2011 Marks 50th Anniversary for St. Thomas University
MIAMI, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Thomas University is already planning a series of commemorative events to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2011. The university's seeds were planted in Havana, Cuba, when a group of Augustinian priests from Philadelphia, led by Italian-born Fr. Lorenzo Spirale, founded the Universidad de Villanueva, Cuba's first private Catholic university. At the height of its success, Castro's militia had confiscated the school's land and expelled the Augustinian Fathers. At approximately the same time, Bishop Coleman F. Carroll, the first Catholic prelate to lead south Florida's Archdiocese of Miami, embarked on a journey to build a Catholic men's college for the region. Archbishop Carroll invited the Augustinian founders of the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva to establish the college he envisioned. With a vacant lot, limited resources, and working out of their living room with a portable typewriter, Fr. Edward J. McCarthy and Fr. Robert M. Sullivan began recruiting students and faculty. And so, with the assistance of Judge C. Clyde Atkins, Biscayne College was fully incorporated in Miami, founded through the willingness of faculty, many of whom taught at the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Havana, to work for small salaries and teach multiple subjects.
In 1984, Biscayne College changed its name to reflect its history and pay homage to the patron Saint of the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva. Today, St. Thomas is a Catholic university with a rich heritage and culturally diverse population, dedicated to developing leaders for life. The University came under the sponsorship of the Archdiocese of Miami in 1988, conferring upon St. Thomas the distinction of being the only Catholic Archdiocesan-sponsored university in the State of Florida.
Tuesday, March 8, Biscayne College is holding an Open House and formal blessing of its newly renovated Kennedy Hall offices and facilities. A musical prelude will kick-off the activities in the Chapel of Saint Anthony at 4:15 PM, followed by Mass and dedication at 5:00 PM; Blessing of Kennedy Hall; and a reception in the renovated facilities. It will be a festive gathering for St. Thomas' alumni, faculty and friends of the St. Thomas University community. "Preparing students for leadership positions is our vision. The intellectual challenges facing public and private sectors keep expanding and the 21st century needs broadly educated, ethically sensitive, and technically skilled public servants. They will have to demonstrate sophisticated interdisciplinary knowledge, historical understanding of how modern-day problems have evolved, and an operational grasp of clear, rational criteria for ethical decision making. Students will find all that in our Biscayne College's humanistic curriculum," says St. Thomas University President, Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale.
SOURCE St. Thomas University