History of the Center
History of the Center
AquinasArtThe Center for Thomistic Studies was founded in 1975 at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic university founded by members of the Congregation of St. Basil and located in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. English-speaking Basilians in North America have long been connected with fostering the study of Aquinas, most prominently by founding, along with Etienne Gilson, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the University of Toronto in 1929. In 1976, at the request of the Center’s principal founder, Fr. Victor B. Brezik, CSB, Professor Anton C. Pegis, formerly president of the Institute of Mediaeval Studies at Toronto, accepted the position of Director of the Center. He was responsible for designing the program, acquiring suitable faculty, and supervising the accumulation of library resources. After Dr. Pegis’ sudden death in 1978, Professor Vernon J. Bourke accepted the position of Interim Director from 1978-80. The Center’s opening was officially announced in October 1979 at a symposium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical, Aeterni Patris. Graduate courses were first offered in the fall semester o f1980. By this time Fr. Ronald D. Lawler, OFM. Cap. had assumed directorship of the Center. In 1982 he was succeeded by Fr. Leonard A. Kennedy, CSB; in 1987 by Fr. Thomas A. Russman, OFM. Cap.; in 1996 by Interim Director Dr. Jerome Kramer; in 1998 by Fr. John C. Gallagher, CSB; in 1999 by Dr. Christopher Martin; and in 2000 by Dr. Daniel McInerny. The current Director of the Center is Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers, who assumed the position in 2002.

The MA and PhD programs in the Center for Thomistic Studies received initial accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1980 (MA) and 1982 (PhD) and permanent accreditation in 1985 (MA) and 1988 (PhD).

The Ways to Wisdom

Be inspired by Thomas Aquinas.

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Joint Conference

The first US Conference of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas held in North America.

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Upcoming Events

The Center hosts many events of interest to the philosophical community.

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__Centers - Center for Thomistic Studies History of the Center
Center for Thomistic Studies
The Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas is the only graduate philosophy program uniquely focused on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in the United States. The Center is founded on the Church’s insistence of the perennial value of the thought of Aquinas as the new millennium proceeds.


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