UST President Richard Ludwick cut the ribbon opening a micro-campus in Montgomery County on Oct. 20. The USTMAX Center is located in downtown, Conroe at 336 N. Main Street. This facility’s name is inspired by Saint of Innovation Maximillian Kolbe. The Center will serve the higher education needs of local residents by providing flexibility, affordability and accessibility.
The festive event included music, food, balloons, dignitaries, benefactors, business people from Conroe and The Woodlands, and the media. Lenny, the UST spirited lion mascot, arrived in a horse-drawn carriage to join the festivities. Guests received tours, and the building was blessed by UST Chaplain Fr. Paul English, CSB.
Also on hand was Senior Director of USTMAX Center, Carla E. Alsandor, Ph.D., and USTMAX Center Recruiting Counselor, Brenda Banegas.
“University of St. Thomas is proud to be Montgomery County’s only private, four-year university,” UST President Richard Ludwick said. “Conroe is the fastest growing city in Texas. We want to be a part of that growth and support further expansion of the region’s economic base. By providing educational opportunities, UST will help community members and businesses to grow and thrive.
“We listened and heard that there is demand for nursing and cybersecurity education, as well as a growing interest in business-related programs. We offer all of these and more at USTMAX Center. At present, we make available 14 degree programs and three certificate programs. We will continue to add online opportunities and, by listening to community members, develop custom academic options to suit their needs.”
As a gift to the Montgomery County students and parents, Dr. Ludwick announced that the spring 2021 tuition for associate’s degrees in cybersecurity, network technology and electronic technology will be free to new students.
The dream of a campus in Conroe became reality when Conroe officials, including the late Mayor Toby Powell and then City Councilman Jody Czajkoski, invited UST to explore bringing the Catholic university into their booming town, dubbed Miracle City. That invitation was the beginning of a journey to provide affordable and accessible education to prospective students in the area. UST alumnus Vince D’Amico ’52 donated Conroe land to the UST endeavor.
Already off to a great start in the region, UST offered its first degree an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing this summer at a state-of-the-art lab facility in Shenandoah, Texas.