The Catholic University of America (CUA) is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops. Established in 1887 as a graduate and research center following approval by Pope Leo XIII on Easter Sunday, the university began offering undergraduate education in 1904.
The university's campus lies within the Brookland neighborhood known as "Little Rome", which contains 60 Catholic institutions, including Trinity Washington University and the Dominican House of Studies.
CUA's programs emphasize the liberal arts, professional education, and personal development. The school stays closely connected with the Catholic Church and Catholic organizations. The American Cardinals Dinner is put on by the residential U.S. Cardinals each year to raise scholarship funds for CUA. The university has a long history of working with the Knights of Columbus; the university's law school and basilica have dedications to the involvement and support of the Knights.
The university has been visited twice by reigning Popes. Pope John Paul II visited on October 7, 1979. On April 16, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI came to the campus's Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center and gave an address on Catholic education and academic freedom.
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