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The statue was sculpted by Sylvia Nicolas of Mont Vernon, N.H., pictured below
guiding the placement of the statue with Rev. Kevin Robb, O.P. '71 and her
assistant, Sharon Stetson (left).

St. Thomas Aquinas Statue Installed Outside Ruane Center for the Humanities

Further evidence that the new Ruane Center for the Humanities is ready to welcome students came with the arrival of St. Thomas Aquinas.

The Angelic Doctor was delivered to campus in a manner used by many students on move-in day — by pickup truck. Weighing 800 pounds after being cast in bronze at a Utah foundry, he was hoisted onto two granite blocks outside the passageway that links the Ruane Center to Phillips Memorial Library.

From that perch, the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher will serve as an important symbol for the Ruane Center, built to house the College’s Development of Western Civilization Program, Liberal Arts Honors Program, Department of English, and Department of History.

The statue was sculpted in clay by Sylvia Nicolas of Mont Vernon, N.H., the artist who designed the stained-glass windows in St. Dominic Chapel, the chapel’s crucifix, and its Stations of the Cross. Finishing work was by Skylight Studios in Woburn, Mass.

The life-size statue, which shows St. Thomas Aquinas in a sitting position, is about 4 feet tall. In his right hand, he holds an open book. His left hand is raised, inviting people to the truth. His symbol, the sunburst shield, is on his chest and is carved into the passageway above him, along with two Dominican shields.

St. Thomas Aquinas, who synthesized Aristotelian philosophy with Catholic theology, was canonized in 1323 and declared doctor of the church by Pope Pius V. He is most famous for his writings, which explore the unity, harmony, and continuity of faith and reason. He is the patron saint of Catholic schools, colleges, schools, and students. 


His statue joins others on campus that are from the collection of the late Rev. Thomas M. McGlynn, O.P. They include St. Dominic near DiTraglia Hall, St. Martin de Porres near Martin House, and a bust of Pope John XXIII at the McGlynn Sculpture Court outside Hunt-Cavanagh Hall, which also has a smaller study of St. Martin de Porres.

The statue and the Ruane Center will be dedicated on Saturday, October 5, at a noontime ceremony during St. Dominic Weekend. The center was made possible by a leadership gift from Michael A. Ruane ’71 & ’13Hon., former chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Elizabeth.

— Vicki-Ann Downing


 

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