Did You Know? 
Interesting, funny, and historical facts


THE EVOLUTION OF ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY

A little over five decades ago, Biscayne College was just a dream for the Bishop of Miami, Coleman Carroll. In 1961, Fr. Edward McCarthy, O.S.A., the first president of Biscayne College, assembled several Augustinians who had started the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva in 1946 in Havana, Cuba to help him make that dream a reality. The early days were tough – there were no buildings, no faculty, no staff, no Board of Trustees – it was just 50 acres of garbage-filled land in a remote part of North West [Miami] Dade County.

Biscayne College opened its doors on September 24, 1962 to thirty-four male students from across the country. In the beginning, classes were held at Barry College because Mary Kennedy Hall had not been completed, and resident students lived at the Kimberly Motel in Miami Beach because there were no dorms. The second and third classes were admitted in 1963 and 1964 respectively. Biscayne College had a strong school spirit and can-do attidude. Whatever needed to be done, was done by the faculty, the staff and the students. The motto in those days was “If Biscayne can’t do it for us, we’ll do it for Biscayne.” More buildings were needed as the new college grew in enrollment, and by 1966 the college was self-contained on its own campus.


The next several years brought changes to the college – in 1973 the first female students were admitted as full-time students, in 1984 Biscayne College earned university status and changed its name to St. Thomas University to reflect its Cuban heritage, and in 1988 the University became the only Catholic Archdiocesan sponsored university in Florida. Fifty-two years have come and gone, and today we have 18 buildings on our sprawling campus, and enrollment has grown to more than 5,000 students.

We thank the pioneers who dared to come to Biscayne College when it was little more than a dream… and we hope that future Bobcats are inspired to dream big and leave their legacy at St. Thomas University.

What are your favorite memories of your time at STU? Share your story and photos with us on Facebook or email them to alumni@stu.edu!