St. Thomas University (Florida)

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St. Thomas University
Logo of St. Thomas University
Former names
Biscayne College
Motto "Developing Leaders for Life"
Established 1961
Type Private
Affiliation Roman Catholic, Archdiocese of Miami
Endowment $24.2 million as of 2014.
President Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale
Provost Dr. Irma Becerra
Students 4,000
Location Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S.
Athletics NAIA
Mascot Bobcats

St. Thomas University (STU) is a private Roman Catholic university in Miami Gardens, Florida, United States.


The university traces its roots to the Universidad Católica de Santo Tomás de Villanueva, founded in 1946 in Havana, Cuba, named after Saint Thomas of Villanova, by American Augustinians with assistance from European Augustinians. When the Castro government expelled the Augustinians from Cuba in 1961, several of the American Augustinians came to Miami where they founded Biscayne College in 1961. Its first president had been vice rector of Universidad Villanueva. The college was accepted as a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and first accredited by the Commission on Colleges in 1968. Through continued growth and development, Biscayne College earned university status in 1984 after the addition of 10 Master's degree programs and the opening of the School of Law. At that point, its name changed to St. Thomas University. 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.

Florida Center for Theological Studies (FCTS) was a Christian theological seminary in Miami, Florida, founded in 1983 and incorporated in 1985 by Dr. Melvin E. Schoonover. The Florida Center for Theological Studies merged into the School of Theology and Ministry at St. Thomas University in April 2011.

The Miami Dolphins NFL team trained at St. Thomas University, from 1970 until 1993.


The campus is located in Miami Gardens, Florida, on 150 acres (0.61 km2) bounded on the north by the Palmetto Expressway on the west by NW 37th Avenue and on the east by NW 32nd Avenue. The northern side of the campus is occupied by woods and a monastery.

The academic buildings are located along the east side of the campus, from north to south: the Carnival Cruise Line Science & Technology Building, Mimi Dooner Hall and the University Library includes the George & Evelyn Goldbloom Convocation Hall, President's Office and the Office of Development.[1] It also contains the Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive and Museum.[2] The Law School is south of the Library.

St. Thomas has four residence halls and apartments -including The University Inn and Villanova Hall-. They house approximately 360 students.[3] There is also a University Inn located next to the Student Center in the middle of the campus.[4]

The west and south sides of the campus are athletic facilities. On-campus athletics facilities include a new soccer field, the Paul Demie Mainier Baseball Field, and the Bobcat softball field. The Fernandez Family Center for Leadership and Wellness, which was dedicated in September 2009 is the home of Bobcat athletics. This 62,000 sq ft (5,800 m2). multipurpose facility houses basketball and volleyball, intramural sports and a state-of-the-arts fitness and wellness center.[5]


St. Thomas is led by a 35-member Board of Trustees. Each board member is required to give a gift to the annual campaign and a one time gift to the capital campaign. Each Trustee serves two consecutive three-year terms. The board meets four times per fiscal year and each board member serves on a university standing committee.[6]

St. Thomas has the following academic units:

Biscayne College

  • Institute for World Languages
  • History, Philosophy, and Humanities
  • Social Science and Counseling
  • Center for Community Engagement
  • Programs: B.A, Master's and Certificates offered.
  • Criminal Justice
  • Counseling
  • Economics
  • English
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • International Studies
  • Law BA/JD
  • Liberal Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Study Abroad
  • University Honors Program

School of Business

  • Institute for Global Entrepreneurship
  • Institute for Sports Administration and Hospitality/Tourism Management
    • M.B.A. Accounting
    • M.B.A. International Business
    • M.B.A. Sports Administration
    • M.S. Sports Administration
    • MSM Justice Administration

School of Leadership Studies

  • Institute for Communication, Entertainment, and Media
  • Institute for Education
  • Institute for Professional Studies
  • Institute for STU-China Executive Forum for Leadership Development

School of Science, Technology & Engineering Management

  • Institute for Applied Computer Applications and Engineering Management

School of Theology & Ministry

  • Institute for Pastoral Ministries

School of Law

  • J.D. Degree
  • LL.M. in Intercultural Human Rights
  • J.S.D. in Intercultural Human Rights
  • J.D./M.S. Joint Degrees:
    • M.S. Marriage & Family Counseling
  • J.D./M.B.A. joint degrees:
    • M.B.A. Accounting
    • M.B.A. International Business
    • M.B.A. Sports Administration
  • M.S. Sports Administration
  • MSM Justice Administration

St. Thomas University offers B.A., M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.Acc., J.D., Ed.D., and Ph.D. programs through its college and various schools. It offers several joint degree programs and an accelerated B.A./J.D. as well.[7]

Modern status

The School of Law at St. Thomas was fully accredited by the American Bar Association in February 1995, and offers the Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) as well as the Masters of Law (LL.M).

St. Thomas in 2013-14 had an enrollment of 5,294 students - 3,582 in the traditional undergraduate program, 797 in its graduate program and 915 in the law school. Students come from 42 states and nearly 50 foreign countries. As of 2014, St. Thomas University had an endowment of $24.2 million.

St. Thomas' Sports Administration programs were some of the first in the country.[8]


St. Thomas athletic teams are known as the Bobcats. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) at the Division I level, primarily competing in The Sun Conference, formerly known as the Florida Sun Conference (FSC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and tennis; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.[9] In 2014 the men's basketball team won the sun conference championship and were invited to the NAIA National tournament for the sixth time.[10]

Notable people

St. Thomas University has produced thousands of alumni over the years. Some notables include Mike Fitzpatrick, the U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district; Miguel Diaz, the Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See (Vatican) nominated by President Barack Obama; Jose Baez, attorney in the Casey Anthony trial; the current head coach of the Detroit Pistons Stan Van Gundy; the former mayor of Miami-Dade County Alex Penelas; the actor Dom Irrera; the Major League Baseball players Kiko Calero and Vinnie Chulk; and former NBA Basketball player Kenny Anderson. Among notable graduates are: Andy Elisburg, Vice President of Operations for the Miami Heat; John Quinones, a lawyer currently a county commissioner in Osceola county; Christina Fernandez, Chief Marshall for the Southern Region U.S. Marshals Service; Nana Atakora CEO of The Miami Millionaires Club Organization, John Dooner, CEO of Interpublic Group of Companies and Florida Supreme Court Justice - Fred R. Lewis; James Majeski, President of Cydcor, an outsourced direct sales company.


  1. "St. Thomas University : Journal of Student Research". Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Saint Thomas University: Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive & Museum". Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "St. Thomas University > Home". 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "St. Thomas University > Home". 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "St. Thomas University - Facilities". Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "St. Thomas University > Home". 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "St. Thomas University > Home". 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Principles And Practice Of Sport Management (9780763749583): Lisa P. Masteralexis, Carol A. Barr, Mary Hums: Books". Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Stone Crab 2015 Revised". 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Four League Schools to Appear in NAIA II National Tournament". The Sun Conference. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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