MIAMI, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Thomas University's (www.stu.edu) 2014 Homecoming celebrations are just around the corner, honoring a legacy in leadership development in justice, business, science and ministry. The Catholic university has graduated leaders from various walks of life – Fortune 500 executives, ambassadors, prime ministers, television anchors, sports celebrities, religious ministers, city and county mayors. The message to young graduates is simple: believe in the power of networking and staying connected. To alumni, it is a call to share their expertise, power connections, and success stories for student job searches and career advancement while having a great time. Socials include the Sardinas gallery opening and cocktail reception plus a Homecoming and Reunion Weekend to be held February 12-15.
The University traces its roots to 1946 Havana, where the Augustinian friars founded the first private and Catholic university in the island – Santo Tomas de Villanueva – later to be confiscated by the Castro regime. As the Cuban exodus started flowing to Miami, numerous Cuban professionals were able to revalidate their college degrees at the new, Florida-based university, then called Biscayne College. One of them was Mirta Penelas(mother of former Miami Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas), who attended classes to obtain her teaching recertification.
What was then a small academic campus and the training ground of the Miami Dolphins evolved into athletic fields, cafeterias, dormitories, multipurpose buildings, and the Chapel of Saint Anthony, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The Carnival Cruise Lines Science and Technology Building features the finest science laboratories, an innovative academic program, and undergraduate research. Another recent facility is the Fernandez Family Center for Leadership and Wellness, an athletic complex combining academic programs in sports administration with wellness and recreational activities. The center, which includes a state-of-the-art gymnasium, sits 1,800 for basketball games and another 1,700 on the floor for events.
The school is proud of being an incubator for new leaders. St. Thomas University graduates have largely contributed to the dynamic, multicultural fabric of South Florida as well as national political issues, moving to positions of leadership. Former Mayor of Miami-Dade County Alex Penelas reflects the high-level academic and community service spirit that characterizes the private university. Now a member of the University's Board of Trustees, Penelas is a 1981 graduate of Biscayne College, where he now serves as Co-Chair. As the youngest person ever elected to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, he was elected later Miami-Dade's first Executive Mayor, guiding a community of 2.3 million people and overseeing a $6 billion budget. After leaving public service, Penelas became a Senior Fellow and Professor of Government at St. Thomas University. Today he enjoys a successful private law and consulting practice (AP Consulting, LLC) that focuses on corporate business development and public affairs. "St. Thomas University was a solid foundation to enter law school and the political arena. All campus areas were permeated by Catholic oriented values that influenced my life", said Penelas. "I remember how my mother was received with open arms in the late 1960s and Biscayne College was a catalyst for Cuban exiles to get back into the workforce. Today, with a growing, international student population, new degrees and facilities, the future looks bright for St. Thomas. I feel honored to share our common vision … to be and be recognized as the premier Catholic university in the Southeast." Other successful alumni who integrate the university's Board of Trustees include Peter Prieto, Esq., Ervin Gonzalez, Esq., Mario Trueba, CEO of Sabadell Bank, and the Board's Chairman, John Dooner, who is Chairman Emeritus of McCann Worldgroup, a company he formed in 1997; Chairman of the Dooner Group and immediate Past Chairman of United Way Worldwide.
ABOUT ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY
St. Thomas University is a private, Catholic university with rich cultural and international diversity committed to the academic and professional success of its students, who become ethical leaders in our global community. It houses Biscayne College; the School of Business; the School of Leadership Studies; the School of Science, Technology and Engineering Management; and the School of Theology and Ministry. It offers undergraduate, graduate and law degrees and is internationally recognized in justice, business, science and ministry. For additional information on St. Thomas University programs and activities please contact Chief Marketing Officer Marivi Prado at firstname.lastname@example.org, 305.474.6880.
SOURCE St. Thomas University