SANTA PAULA, Calif., Nov. 20, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Thomas Aquinas College President Thomas Dillon today announced that Andrew Puzder, president and CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., has resigned from the college's board of governors. CKE Restaurants owns the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurant chains and recently launched an ad campaign for its Carl's Jr. restaurants that features Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Enterprises.

"We've been proud of a long relationship with Carl's Jr. founder, Carl Karcher, and his company, and we have remained close to Mr. Karcher in the years since his retirement," explains Dillon. "We have enjoyed a continuation of the relationship with the company through Mr. Puzder. But Thomas Aquinas College stands for principles that are in direct conflict with those of Hefner and Playboy. I spoke with Mr. Puzder yesterday about this issue, and it was agreed that he would resign from the college's board, effective immediately."

About Thomas Aquinas College: Thomas Aquinas College is a highly ranked Catholic college located in Ventura County, California, that offers a four-year program of Catholic liberal education exclusively devoted to the study of the Great Books, using only the Socratic method of dialogue in all of its classes. There are no textbooks, no lectures and no electives. Instead, the college offers an entirely integrated curriculum using only the original texts of the greatest thinkers who have helped shape Western Civilization. These authors include St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare, Euclid, Dante, Galileo, Descartes, our American Founding Fathers, Adam Smith, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, to name a few.

Thomas Aquinas College graduates consistently excel in the many world-class institutions where they have pursued graduate degrees in such professions as law, medicine, business, theology and education. They have distinguished themselves in these fields serving as headmasters, business owners, lawyers, priests, doctors, military service men and women, educators and college presidents.

Walker & Associates Strategic Communications
Karen Walker
949/661-6065