The University of St. Thomas (also referred to as UST or St. Thomas) in Houston, Texas, United States is a comprehensive Catholic university. Founded in 1947 by Basilian Fathers, it serves as the only Catholic university in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. On June 24, 1944, the Bishop of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, Christopher E. Byrne, entered into an agreement with the Houston-based members of the Congregation of St. Basil to found a co-educational Roman Catholic university in Houston "as soon as practicable after the War, if possible by 1947. The Basilian Fathers had previously started several other secondary schools, as well as institutions of higher learning, throughout Texas in the early 20th Century, including St. Thomas High School, also located in Houston. The first classes at UST began on September 22, 1947 with 57 freshmen and 8 faculty members. UST graduated its first class on May 31, 1951.] In addition to the Basilian Fathers on staff, there are also several Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist who reside in the convent on campus. UST has many diverse ethnicities, as 61% of the total number of students are African-American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian. UST also maintains a student body that is at least 25% Hispanic. The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities rates UST as an Hispanic-serving institution it is the only private institution of higher education in Houston to earn this rating. 58% of the total enrollment is Catholic. University students come from 40 states throughout the U.S. as well as 54 countries around the world.