August 12, 1888


The University of Scranton was founded in 1888 by Most Reverend William G. O’Hara, D.D., the first Bishop of Scranton, as the College of St. Thomas of Aquin. On August 12, 1888, Bishop O’Hara laid and blessed the cornerstone of the College’s first building, which would stand next to St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Bishop’s residence on Wyoming Avenue.

The laying of the pink cornerstone was a city-wide celebration, featuring a parade, musical performances by the Cathedral choir and a local orchestra, and a sermon by Bishop O’Hara. Four packed trains brought attendees from Wilkes-Barre and Carbondale, who joined the people of Scranton in an “immense throng” around the foundations of the College.