St. Thomas University (Florida)

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St. Thomas University
St. Thomas University (Florida) Logo
Former names
Biscayne College
Motto"Leaders for Life"
TypePrivate, Nonprofit
Established1961; 60 years ago (1961)
Endowment$31.3 million (2020)[1]
PresidentDavid A. Armstrong
ProvostJeremy Moreland
Other students
Location, ,
United States
ColorsBurgundy, and Dark Blue
STU Logo Letters.png

St. Thomas University (STU) is a private Catholic university in Opa-locka North, Miami Gardens, Florida. The university offers 23 undergraduate majors, 24 graduate majors, 4 doctoral programs, and 1 professional law program. As of 2018, the university enrolls 4,223 students, which includes 982 undergraduate students; 977 graduate students; 571 law students; and 1,693 dual enrollment (high school) students.[3] Over the years, the University's students have represented several states across the nation, and more than 70 countries.[4]

St. Thomas University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities (SACS).[5] The school of law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA)[6] and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).[7] The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree program in nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).[8]


St. Thomas University's history can be traced back to 1946 Havana, Cuba, where it was founded as the Universidad Católica de Santo Tomás de Villanueva, named after Saint Thomas of Villanova. In 1961, Fidel Castro's militia confiscated the school's land and expelled the faculty and priests. In turn, the Augustinians fled to Miami and opened a new Catholic men's college – Biscayne College. In 1984, with the establishment of the School of Law and other graduate degree programs, the college, by then co-educational, again became 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.

From 1970 until 1993, St. Thomas University was the training camp home[9] of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

Biscayne College, now known as St. Thomas University, was also the former spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles.

It was in the Opa-locka North census-designated place, in an unincorporated area,[10][11] until Miami Gardens incorporated as a city on May 13, 2003.[12]

On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, St. Thomas University formally installed David A. Armstrong, J.D. as the University's 10th president.[13]


President Tenure
The Reverend Edward J. McCarthy, O.S.A. 1962-1968
Ralph V. Shuhler, O.S.A. 1968-1969
John H. McDonnell, O.S.A. 1969-1975
The Reverend John J. Farrell, O.S.A. 1975-1980
The Reverend Dr. Patrick H. O’Neill, O.S.A. 1980-1986
Dr. Pasquale di Pasquale 1987-1988
Dr. Richard E. Greene 1989-1993
The Reverend Edward J. McCarthy, O.S.A. 1993-1994
The Reverend Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale 1994-2018
David A. Armstrong, J.D. since 2018


STU offers 23 undergraduate majors, 24 graduate majors, 4 doctoral programs, and 1 professional law program.[14]

  • School of Law[15]
  • Biscayne College of Social and Human Sciences[16]
  • Gus Machado School of Business[17]
  • School of Science, Technology and Health[18]

St. Thomas University is a member of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities,[19] the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida,[20] the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities,[21] and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.[22]

Study Abroad[edit]

Study abroad opportunities offer students study abroad experiences in Croatia, India, Israel, Italy, and Spain.[23]

Student demographics[edit]

St. Thomas University Demographics[24]
Ethnic Enrollment, Fall 2018 Students
Hispanic 48.4%
Black 17.1%
White 16%
International 8%
Two or more races 3.4%
Asian 1.4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.4%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.1%
Unknown 5.3%


150-acre campus is located in Miami Gardens, Florida; minutes away from Miami's beaches, Wynwood Art District, the MiMo District, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami Downtown. The University Library also contains the Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive and Museum.[25] The museum opened in 2008 and is open to visitors free of charge during the week and by appointment on Saturdays [1]

Residential life[edit]

St. Thomas has four residence halls: Villanova Hall, Cascia Hall, Sullivan Hall, University Inn, and Donnellon Hall (currently under construction).[26]


St. Thomas University offers athletics programs through the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)[27] and is a member of The Sun Conference (TSC).[28] Men's teams compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving (2020), tennis, track & field, and wrestling (2020); women's teams compete in basketball, beach volleyball, cross-country, flag football (2020), golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving (2020), tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The University also sponsors three co-ed varsity sports, co-ed competitive cheerleading, competitive dance, and eSports. Last year, 12 of its 14 athletic teams received NAIA Scholar Team honors while five of the teams competed in national tournaments. Moreover, athletes annually maintain a 3.0 overall GPA. St. Thomas University prides itself on being “Champions of Character” and has annually been sighted as a Five Star Champions of Character Institution by the NAIA.[29]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of the university include:

