The History of “Tommy”

We all know and love “Tommy the Saint”, but how much do you really know him?


Michelle Gress

Tommy rests, waiting for the school year to kick off!

Ally Sarver, Reporter

At Aquinas, “Tommy the Saint” is a well recognized face. He is at every assembly, appears at games, and on rare occasions shows up to the mixers. He always puts a smile on everyone’s face and is a beloved aspect of the Aquinas community. But who really is “Tommy the Saint”? It’s known that he is a mascot meant to represent Saint Thomas Aquinas, but in order to understand what he represents, it is important to first know who he was. 

Although Aquinas’s early days are a bit unknown, he is thought to have been born in a Roccasecca Castle around 1225 (“St. Thomas”). He lived a normal childhood and wasn’t introduced to philosophy until his later years at Studium Generale. Here, he was inspired to join a Dominican Order. But his family wasn’t pleased with this decision, so his brothers captured him and held him captive at his parents house for years. During this period, Aquinas took the opportunity to teach his sister and speak with the Dominican Order in private. His brothers were frustrated and attempted to tempt him many times to stay, but each time, he resisted with the help of angels that would appear to him in dreams. Once it became known that Aquinas’s mind was made up, his mother tried to have him sneak out the window so that no one in town would discuss the betrayal of their family. Away from his family, Aquinas went to the order and received his full education. He began to write many books, including Summa Theologiae, his most famous work. He is known to have had many encounters with Christ, who spoke to him with gratitude for all the work he did. Aquinas fell ill and died in 1274.

So how did this extremely smart Theologian turn into the “Tommy” we see running around? It’s simple, really: when STA was originally opened in 1980, it was located in Shawnee and was just called Aquinas. After 8 years of growth, the school was moved to its current location where its name was changed to Saint Thomas Aquinas, and our four core values were established. These values, being faith, knowledge, service, and community, set a standard for each student that attends Aquinas. Our wonderful mascot Tommy was made to represent these characteristics. Of course he is a depiction of Saint Thomas Aquinas, but more than that, he is a demonstration of love, encouragement, and positivity. Whoever wears the costumes has the responsibility to do it justice and wear it with pride. The person inside the costume changes from year to year, but it is meant to remain a secret to the students to allude to the idea that anyone can be Tommy; all you need to do is represent the school’s core values with a smile on your face.


“St. Thomas Aquinas.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,