Merrimack, N.H., Mar 20, 2013 / 02:03 am (CNA).- New Hampshire's Thomas More College of Liberal Arts has announced a new scholarship for students from the Americas after the unprecedented election of Pope Francis, the first New World pontiff.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe Scholarship Fund will award up to 20 scholarships per year for applicants from Canada, Mexico and Central and South America. The scholarship can cover either partial tuition or full four-year tuition.
Thomas More College President William Fahey said March 14 that the selection of the Argentine Pope Francis as the first New World Pope is an honor to the New World and “a call for Catholics in the New World to find new forms of solidarity and new means for supporting the Church’s mission in all our lands.”
Aja Cowhig, the college’s admissions director, said that the March 13 election of Pope Francis was a “historic” day for the college. The college campus canceled its classes when the conclave’s white smoke was announced.
Students prayed in the chapel for the next Pope and then rushed to the library to watch the coverage of Pope Francis’ entrance onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. They cheered him with shouts of “Viva il Papa.”
“We prayerfully hope that the witness of Pope Francis be an example and inspiration for the college’s mission to rejoice in the pursuit of truth,” Cowhig told CNA March 18.
The college focuses on having a strong Catholic identity. Its curriculum is based on a special “great books” program. There is one curriculum for all students. Classes are not divided into specialties or departments.
The curriculum aims to refine the experiences and mental powers of both students and faculty through reading great works from classical and Christian civilization. Thomas More College has also established a series of guilds where master craftsmen teach students woodworking, sacred art, sacred music, folk music and horseback riding.
The school anticipates that the Our Lady of Guadalupe Scholarship will help increase its numbers of international students.