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UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS. The University of St. Thomas, a coeducational Catholic university in the Montrose area of Houston, was founded in 1947 by the Basilian Fathers, a congregation of priests devoted to teaching. The university was established at the request of the bishop of Galveston-Houston, Christopher E. Byrne, and opened on September 22, 1947, with a freshman class of forty students and a faculty of eight. It now has an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,600 and a graduate enrollment of more than 2,000, with a full-time faculty of 150. UST offers an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum of thirty-two programs with an emphasis on Judeo-Christian values and a course of study in which theology and philosophy are of prime importance. There are eleven graduate degree programs at the masters level, and one Ph.D. program in philosophy. More than half of the student body is Catholic, but the university is open to all religious faiths. The university added a School of Theology in 1968, with a program leading to the master of divinity degree for students at St. Mary's Seminary. A master of religious education degree was added in 1969, followed by a master of arts in theology in 1982. In 1978 the School of Education, with a program leading to the M.Ed. degree, was added, and in 1979 the Cameron School of Business, offering an M.B.A. degree, was established. A Center for Thomistic Studies, with M.A. and Ph.D. programs in philosophy, was founded in 1979, and a Center for International Studies was begun in 1981. A Master in Liberal Arts program began in 1988. In 1994 the Center for Faith and Culture was founded, and it now offers a masters degree. A Center for Irish Studies began in 2003. A School of Nursing, offering a bachelor of nursing degree, opened in 2012. The physical plant has grown from the original building, the T. P. Lee mansion at 3812 Montrose Boulevard, to a fifteen-acre campus with thirty-six buildings. The plan of the university and several of the buildings, including the Chapel of St. Basil, were designed by architect Philip Johnson. Buildings besides classroom structures include a library, a chapel, a residence hall, a student center, a theater, a concert hall, and an athletic center. About 70 percent of the university's income is provided by tuition and fees; the remainder comes from endowment, government and private grants, and gifts. Accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools came in 1954, and the university was later approved by the Texas Education Agency for certification of elementary and secondary schoolteachers. In 2006 UST became a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, with programs in basketball, volleyball, soccer, and golf. The university sponsors several programs of study abroad, including summer programs in England, France, Ireland, and Mexico. Doherty Library on the main campus maintains a collection of 255,000 volumes, including the special collections of the Hugh Roy Marshall Graduate Philosophy Library, which are devoted to the study of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Cardinal Beran Library on the St. Mary's Seminary campus provides a 67,000-volume collection for graduate students in theology. The music, drama, and fine arts departments offer public concerts, plays, and exhibits throughout the year. The university is governed by a forty-member board of directors. In 2004 Dr. Robert Ivany became UST’s eighth president.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Virginia Bernhard

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Virginia Bernhard, "UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kbu03), accessed April 19, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 5, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.