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St. Thomas University sets commencement, enrollment records

St. Thomas University sets commencement, enrollment records


Miami Archdiocesan university sets commencement participation record, as enrollment rockets 50% in five years, including a 99% rise for undergrads 

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla., May 3, 2024 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — St. Thomas University (STU) will set a commencement participation record during three celebration ceremonies, from May 8 to May 10, as the 64-year-old university’s enrollment soars to a new high. 

St. Thomas University Miami Gardens, FL 800.367.9010 l stu.edu

Altogether, 939 students will participate in the commencements, each starting at 10 a.m., at the Fernandez Family Center for Leadership and Wellness on the university’s Miami Gardens campus. Undergraduates (319) will walk May 8, followed by graduate students (330, including 26 doctoral students) May 9, and Benjamin L. Crump College of Law students (290) will participate May 10.

St. Thomas University’s spring commencement participation record breaks an all-time high of just over 930 participants in May 2022. Meanwhile, more students are attending the university than at any time since its 1961 founding, including the nursing program reaching over 1,200 students compared with just 31 in 2016.

The university’s fall 2023 enrollment has rocketed to 6,455 students, up 50% from 4,302 students in fall 2018. St. Thomas has set five straight enrollment records from 2018 to 2023, driven partly by a 99% increase in undergraduates – all since President David A. Armstrong, J.D., took office in August 2018. 

This commencement season, St. Thomas also is celebrating several recent achievements, including: 

  • more than 400,000 square feet of new facilities such as a new student center, dining hall, turf fields, track, a dorm, and a building for the Gus Machado College of Business. 
  • a tripling of on-campus housing, enough to serve more than 900 residents 
  • the April 2024 beginning of construction of a new 545-bed dorm, including an additional dining facility and eight bowling lanes, all due for completion for the fall 2025 semester. 
  • the first team national championship in school history, an NAIA crown for the Men’s Swimming & Diving team, which defeated Keiser University, winner of five consecutive national championships.
  • the addition of new academic programs, including Applied Kinesiology, Ethical Leadership, Fashion Merchandising & Design, and Culinary and Hospitality Management, and the imminent creation of a state-of-the-art design center for the fast-growing fashion bachelor’s degree. 
  • the milestone of all undergraduate students receiving financial aid from the university. 
  • the second-highest percentage of law school students passing the bar exam in Florida.
  • the athletic department reaching 32 teams, including the additions of track and field, swimming and diving, and men’s Rugby, the April winner of the USA Rugby-officiated Division I-AA state title. 

St. Thomas University’s enrollment increases have come while American colleges and universities have hemorrhaged more than 2.6 million students, decreasing 15% to 15.4 million from 18.1 million between fall 2010 and fall 2021, federal statistics show. The pandemic exacerbated the enrollment declines. 

STU also is growing enrollment at a time when 56% of Americans say that earning a four-year degree is a bad bet, according to a recent survey by the University of Chicago’s NORC research institute and the Wall Street Journal. The same survey found the highest skepticism among people ages 18 to 34. 

“It’s no wonder why St. Thomas University is bucking the trend of college enrollment declines and convincing students of our value, as we steadily become one of America’s premier Catholic universities,” President Armstrong said. “Nearly 6,500 students have flocked here from 45 states and 65 countries because of the university’s demonstrable value-added education, from our intimate, enriching academic setting to our new facilities and competitive athletic opportunities.” 

About St. Thomas University
St. Thomas University (STU) is a private, non-profit Catholic institution committed to the academic and professional success of its students who become ethical leaders in our global community. Rich with cultural and international diversity, STU is the only Catholic, Archdiocesan university in Florida. On our beautiful campus and online, the university’s College of Health Sciences & Technology, Benjamin L. Crump College of Law, Gus Machado College of Business, and Biscayne College for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offer 61 undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degree programs. In 2020, STU launched our Limitless five-year strategic plan, based on the pillars of limitless Devotion, limitless Opportunities, and limitless Results. The plan was conceived to provide students with a magical collegiate experience that incorporates mentoring faculty, character formation activities outside the classroom, and required real-world experience before graduation.

Contact: Dan Axelrod | St. Thomas University | [email protected] | 305.474.2418 

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SOURCE St. Thomas University

St. Thomas University sets commencement, enrollment records