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St. Thomas University welcomes largest class in its history

St. Thomas University President David Armstrong, center front, poses with members of the incoming freshman class after their induction ceremony Aug. 23. Due to the unprecedented size of this incoming class - 677 new undergraduate students, more than double last year's enrollment, including 555 freshmen - the formal ceremony was moved to the university's athletic center.

Photographer: COURTESY

St. Thomas University President David Armstrong, center front, poses with members of the incoming freshman class after their induction ceremony Aug. 23. Due to the unprecedented size of this incoming class - 677 new undergraduate students, more than double last year's enrollment, including 555 freshmen - the formal ceremony was moved to the university's athletic center.

MIAMI GARDENS | St. Thomas University has welcomed the largest incoming class of traditional students in the school’s history — 677 new students started classes Aug. 26, including 551 freshmen.

That's more than double last year’s enrollment of 333 new undergraduates. St. Thomas’s total undergraduate enrollment is trending positively with 1220 students this fall as compared to 900 last fall.

Similarly, St. Thomas School of Law has bucked the national trend of diminishing law school applications and enrollment. Last fall, 192 new law students enrolled; this year, 243 new law students are starting classes, a 26% increase. Law School enrollment is at 604 students. 

Marking the official entry of these students into the university community, St. Thomas hosted the largest induction ceremony ever held on campus Aug. 23. Because of the unprecedented size of the entering class, this formal gathering of first-year students and faculty had to be moved to the university's athletic center.

The day began with Mass followed by the convocation ceremony hosted by STU President David Armstrong and other university officials. “Nothing worthwhile is free,” Armstrong told the student audience. “You will have to work hard. But I urge you to think big and be bold.”  

The event ended with the traditional St. Thomas group closing, “God Bless and Go Bobcats!”

St. Thomas University is the only Catholic archdiocesan-sponsored university in Florida. It is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Miami.

Photographer:

St. Thomas University is the only Catholic archdiocesan-sponsored university in Florida. It is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Miami.

Housing on campus is having a parallel expansion with student residents increasing from 313 last year to 493 this year. To accommodate this growth, Donnellon Hall was renovated this summer and reopened after being closed for seven years. Plans are in place to renovate a second residence hall next summer.  

“Grounded in the hard work of those who came before us, St. Thomas is experiencing a renewed excitement because of a new administrative team, new programs and new enrollment strategies,” said Armstrong. “In just a year, because of our university’s strong foundation, we have been able to set historic records in enrollment and fundraising and advance our goal of becoming a great Catholic university in the Southeast.”

This article has been updated with the exact number of new students and information about the Aug. 23 convocation. A picture also was added.

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