Now that you have been introduced to the head prefects for the California High School Summer Programs, we are happy to begin presenting rest of the leadership team:

Luke ConnellyLuke Connelly (’27) is a freshman from Tacoma, Washington, and a fresh member of the prefect team. From adolescence through high school, he sought to attend a big-name school with plans to follow in his father’s footsteps as an attorney. Although his mother and one of his sisters had attended TAC, the College seemed too small, and he doubted that it could be the right for him. But when Luke attended the Summer Program in 2021, he realized that college could be more than he had ever thought. “It’s not just a means for getting a job that pays well,” he says. “It’s something to be desired all on its own.” Now that Luke has chosen TAC, his preparation for law school takes the form of spiritual and intellectual formation, which he first saw at the Summer Program.

Rose AndersonJoining the team from New Hampshire, Rose Anderson (’26) is returning to the Summer Program for a second time, having attended it in 2021 and working last year as a prefect. In high school, Rose’s plan was to attend a large university. Everything changed, however, during that summer in 2021. Her father had convinced her to try the Summer Program, and while there she saw something rare: “The program, the community, everything is ordered toward God, pursuing virtue, pursuing the Faith, becoming a better person, and growing as much as you can in the four years that you’re here.” That focus — and particularly its intensity — was something Rose couldn’t resist pursuing. “People tell you college is where you go and find yourself,” she says. “I realized when I was on the Summer Program that I don’t want                                                                                                   to find myself anywhere but here."

Anthony SantineA junior from Macomb, Michigan, Anthony Santine (’25) is returning for his third year working on the Summer Program. As a veteran prefect, he is excited for another opportunity to share his experience with the high schoolers: “I want to talk with them and get them excited about the kind of thing that we do here,” he says “I’ve talked with a lot of students about Sophocles’ Antigone, which we read on the program, and it’s so great to be able to share it and help them to realize the impact that a place like this can have.” That impact often includes the instilling of a deeper appreciation for literature and art generally, an appreciation of which Anthony’s enjoyment of Greek tragedy is just a small part. He also directs one of the school’s choirs and is an accomplished violinist and vocalist.

Maggie LemmonAs a new prefect from an old TAC family, Maggie Lemmon (’26) is the eighth of her generation to come to Thomas Aquinas College, following in her parents’ footsteps. She grew up looking forward to joining and adding to the school’s community, saying about her family’s attitude: “You know that you want to be here, and you want to build the school in any way you can, because all of my siblings and I, we know that we all love this place.” Maggie is looking forward to passing on that love, bringing new students into the community. “It’s really exciting to have an opportunity to meet all these new people who don’t know whether they want to come or not,” she reflects, “and to maybe be one of the people that helps a student see that this is where they want to be.”

Eli HuntIn keeping with his home state of Texas’s reputation, Eli Hunt (’25) is an avid wearer of cowboy hats and a hard worker. While serving as a prefect in the past, he has marveled at how quickly even skeptical students warm up to the Summer Program. “Even students who seemed to disdain the idea of working hard during the summer soon saw how studying paid off and immediately changed their attitude,” he recalls. The change occurs, he finds, when “the students see the redemptive part of it.” Seeing the redemptive quality of study is easier when what’s studied is great, of course, and Eli also enjoys introducing the students to the Great Books. “It’s like wrangling my younger self,” he remarks. “I was once dismissive of the Great Books, so it’s like I’m giving my younger self a chance to come and experience the life that I have now.” 

chadwick hannahAlthough this is the first time working as a prefect for Hannah Chadwick (’27), it is not her first experience with the Summer Program. Hannah attended in 2022 and had a life-changing experience. “It was the two best weeks of my entire life,” she says. “I left that program feeling so fulfilled” — a feeling she attributes to the strong focus on Christ that she found in both the program’s prefects and in her fellow students. “I saw in everyone I talked to a sense of pursuing something deeper,” she recalls. That pursuit — a pursuit of wisdom, of Christ — was a focus which she found most especially in the program’s readings. They offered a perspective which helps students at Thomas Aquinas College “to live and to live better.”

Lucas WozniakSome people learn about Thomas Aquinas College through a mentor, others through family or friends, but Lucas Wozniak (’26) was led to TAC by clicking the wrong link. A high school student at the time, he was searching for a similarly named school and accidentally ended up on A long list of books greeted him, a list which included the works of St. Augustine, Einstein, and other authors who profoundly shaped Western thought. Now a TAC sophomore, Lukas deeply enjoys the intensity of the academic life — a stark contrast to his experience in high school, where “having a letter grade and not necessarily knowing the material” seemed the norm. As a prefect, he hopes to share the atmosphere of “genuine joy” that the rich intellectual life and Catholic culture of TAC provide.