Thomas More University

  (Redirected from Thomas More College (Kentucky))

Thomas More University is a Catholic liberal arts university in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. It serves about 2,200 full and part-time students. The university was founded in 1921 by the local Benedictine Sisters as Villa Madonna College.

Thomas More University
Thomas More University Logo.jpeg
MottoTogether In Pursuit of Truth
TypePrivate university
Religious affiliation
Catholic Church (Benedictine Sisters)
Endowment$15 million[1]
PresidentJoseph L. Chillo
Location, ,
United States

39°01′18″N 84°34′05″W / 39.0217°N 84.5681°W / 39.0217; -84.5681Coordinates: 39°01′18″N 84°34′05″W / 39.0217°N 84.5681°W / 39.0217; -84.5681
  • Blue
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AffiliationsNAIA - Mid-South Conference
MascotTommy Mo Edit this at Wikidata


The Benedictine Sisters of Covington, Kentucky, founded Villa Madonna College in 1921 to train Catholic school teachers and to provide college education for young women. The college was chartered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1923. Villa Madonna graduated its first students in 1929 and became the official college of the Diocese of Covington that same year. Three religious orders operated Villa Madonna in its early years: the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Congregation of Divine Providence, and the local Benedictine Sisters. Through the 1930s and early 1940s, the college grew slowly. The school year 1942–1943 closed with commencement exercises on June 4 with ten graduates. The number of graduates of the college including the 1943 class was 152.[citation needed]

Although Villa Madonna was founded as an institution for women, men attended many of the same classes through the affiliated St. Thomas More College, a college-level program of Covington Latin School. In 1945, Villa Madonna was designated a co-educational college, and St. Thomas More College was abolished.[3] In that year the Diocese of Covington purchased the college. At the opening of classes in September 1945, Villa Madonna College enrolled 28 Sisters, 56 laywomen, and 28 men for a total of 112 students. As the college began to grow, facilities and classrooms were stretched to their limits. Several buildings owned by the Diocese of Covington were quickly secured for additional classrooms and offices. Over the next two decades, as enrollment and curriculum steadily grew, any available space was acquired and adapted for the college's use. Eventually, all available space was exhausted, and it was clear that a more spacious campus was needed.[citation needed]

Campus buildings of Villa Madonna College include St. Joseph's Hall, St. Thomas More Hall,[1] Cabrini Hall,[1] St. Pius Hall, Talbott Hall, Cafeteria Annex, Columbus Hall (library), St. Jude Hall, Aquinas Hall,[1] Bernard Hall,[1] and St. Luke Hall (art department).[4]

In 1964, the school's chancellor, Bishop Richard Henry Ackerman, announced a building program. A growing co-educational institution, an expanding campus and the opportunity to serve a wider area made the move the natural choice. In 1968, the college was moved from downtown Covington to what is now Crestview Hills. In this same year, Ackerman announced that Villa Madonna College would be renamed "Thomas More College". The same year another Thomas More College opened – a woman's college of Jesuit Fordham University in New York which later merged with Fordham College as a co-educational college and dropped the Thomas More name.[5] Although the college was opened in January 1968, dedication ceremonies were held on September 28 with President Lyndon B. Johnson in attendance. The college serves 2,200 full- and part-time students. Although primarily from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, students from roughly 20 states and several countries attend Thomas More.

Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education formally granted Thomas More university status in July 2018. On October 1, 2018, Thomas More College was officially renamed to Thomas More University and assumed university status, with full implementation of the name change taking place during the 2018–19 academic year.[6] Thomas More also began transitioning to a new organizational structure of three colleges and one institute:[7]

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Health Sciences
  • Institute for Ethical Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies


  1. Mary Domitilla Thuener (1921–1928)[8][9]
  2. Michael Leick (1928–1943)[8]
  3. Edmund Corby (1943–1944)[8]
  4. Thomas A. McCarty (1945–1949)[8]
  5. Joseph Z. Aud (1949–1951)[8]
  6. John F. Murphy (1951–1971)[8]
  7. Richard A. DeGraff (1971–1978)[8]
  8. Robert J. Giroux (1978–1982)[8]
  9. Thomas A. Coffey (1982–1985)[8]
  10. Charles J. Bensman (1986–1992)[8]
  11. William F. Cleves (1992–2001)[8]
  12. E. Joseph Lee II (2001–2004)[8]
  13. Margaret Stallmeyer (2005–2013)[8]
  14. David A. Armstrong (2013–2018)[10]
  15. Kathleen S. Jagger (2018–2019) [11]
  16. Joseph L. Chillo (2019-present)[12]


The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[13]

The university is a member of Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities, an organization including all of the accredited colleges and universities in the area. This consortium relationship gives students access to course offerings of the other institutions through a cross-registration arrangement as well as access to library resources of the other schools in the consortium.

Greek lifeEdit

  • Alpha Delta Gamma, Rho chapter (est. 1965)[14]
  • Theta Phi Alpha, Alpha Eta chapter (est. 1968)[14] - recruits in both the fall and spring semesters. The sisterhood has an intense focus on philanthropy and community service.


