Thomas More College is the Catholic College of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. The College welcomes students of all faiths and beliefs. Our primary mission is to develop and sustain challenging undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs of study, marked by superior teaching and scholarship within the Catholic intellectual tradition. Inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church, and by our patron, Saint Thomas More, we challenge students to examine the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others. Our programs of study emphasize liberal arts within a context of ethical concern and social responsibility. These programs of study are complemented by co-curricular services and programs intended to enhance lifelong learning, foster personal growth, and develop leadership qualities.
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 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. Although founded as an institution for women, men attended many of the same classes through the Villa Madonna - affiliated St. Thomas More College. In 1945, Villa Madonna was designated a co-educational college, and St. Thomas More College was abolished. 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. Campus buildings of Villa Madonna College include St. Joseph's Hall, St. Thomas More Hall, Cabrini Hall, St. Pius Hall, Talbott Hall, Cafeteria Annex, Columbus Hall (library), St. Jude Hall, Aquinas Hall, Bernard Hall, St. Luke Hall (art department). In 1964, the faculty, alumni, and friends of the college saw the dawn of a new era when Bishop Richard H. Ackerman, chancellor, 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, Bishop Ackerman announced that Villa Madonna College would receive a new name: Thomas More College. This name was chosen because Thomas More was a scholar, statesman, and layman committed to selfless public service and canonized by the Church. This same year saw the opening of another Thomas More College, a woman's college of Jesuit Fordham University in New York which later merged with Fordham College as a coeducational college and dropped the Thomas More name. Though the college was opened in January 1968, the crowning moment of the relocation and renaming of the college came in that same year during dedication ceremonies held on September 28 with President Lyndon B. Johnson in attendance. Today, Thomas More College serves 1,900 full- and part-time students. Although primarily from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, students from about 20 states and several countries attend Thomas More College
Rick Hughes, NBA basketball player Larry Staverman, NBA basketball player and coach Roxanne Qualls, Cincinnati politician (attended Thomas More, but did not finish there) David Justice, MLB player (attended, did not graduate) Paul G. Bens, Jr., former Hollywood casting director/producer and author of the Black Quill Award-winning novel "Kelland"