Thomas Aquinas College Officially Acquires New Massachusetts Campus

Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) is officially bringing its distinct academic perspective to the East Coast.

Last week, the National Christian Foundation formally donated a former secondary school campus in Northfield, Mass., to the faithfully Catholic college. TAC will share the campus with the Moody Center, which is dedicated to establishing and maintaining an archive of materials related to the life and work of Dwight Moody, a 19th century evangelist and Biblical scholar who established the Northfield Mount Hermon School where the new TAC campus is located.

Larry Edge, manager of Northfield Campus LLC which oversaw the campus before its donation; Michael McLean, president of TAC; and Emmitt Mitchell, president of The Moody Center, attended the ceremony to sign over the campus to the college.

The National Christian Foundation, a philanthropic organization, was tasked with finding an institution that would maintain and continue the Northfield campus’s legacy of Christian education after it was purchased by Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. This is the same company that successfully secured an exemption from the Obama administration’s “HHS mandate” for religious for-profit companies.

During the ceremony, Edge explained that it was the culmination of a long process. After intensive research and due diligence, the foundation sifted through more than 150 inquiries about the campus over the past four years before ultimately deciding that TAC would be the best fit for the property.

“We feel very confident that we are heading in the right direction as we pass the campus off to Thomas Aquinas College and The Moody Center,” Edge said.

After meeting with the leadership of TAC while preparing for the donation of the campus, Mitchell was impressed by their love for the college. “I came away with the secure feeling,” Mitchell told those gathered for the ceremony, “that there is no way they will ever let that campus go backwards. It will be successful.”

“This is a monumental day for Thomas Aquinas College,” McLean said after the documents were signed, expressing his gratitude to the National Christian Foundation and its leadership. “We look forward to successfully opening Thomas Aquinas College here in Northfield.”

McLean also noted that the college is also looking forward to collaborating and being good neighbors with the Moody Center: “We think this is an important moment in terms of the working relationship between Evangelicals and Catholics as we work together to spread the Gospel and evangelize our culture.”

The Newman Guide-recommended college plans to open the campus in August 2018 with a summer program running in June or July of that year, contingent upon the approval of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, McLean explained.

The new campus will be staffed by “an excellent initial team of faculty planning to come out to Northfield,” McLean said, led by Dr. Thomas Kaiser, who was the first Thomas Aquinas College tutor to have taught all 23 courses in the College’s classical curriculum.

As the new campus grows, McLean said, the College’s ability to admit students will depend upon the availability of qualified faculty.

“The opportunity here in Northfield represents for Thomas Aquinas College a chance to expand its reach [and] to increase the number of students who will benefit from its education,” McLean said.

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