Name Class Year Notability References
Al Avila 1986 General Manager of the Detroit Tigers [30]
Jose Baez 2001 Prominent defense attorney, and New York Times best selling author [31]
Miguel Díaz 1988 Former Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See nominated by President Barack Obama [32]
Mike Fitzpatrick 1985 Former U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district [33]
David Gettleman 1986 General Manager of the New York Giants [34]
Dom Irrera 1972 Actor and Comedian [35]
Ana Navarro 1997 Lawyer, Republican strategist and political commentator for various news outlets [36]
Alex Penelas 1981 Former mayor of Miami-Dade County [37]
Rev. John T. Butler 1986 Vice President of mission & ministry at Boston College
Kiki Calero 1994-1996 Former Major League Baseball relief pitcher
Vinnie Chulk 2001 Former Major League Baseball relief pitcher
Nathan D.B. Connolly 1999 American historian, author and professor at Johns Hopkins University
Manny Diaz Jr. 1994 Member of the Florida Senate from the 36th district
John J. Dooner Jr. 1970 Chairman Emeritus of McCann Worldgroup
Bishop Enrique Delgado 2015 Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Miami
Andy Elisburg 1989 Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations/General Manager at Miami HEAT
Laurent Lamothe 1999 Former Prime Minister of Haiti
Paul Mainieri 1982 Head Coach of the LSU Tigers baseball team
Pamela Silva Conde 2012 Journalist and co-anchor of Univision Network's show “Primer Impacto
Sam Zietz 1997 CEO & Founder of TouchSuite
Connie Sue Yori 1990 Former Head Coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers women's basketball team at the University of Nebraska
William Levy 1999-2000 Actor and Model
Kenny Anderson 2010 Retired American basketball player
Helen Lasichanh 1999-2002 Fashion Designer and Model
Vicente Dopico Lerner 1974 & 1976 Award-winning Cuban painter
Alejandra Gutierrez Oraa 2014 Journalist and television anchor for CNN en Español
Teresa Resch 2006 Vice-President, Basketball Operations & Player Development at Toronto Raptors
Robin Harmony 2009 Head Coach of the College of Charleston Cougars women's basketball team
Georgina M. Picos 1991 Immigration Judge, Houston Immigration Court, U.S. Department of Justice
Shirley Gibson 1981 & 2003 Founding Mayor of the City of Miami Gardens


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ ACCU Member Institutions Archived March 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "STU 208-2019 Quick Facts".
  4. ^ "STU 2018-2019 Quick Facts".
  6. ^ "In Alphabetical Order". Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  7. ^ "Member Schools". Association of American Law Schools. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "CCNE-Accredited Nursing Degree Programs".
  9. ^ "Miami Dolphins Training Camp Locations |". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 Block Map: Opa-locka North CDP" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. - Pages 1 and 2 - Compare to the university's maps and addresses.
  11. ^ "Campus Map". St. Thomas University. Retrieved May 12, 2020. 16401 NW 37th Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33054
  12. ^ "City of Miami Gardens: Demographics". 2009. Archived from the original on October 10, 2015.
  13. ^ "Inauguration". St Thomas University. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  14. ^ "St. Thomas University > Academics". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  15. ^ "St. Thomas University > School of Law". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "St. Thomas University > Biscayne College". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  17. ^ "St. Thomas University > Gus Machado School of Business". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  18. ^ "St. Thomas University > School of Science, Technology and Engineering Management". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  19. ^ "Florida Association of Colleges and Universities - Board of Directors". Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  20. ^ "Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida", Wikipedia, May 28, 2019, retrieved July 3, 2019
  21. ^ "NAICU Member Directory".
  22. ^ "Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities - HACU". Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  23. ^ "St. Thomas University - Biscayne College - Study Abriad". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  24. ^ "STU 2018-2019 Quick Facts".
  25. ^ "Saint Thomas University: Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive & Museum". Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  26. ^ "St. Thomas University - Students > Housing". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  27. ^ "NAIA Member Institutions" (PDF).
  28. ^ "Sun Conference", Wikipedia, February 26, 2019, retrieved July 3, 2019
  29. ^ "NAIA Scorecard Winners". Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  30. ^ "South Florida's Al Avila becomes first Cuban-born GM in baseball". miamiherald. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  31. ^ News, ABC. "Jose Baez: Hernandez acquittal burnishes lawyer's reputation". ABC News. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  32. ^ "Miguel Diaz: Vatican Ambassador Background". America Magazine. May 27, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  33. ^ Fitzpatrick, Michael G. "Michael G. Fitzpatrick". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  34. ^ "Giants Hire Dave Gettleman as General Manager". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  35. ^ "South Philly's big cheese: Dom Irrera "steaks" his claim in Tampa Bay". Creative Loafing: Tampa Bay. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  36. ^ Horowitz, Jason (May 12, 2015). "Jeb Bush, Ana Navarro and the Question That May Have Been Misheard". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  37. ^ "Life After Politics for Former Miami Mayor". Florida Trend. Retrieved May 3, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°55′12″N 80°15′21″W / 25.9199°N 80.2559°W / 25.9199; -80.2559