The thesis represents the culmination of a student’s education at Holy Family Academy, the goal of which is the formation of a Catholic liberally educated lady or gentleman. Beginning in the fall, each senior and junior select a disputed question of significant import within a topic of his or her own interest. The scope of the question is then rigorously defined and the sequence of the student’s response to the question is set forth over Christmas break, followed by initial drafts in January and February. In the final months of preparation, each thesis is further refined through a process of peer review and rehearsed presentations.
In May each senior presented his or her thesis to a public audience which included the faculty of Holy Family Academy, parents, friends, and relatives. Juniors present before the entire Academy. When presenting a thesis, each student demonstrates both the ability to search for the truth in a logical manner, and the ability to present and defend a position publicly. Each presenter delivers a thesis according to the Classical Scholastic Thesis Form. This is the form used and perfected by St. Thomas Aquinas. The Scholastic Thesis Form is as follows:
1) State the question.
2) Pose two or more strong objections against the proposed answer.
3) Appeal to a recognized authority in support of the proposed answer.
4) Give a well developed, logical argument in support of the proposed answer.
5) Present answers to the proposed objections.
While the senior thesis serves as a crowning summation of each student’s education in the liberal arts at Holy Family Academy, the thesis itself is to be understood as a lasting contribution to the intellectual life of the academy, which future students may view as a model for the pursuit of wisdom and the intellectual excellence they hope to achieve in their time at Holy Family Academy.
The Senior Theses of the Class of 2015
Mr. Joseph Williams
"Whether Great Works of Literature Teach One to Live Life to the Fullest"
Miss Sarah Rahilly
"Whether Business Should Promote the Sale of Genetically Manipulated Organisms (GMO) Crops"
Mr. Aaron Swope
"Whether Jackson Pollock's Paintings are Good Art"
Mr. Christian Copeley
“Whether Contemporary Music is Appropriate for the Liturgy of the Mass”
The Senior Theses of the Class of 2014
The Senior Theses of the Class of 2013
Miss Katie Roblee
“Whether it is Possible to Achieve an Ideal Education in a Secular Society”
Mr. James Judd
“Whether Medicine Should Explicitly Seek to Extend Human Life Indefinitely”
Mr. Thomas Sorrell
“Whether a Capitalist Economic System Fosters Greed”
Miss Gaby Yahnian
“Whether the Free and Liberal Character of America was Derived from Her Founding on God”
Mr. Luke Planchet
“Whether the United States is Morally Obligated to Use Force of Arms in Foreign Countries When It is Not a Matter of Defense”
Miss Sarah Levesque
“Whether the Church Ought to Influence the State through Their Common Members”
Mr. Bryan Peterson
“Whether the Government’s Limitation on Man, as Such, Is Necessarily in Man’s Best Interest”
Miss Nicole Keefe
“Whether the Right to Bear Arms Should Be Recognized by the U.S. Constitution as a Personal Right”
Mr. Nicholas Vicinanzo
“Whether the Acts of Conquest by Columbus Were in Accord with the Best Moral Code of His Time”