About & Our Mission
To be transformed through an encounter with the Spirit of Truth and the Love of God
Welcome to the St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center, dedicated to serving the University of Arizona campus Catholic community.
Our Catholic campus ministry began back in 1926 as “The Newman Club.” Our roots began with a humble house and a chapel located near 3rd Street and Cherry, now the home of the Flandrau Planetarium.
In 1951, our first chaplain, Fr. Frederic Curry, paved the way for our first expansion with support of Bishop Gerke. The 1926 center was expanded to include a 50-seat chapel, a 300-seat hall, cafeteria, library, offices for priests and administrators, and dedicated spaces for students. In honor of Fr. Curry’s exceptional leadership, we proudly named the Curry Classroom at our current Newman Center, ensuring his legacy lives on.
In the 1960’s, the Newman Center relocated from its original spot on 3rd and Cherry, and found its current home on 2nd and Cherry. This relocation was made possible through the Diocese of Tucson’s acquisition of the land from the University of Arizona, igniting some controversy about the role of religion on public university campuses. Our present-day chapel stands on this site, as well as the adjacent cottages and adobe apartments which have served as administrative offices, a convent for the sisters, and student apartments.
On May 10, 1964, under the direction of Newman chaplain Fr. Robert Graff, our current Newman Center was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Francis Green.
In 1968, Bishop Green extended an invitation to the Dominicans of the Central Province to serve as Chaplains. The administration was transferred to the Western Dominican Province in 1980, with Fr. Tom DeMan serving as Pastor. The presence of the Domincan priests from the Western Province is a tradition that continues to this day. We have also been blessed with the presence and service of the Dominican Sisters of Oakland and, most recently, the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. The Newman center continues to be guided by The Order of Preachers’ four pillars: Prayer, Community, Service, and Preaching.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Newman Center Located?
The Newman Center is located on 2nd and Cherry.