Administrative Building
Houses the majority of administrative offices (except for athletics, campus ministry, and institutional advancement), faculty offices, some classrooms, the cafeteria, and the computer center.
Science Building
Four-story building that holds offices and classrooms for the Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Psychology, and Education departments.
Connor Convocation Center[15]
The gym, training rooms, and athletics offices are housed in the Connor Convocation Center.
Saints Center
Formerly the Holbrook Student Center (then Student Center – due to the death of the benefactor and inability of the family to cover the expense of naming rights) contains the Interlude Cafe, Steigerwald Hall, campus bookstore, the Office of the President, and Institutional Advancement offices.
BB&T Field[16]
Marian Hall / Howard Hall[17]
Two connected residence halls that are co-ed.
Ackerman Hall[17]
Male-only residence hall
Murphy Hall[17]
Co-ed suite-style residence hall
BB&T Observatory[18]
Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel[19]
Biology Field Station[20]

Thomas More University Success CenterEdit

  • Institute for Academic Support
  • Institute for Learning Differences
  • Institute for Career Development and Graduate School Planning[21]


The Thomas More University Accelerated Program (TAP)[22] is specifically designed for working adults. It offers an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree in Business Administration and Ethical Leadership Studies. Classes meet only once a week and utilize group-study project teams, which emphasize interaction and participation. In addition to online programs, TAP classes are held at two locations: the campus in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, and in the northern Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, Ohio.


The Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT)[23] is run by the Education Department of Thomas More University. It is targeted for those who hold a baccalaureate degree and meet the requirements of the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB). The program has two tracks: one for those holding a Temporary Provisional Certificate and the other for those wanting to acquire their teacher certification.[citation needed]

Student governmentEdit

The student government of Thomas More College serves as the official representative of the student body. It is governed by its constitution and consists of an executive board, delegates at-large, and associates. The president of the Student Government Association receives a full-voting membership on the Thomas More University Board of Trustees.


The Thomas More University sports teams are called the Saints. They compete in the NAIA Mid-South Conference, having moved from the NCAA Division III American Collegiate Athletic Association after the 2018–19 school year. The Saints had previously been NAIA members from 1947 to 1990.[24]

The following sports are offered:

Men's sportsEdit

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
    • NAIA Men's Division I Tournament: 1957 (as Villa Madonna)
      • First official upset in NAIA Tournament history, because it was the first year seeding was added to the tournament. Villa Madonna upset West Virginia Tech 93 to 91.
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2009, 2010
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2009
  • Cross country
  • Football
    • Second fastest Division III school to 100 wins
    • Best all-time win percentage in NCAA Division III
    • Undefeated regular season - 1991, 1995, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2015
    • NCAA Division III Football Championships (playoffs) - 1992, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016
    • Association of Mideast Colleges Conference champions - 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference champions - 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 (co-champions), 2014 (co-champions), 2015, 2016
  • Golf
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference champs: 2010
    • NCAA Division III Championship appearances: 2010
  • Soccer
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2009, 2011
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
    • PAC regular season champs: 2017
      • Brand new program to the school

Women's sportsEdit

  • Basketball
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
    • NCAA Division III Final Four appearances: 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
    • NCAA Division III Championships: 2015 (vacated),[25] 2016, 2019
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2003, 2011
  • Softball
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
    • Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champs: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
    • NCAA Division III Tournament appearances: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e MoreOver Fall 2014; accessed December 28, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c As of fall 2016. "Student headcount by level: All independent institutions (2006-16)" (PDF). Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  3. ^ Covington Latin School, Kenton County Public Library, retrieved February 29, 2015.
  4. ^ Northern Kentucky Views, Villa Madonna College,; accessed September 15, 2014.
  5. ^ Fordham University
  6. ^ Thomas More has new name, but remains the same institution,; accessed October 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "Thomas More College in NKY granted university status". Cincinnati: WCPO-TV. September 28, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Program for Thomas More College Presidential Inauguration, April Twenty-Ninth, Two Thousand and Five
  9. ^ Green, Judy; LaDuke, Jeanne (2008). Pioneering Women in American Mathematics — The Pre-1940 PhD's. History of Mathematics. 34 (1st ed.). American Mathematical Society, The London Mathematical Society. ISBN 978-0-8218-4376-5. Biography on p.599-600 of the Supplementary Material at AMS
  10. ^ Thomas More College Announces New President
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Accreditation
  14. ^ a b Clubs & Organizations
  15. ^ Connor Convocation Center Center
  16. ^ BB&T Field
  17. ^ a b c Residence Halls
  18. ^ BB&T Observatory
  19. ^ Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel
  20. ^ Biology Field Station
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Thomas More | The Accelerated Program (TAP)". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  23. ^ Master of Arts in Teaching Program
  24. ^ Moore, Josh (July 24, 2018). "Kentucky college making jump to NAIA from NCAA". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, KY. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  25. ^ "D3 team has to vacate a title because Randy Moss' daughter stayed with a coach while recovering from injury". SBNation. Vox Media. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  26. ^ Rick Hughes Archived 2007-01-22 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Larry Staverman
  28. ^ Dan Tieman

External linksEdit