Plaques blessed at Thomas Aquinas College honor Dillon, benefactors

Archbishop José Gomez incenses one of two new commemorative plaques at Thomas Aquinas College honoring the late Thomas E. Dillon and the Dan Murphy Foundation. — Credit: THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE

A solemn occasion and a joyous one — the fifth anniversary of the death of president Thomas E. Dillon, and the blessing of two bronze plaques and a book that honor the benefactors of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel — took place April 15 at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula.

Giving thanks to God “for Dr. Dillon and for all the kind and generous people who have built this school,” Archbishop José Gomez blessed the plaques, recently installed in recognition of the building’s major benefactors and those whom they chose to honor through their gifts. Designed by Domiane Forte, a graduate of the college and Dillon’s son-in-law, the plaques contain names of major contributors to the Chapel’s design and construction. They also single out for special commendation Dillon, the Chapel’s patron, and the Dan Murphy Foundation, the principal benefactor for the project.

Dillon was killed in an automobile accident while traveling to Ireland for an academic conference on the college’s behalf — less than six weeks after the completion and dedication of the Chapel, a project on which he spent much of the last 13 years of his life.

Dr. Michael McLean, president, also announced the creation of the Thomas E. Dillon Memorial Scholarship Fund, which the Dan Murphy Foundation inaugurated with a lead gift of $350,000.


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