Benefactors Recognized at Gratitude Mass and Lunch
Aquinas College once again expressed its deep appreciation for its benefactors at this year’s Gratitude Mass and Lunch, held on Tuesday, November 7. The annual event, which brings together College benefactors, Board members, and friends of the institution, has become a cherished tradition on the campus.
This year’s festivities began with Reverend Justin Raines ’07 leading a votive Mass of Thanksgiving in Aquinas’ Saint Jude Chapel. The Mass, dedicated to the intentions of the benefactors and friends of the College, set a tone of gratitude and reflection for the day’s events.
After the uplifting Mass, attendees gathered in the Siena Hall Main Lobby for a delightful lunch. The program for the day included remarks from Sister Cecilia Anne, O.P. President of Aquinas College, and Mother Anna Grace, O.P., Chair of the Aquinas College Board of Directors, who expressed gratitude for the partnership with benefactors and their crucial role in supporting the mission of the College. Each year, this event gives supporters a chance to meet a few of the students who directly benefit from their generosity, and it gives students the opportunity to say “Thank you” in person. Since Aquinas College grounds its teaching in the dignity of the human person, making time to “put a face on philanthropy,” to meet in person, is important to the institution.
Current Aquinas student Sister Chiara Grace, O.P., shared a heartfelt testimonial, offering a firsthand account of the impact of the College on her educational journey. The audience was treated to musical performances, including a beautiful harp piece and a choral selection focusing on the theme of gratitude, which was performed by a talented ensemble of sister students.
Included in the program was recognition of new Heritage Club members. The Heritage Club celebrates and honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the endowment of Aquinas College, or who have indicated Aquinas College as a beneficiary of a planned gift, thus furthering the institution’s mission and impact. New Heritage Club members Mark Cordova, D. Paige Matthews, and Chris and Nancy Murphy were recognized and thanked for their commitment. The addition of new members is a testament to the continued growth of support for Catholic education at Aquinas College.
One notable highlight of this year’s event was the induction of Col. J. Christopher Murphy ’76 into the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) Hall of Fame. [link to the article on this]
As Aquinas College looks to the future, the gratitude expressed during events like the Gratitude Mass and Lunch serves as a reminder of the collaborative efforts between the College and its benefactors. Together, they work towards the shared goal of promoting Catholic education, transforming lives, and making a positive impact on the world.