About Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico-Ponce
The Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico is a Roman Catholic university located in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It provides courses in the areas of education, business administration, arts and human studies and science, leading to Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate Degrees. Its campus is also home to a Law School. The university's original name (Catholic University of Santa Maria) was changed in the 1968 to Catholic University of Puerto Rico with the opening of campuses in Mayaguez and Arecibo. In 1984 the name was again changed to its current name, to commemorate the visit to Puerto Rico of Pontiff Pope John Paul II.
The university was founded in spring of 1948 by James E. McManus, C.S.S.R., Bishop of the Diocese of Ponce, and James Davis, Bishop of the Diocese of San Juan. It was originally founded as the Catholic University of Santa Maria. The original campus consisted of a few classrooms provided by the Padres Capuchinos and the Hermanas Josefinas, catholic clergymen and nuns, respectively, in the Colegio San Conrado in Ponce, a catholic primary educational school. This continued until 1949, when the university obtained 120 acres (0.49 km2) from the Puerto Rico government. It has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools since 1953.
In 1961, the university started the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law (Escuela de Derecho in Spanish) providing graduate law studies and student exchange programs with other law schools in the United States and in Spain. The school has been host to famous and respected Puerto Rican law professors, including former Puerto Rico governor Rafael Hernández Colón.
In 1976, the university started the School of Medicine (Escuela de Medicina) as a graduate medical education program, which, when reorganized in 1979-1980, became an independent private non-profit medical school now known as the Ponce School of Medicine.
The university has two additional campuses, in Arecibo and in Mayagüez; and one satellite extension in Coamo.