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College Hosts Largest-Ever Summer Programs

With Torrey Culbertson, ‘22

           The call to “Experience More”—the tagline for Thomas More College’s Great Books High School Programs—was answered this summer by a record over 80 high school students from around the country. “It’s the best way to ‘come and see’ the college,” says Admissions Officer Ashton Weed. “What better way to experience our culture and community then to live it yourself?” 

The first of two programs held in July focused on readings from Orwell’s Animal Farm, Thucydides’ On Justice, Power, and Human Nature, and Aristotle’s Rhetoric. The program culminated in a formal student debate on politics and morals. As one participant noted, the debate “helped me understand the art of having a civil argument—and how to win.”

The second focused on several of Plato’s Dialogues and St. Thomas More’s Utopia. The capstone of that program was a student production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. “Utopia was challenging,” admits one student, “but Dr. [Sara] Kitzinger helped me see farther into the work.”

“We strive our best to offer Thomas More College in miniature. The balancing act of academic, liturgical, cultural, and social activities is an experience every TMC student knows, and one we aim to provide to those discerning their college path.”—Ashton Weed, Admissions Officer

Great Books I

Class time in both programs was punctuated by hikes in the White Mountains, beach trips to the Atlantic Coast, and walking tours of historic Boston, giving students a taste of the range of outings available to students on our New England campus. And the sports, contra dancing, bonfires, and movie nights provided students with a snapshot of campus social life. In one camper’s view, “This program does more to prepare you for college than the other programs I’ve attended.”

Students who attend the Great Books summer programs are transformed by the experience, and many end up returning as students. Most participants are rising high school juniors and seniors, and the program is intended to help them determine whether or not Thomas More is a good fit for them. As Ashton Weed explains, “We strive our best to offer Thomas More College in miniature. The balancing act of academic, liturgical, cultural, and social activities is an experience every TMC student knows, and one we aim to provide to those discerning their college path.” Of this year’s freshman class, eight had attended the most recent summer program, and many more had attended as sophomores or juniors.

“When I came to the summer program, I experienced an education that was fit for my intellectual growth in a way that no other college offers. . .. The classes, the counselors, my fellow students—all of these brought to light what I had been searching for before I even knew.” — Jonathan Wright, ’23   

Great Books II

Summer program participant Jonathan Wright was all set to attend another New England Catholic college on a generous tennis scholarship when he arrived for the Great Books program this summer. “But when I came to the summer program, I experienced an education that was fit for my intellectual growth in a way that no other college offers,” he recalls. “The classes, the counselors, my fellow students—all of these brought to light what I had been searching for before I even knew.” Two weeks ago, Jonathan joined the Thomas More Class of 2023 as a freshman. The TMC Summer Programs continue to change lives—and college decisions.

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Six Manchester Street
Merrimack, NH 03054

Phone: (603) 880-8308
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