The following comes from an email sent by Thomas Aquinas College on December 19.

Thomas Aquinas College has received a grant of $3.2 million from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation of Los Angeles for the construction of a new classroom building on its campus located in the foothills of the Topa Topa mountains in Ventura County.

The new building will be the thirteenth constructed by the college since it acquired the undeveloped site in the 1970s, and will nearly complete the academic quadrangle which is anchored by Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel.

Commenting on the grant, Burns Foundation president Rex Rawlinson said: “When I first met Thomas Aquinas College’s late President, Tom Dillon, he gave me a copy of The Last Days of Socrates. Our discussions led to extensive study on my part, until I was assigning myself homework, such as reading Saint Augustine’s Confessions to compare and contrast with Rousseau’s Confessions. I realized then the value of what Thomas Jefferson had and I had missed — a classical education. Thomas Aquinas fills a void lamentably abandoned by most colleges.”

….The new building will house eight classrooms designed to facilitate the small, seminar discussions about Great Books that are at the heart of the college’s unique program.  It will be named for St. Gladys, the patron saint of Fritz Burns’ beloved wife.  The fifth century daughter of a Welsh king, St. Gladys was married to King Gundleus, a convert to Christianity and himself a saint.  Together, they raised at least six children, all of whom are saints, and one of whom — St. Cadoc the Wise —founded a monastery and college in Wales.  In later life, the saintly couple had a vision directing them to leave political life and establish a hermitage; there they lived out the remainder of their lives in celibacy and prayer….

Ground-breaking ceremonies will be held in the spring of 2013 and construction will get underway following commencement in May.  Completion of the new classroom building is expected in the spring of 2014.