reflects. “I’m happy to say it’s been worth it.” When he’s on campus, Paul loves hiking, talking with tutors, and taking advantage of the College’s rich spiritual life. After he graduates in May, he plans to pursue a career in finance in New York — but only, of course, after one last stint as a High School Summer Program prefect!

Emily PeterEmily Peter (’25) of Preston, Connecticut, was skeptical about Thomas Aquinas College when she first heard about it. “I had applied to five other schools and wasn't sure where to go, when my mom suggested we visit TAC during my spring break.” Though she wasn’t immediately sold on the school, she applied anyway and was accepted soon thereafter. “The fact that I got accepted so late in the game seemed like a sign to me,” she says. “I didn't know yet what I wanted to study, but I knew that this would be a good education in the meantime.” During her three years at TAC, she’s been amazed at the personal growth she’s seen in her faith and friendships. “I want everyone to experience this for themselves,” she says. “TAC is a great place for learning, growing in your faith and making amazing connections!”

Sbeben BrownAs a homeschooling high schooler in Huntsville, Alabama, Stephen Brown (’25) found his way to the New England High School Summer Program back in 2020. “It was a big factor in my decision to come to the College,” he says. “I’m still great friends with some of my fellow attendees, as well as with some of the prefects.” Experiencing the Great Books and the Discussion Method solidified his interest in the College’s program of Catholic liberal education, and he returned to Northfield as a freshman in 2021. Now serving on his third program as a prefect, Stephen is especially looking forward to teaching the attendees to swing dance … and maybe to waltz and foxtrot along the way. “Dance has really become my main hobby!” he laughs. Look out for Stephen in the Socratic discussions — and on the dance floor!

Georgie Egan“Even though I loved my experience at the Summer Program, I wasn’t originally planning to go to TAC,” recalls Georgiana Egan (’24). A lifelong New Yorker, she was hoping to remain in the Empire State as a student at New York University. “But about a week before NYU’s decision came out, I made a deal with God: If I got into NYU, I would defer my acceptance to take a gap year.” Georgie had planned to spend that year traveling throughout Europe, but the pandemic had other plans. “As I was trying to figure out what to do instead, my mother suggested that I spend my gap year at TAC.” That was all it took: Georgie had promised God a gap year, but He was offering a longer and better stay. “By October, I finally had to admit to myself what I previously had been refusing to accept: I had to stay.”

Kevin HeffernanKevin Heffernan (’22) is an alumnus of the California campus and currently serves as the men’s resident director in New England. A native of Springfield, Illinois, Kevin says that what first drew him to TAC was its promise to teach critical thinking. “Once I came, I fell in love with the school because of the discovery of truth through the Discussion Method,” he recalls. “It’s much more tangible than any other method I have been through, and it made me want to continually grow in learning. Truth is so much better than any one person can imagine because it comes from the divine. The reality God created is so magnificent, and here at TAC, we get to explore and dive into the discovery of that reality in a unique and thorough way.”