St. Thomas University 50th Anniversary Celebrates Leadership From Havana Roots to 2012...

St. Thomas University 50th Anniversary Celebrates Leadership From Havana Roots to 2012 Global Reach


MIAMI, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — A small Catholic men’s college known as “Villanova of the South” emerged in North Dade County in 1961 thanks to the Augustinian friars who traced its roots to the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Havana back in 1946. After Fidel Castro’s regime confiscated the school’s land and expelled faculty, priests, administrators and students, the Diocese of Miami invited the Augustinians to start a new college in Miami – Biscayne College – meeting the education/transition needs of the Cuban exiles. By 1984, with the establishment of the School of Law and other graduate degree programs, the School, now coeducational, became St. Thomas University. Four years after, the School became the only Archdiocesan-sponsored University in the State of Florida.

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A Jubilee dinner-dance, to be held April 21, 2012 is gathering the University community and outside guests to present a 50 years’ legacy and most importantly, the exciting future that lies ahead. Plans for a new School and new programs, a student village and more will be unveiled that evening.

Today, St. Thomas University is renowned for leadership development in justice, science, business and ministry. It now houses Biscayne College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; the School of Business; School of Law; School of Leadership Studies; School of Science, Technology & Engineering Management; and the School of Theology and Ministry.

It has been a long, successful path. Five decades of accomplishments include studies in global entrepreneurship; a nationally acclaimed sports management program that goes back to the Miami Dolphins’ training on campus; undergraduate scientific research in state-of-the arts laboratories; a Master’s in Divinity; unique intercultural human rights degrees; a nationally recognized Institute for Human Rights; undergraduate and graduate-level total online programs; a Human Trafficking Academy and a liberal arts college that includes a Study-in-Spain program, high tech psychology labs and United Nations internships.

“St. Thomas is poised to elevate leaders to reach their full potential for the next 50 years,” says University President Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale. “A prestigious faculty that challenges students to develop leadership in a faith-values environment filled with ethics, a commitment to service and analytical skills’ training. It’s all possible thanks to a small-class size where students closely interact with deans and faculty, contrary to trends found in big college campuses. St. Thomas’ blueprint for the future will thus have a lasting impact on students for many generations to come, whether from the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia or Africa.”

April 21st will transform the Fernandez Family Center for Leadership and Wellness into a fairytale festive setting, with Frances Sevilla-Sacasa and Maria Elena Villamil co-chairing a dynamic Host Committee that includes: Jubilee Honorary Chairs Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bunny Bastian; Isabel and Jorge Rico; Sandy O’Neil; Janice and Ervin Gonzalez; Associate Provost Susan Angulo; Latin Biz published Monica Puig; Lourdes Cuzan; Amelia Cachaldora; Sabadell United Bank CEO Mario Trueba; Ann Machado and Maureen and Tom Shea, among other community and business leaders.

Gala tickets can still be purchased from Lorena Hidalgo,, who can also provide additional event details. For other University information, please visit or contact Chief Marketing Officer Marivi Prado at, 305.474.6880.

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SOURCE St. Thomas University

St. Thomas University 50th Anniversary Celebrates Leadership From Havana Roots to 2012 Global Reach