Mike Pitstick, Bear Enthusiast and President-Elect of Moldova
Fr. Thomas Esposito, O. Cist., also known as “Fromas,” “Froto” and “Scourge of Freshmen,” recently completed his postgraduate work in Rome, Italy. During his time in Rome, Fr. Thomas served as one of the chaplains for the Due Santi campus of the University of Dallas, traveling with the students and enriching their spiritual lives. Most students who have been to Rome have fond memories of Fr. Thomas, but few know much about his studies.
Through the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, Fr. Thomas was given the opportunity to pursue his doctorate in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. He was accepted into one of the Institute’s most selective programs, the Blessed John XXIII School of Italian Pizza Studies. The rigorous course of study includes the opportunity to specialize in one area of study: crust, sauce or cheese. Of all his classes, Fr. Thomas cites Introduction to Mozzarella and Advanced Prosciutto Theory as his most influential. The University News contacted Fr. Thomas for comment, and he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to study in Rome.
“I consider it a truly humbling privilege to know how to do proper exegesis of the pizza pieces,” he said.
He went on to explain that, though separate, the cheese, sauce and crust were all one pizza. Furthermore, he proposed that humans are incapable of fully understanding the awesomeness of pizza.
An unconventional choice, Fr. Thomas’s degree in Italian Pizza Studies from the Pontifical Biblical Institute has its advantages.
“My degree will surely have me rolling in the dough before too long,” he stated, wittily. Of course, he was only joking: The Health Department strictly prohibits rolling in dough.
Nonetheless, Fr. Thomas will be returning to Rome this summer to defend his dissertation, “Fully Pizza Yet Fully Delicious: A Crustological Study,” in front of a panel of veteran pizzeria owners and the College of Cardinals. He will be given the opportunity to confront the controversial proprietor of Arian Pizza, whose assertion that pizza is fully pizza but not delicious has raised eyebrows in the Pizza Studies community. He will also be facing objections from the vegan delegation, whose petition to recognize cheeseless pizza as pizza was rejected yet again in November. A successful defense of his dissertation means that Fr. Thomas will officially complete his studies. A failure will mean returning home empty-handed, but at yeast he can try again.
Having an expert in Crustology at the University of Dallas will be a boon for our academic profile. President Keefe has already authorized the establishment of an undergraduate Pizza Studies program starting in the fall of 2015, to be chaired by Fr. Thomas.
Keefe explained that the curriculum of the new department would complement the Core while opening new doors for the saucier students. This year’s freshmen will be the first to have the opportunity to choose a Pizza Studies major.
We asked the Class of 2017’s best what they thought of the new program.
“I like pizza!” exclaimed a bewildered freshman we stopped as he ran from Braniff to Carpenter last week.
“I already ate lunch,” indicated another freshman, not quite understanding the question. This ambitious group of students is clearly excited about the prospect.
Yet all of this depends on Fr. Thomas’s successful dissertation defense. Let’s all place our crust in him, raise our prayers to the heavens and hope his ideas aren’t half-baked.