The California-based Thomas Aquinas College now has a property in Northfield, Massachusetts, thanks to a donation by the National Christian Foundation (NCF). Thomas Aquinas College, in their press release, noted that the opening of their Massachusetts campus relies on the approval of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. The college plans on opening the Massachusetts campus in the fall of 2018.
The Northfield property was the site of a secondary school, until the school moved to a different location. Per the press release, the property was run by evangelist Dwight Moody:
“Dwight Lyman Moody established the Northfield School in 1879. In 1971 it merged with another institution that Mr. Moody had founded, the Mount Hermon School for Boys, in the nearby town of Gill. The resulting coeducational institution, Northfield Mount Hermon, operated on both properties until consolidating to the Mount Hermon campus in 2005.”
The NCF purchased the site for the sole purpose of donating it to a Christian institution and went through 153 applicants before choosing Thomas Aquinas College. The site spans 100 acres, including a chapel, residence halls, a library, gymnasium and both classrooms and administrative space (a total of 20 buildings). The Moody Center, “a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Mr. Moody’s evangelical legacy,” will share the property.
This move will allow Thomas Aquinas College to open a second campus, which has been on the minds of their administrators, and will allow both campuses to keep enrollment numbers low as small liberal arts colleges.