Founded in Faith The University of Scranton Celebrates 125th Anniversary


In the summer of 1888, Most Rev. William O'Hara, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, blessed a single block of granite as the cornerstone of the new College of St. Thomas of Aquinas. Absent at the blessing were students, faculty and funding. Present was a profound faith that God would provide all that would be needed for a Catholic college to begin in Scranton.

This was the first of several acts of faith that formed the foundation of The University of Scranton and allowed the institution of higher learning to grow and excel over 125 years.

Most Rev. Joseph Bambera, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, will celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit at The University of Scranton on Thursday, Sept. 5, as the kick-off of the campus community’s year-long celebration of its 125th anniversary. The Bishop will also serve as homilist at the 11:30 a.m. Mass in the Byron Recreation Complex. A lunch will follow immediately after Mass on the Dionne Campus Green.

At the 1888 cornerstone blessing ceremony, Bishop O’Hara said “it is for you to put your shoulder to the wheel and to see this institution of learning rising up, and it is the great desire of our heart to see your children gather therein to learn first the faith and then to learn those other branches necessary for their welfare in the world.”

“Seeing the University today, all of us should be proud of the transformation that has taken place,” said University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.

The University’s year-long 125th anniversary celebration will include exhibits, lectures and other events.

For additional information about the 125th anniversary celebration, visit

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