The Class of 2011

by Thomas More College on May 19, 2011

“In my end is my beginning.” So wrote Anglo-Catholic poet T.S. Eliot in “East Coker,” quoting the motto Mary Queen of Scots embroidered on her handkerchief while awaiting her execution. This famous phrase points to the paradox at the heart of temporal life in a fallen world that hurries on towards its end—which Christians believe will only be its beginning.

Similarly, our graduates finish their business with us… and we call it “Commencement.” The moment which begins the march towards a vocation, toward productivity and progeny, wrinkles and middle age, senescence and the grave, and then…. Resurrection.

On Saturday, May 14, the seniors of Thomas More College joined hundreds of friends and family in the celebration of Mass under the tent on the College green, followed by a festive lunch on the lawn, and concluding with the academic exercises featuring author Joseph Pearce as this year’s commencement speaker.

As we bid farewell to the two dozen graduates that comprise Thomas More College’s Class of 2011, several students took time to share a few parting thoughts:

Kristen Boland
Pine Bush, New York 

Why should someone attend Thomas More College?

The places we are in and the people we surround ourselves with have quite a bit of influence on us. For college-age people, this influence is formative. Thomas More is a place which is conducive to virtue, and the people who make up the school have at heart the good of each other. You leave here formed by the good that is here.

Which Thomas More College tradition do you hope will continue?

Prayer before classes and exams is one which I hope continues. As a student it is easy to get bogged down and stressed out by work, and sometimes you feel like you’re the only one who feels that way. Yet, praying to Our Lord for wisdom with our classmates and teachers reminds us that we are not alone and that all of us, teachers included, are in need of wisdom.

What are your goals after Thomas More College?

I am currently enrolled in a Post-Baccalaureate program for Communication Disorders and I hope to obtain my Master’s in Speech Pathology.

 

William Russell
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Senior Thesis Topic: Sacred Music: Serenity for the Soul 

Which Thomas More College tradition do you hope will continue?

A tradition I hope continues is that of having serious discussions on morality, virtue, and theology. Thomas More is a great place for conversation – in and outside of the classroom.

What are your goals after Thomas More College?

I plan to go into musical composition and performance (I’m on my way to New York City for an audition tomorrow!), to marry and to form a family, and, in general, to work for the new evangelization of the world.

Any parting words for students in the next generation?

Always remember that what you read and what you learn in the classroom is meant to be lived out. If you do not try your best to live out the truth that you have learned, then you are wasting your time. That being said, the greatest thing of all that you can learn at school is how to pray.

 

John Martin
Farmington, Maine
Senior Thesis Topic: Dethroning God: The Failures of Kantian Moral Philosophy 

What is your favorite memory at Thomas More College?

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Rome. We chased down the Pope to get our rosaries blessed, and afterward stumbled into a Bach concert in a tiny out-of-the-way Church.

What are your goals after Thomas More College?

I have been accepted into chiropractic school in Connecticut. I plan to get married and have a family.

Any parting words for students in the next generation?

Learn how to balance studies, community life, and prayer–and pursue all three vigorously. You will grow in all the ways you are supposed to grow here and become the person you are supposed to become.

 

Thomas Pia
Trumbull, Connecticut
Senior Thesis Topic: Moral Motivation and the Search for Meaning 

What is your favorite memory at Thomas More College?

No single memory, but my favorite memories are the formation of relationships with peers, faculty, and staff.

Why should someone attend Thomas More College?

Both the education and the community offer the possibility for growth as a human being. Thomas More College, perhaps most primarily, teaches a student how to live a good life.

Any parting words for students in the next generation?

Do not get caught up in unimportant things, Thomas More has too much to offer, and four years is far too short to waste time with childish endeavors that you find anywhere else. Realize that you will one day leave, and live here in such a way that you will not regret focusing too often on what does not matter. Have a good perspective, make friendships, and view your studies as a pleasure rather than as a task.

 

Catherine Lloyd
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Senior Thesis Topic: On the Relationship between Art and Community

What is your favorite memory at Thomas More College?
 

I have three! The first is directing “The Importance of Being Earnest” school play in the fall of my senior year. The second is being in Rome. And the third is getting to know the professors and their families.

Which Thomas More College tradition do you hope will continue?

Junior projects as a rite of passage, thesis presentations, banquets, Convocation, a mandatory Rome semester, bonfires, girls nights, and dressing up for lectures and dances.

Any parting words for students in the next generation?

Take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities here. There are  great internships and fellowships available that will enrich your experience at TMC. When you’re in Rome, wander the city, explore, drink it all in. Become a leader in the community: take initiative, organize events, and make suggestions. Spend a lot of time with your friends here, because the people you meet here will probably be the best and dearest friends you’ll ever have. Get to know the professors and their families.

Sing loudly, laugh often, and love immensely, because the time you spend at TMC is fabulous . . . and precious.

 

Juliana Baaten
Martinez, California 

Why should someone attend Thomas More College?

The students are very supportive of one another, the faculty are amazing, and you feel very safe amongst the community. The Rome semester, however, is the icing on the cake!

 

Adam Lyczewski
Villa Park, Illinois 

Why should someone attend Thomas More College?

Great teachers, strong academic program, liturgical life at your fingertips, exciting student life, and a variety of students from all around the world make for a great and tight common life that leads to lasting friendships.

Which Thomas More College tradition do you hope will continue?

Feasting, mystery plays, bonfires, movie nights and soccer!

 

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