Houston and Texas has a large population of people of Polish Ancestry so the time is right to launch this program in Polish Studies at the University at St. Thomas.
University of St. Thomas Houston announces a new program in Polish Studies. Beginning in fall 2021, undergraduates can earn a minor in Polish Studies in online courses for college credit: Introduction to Polish culture, the history of Poland in the 20th century, and Polish language. Additional courses on Polish art, film, literature and politics will be added.
This program builds on the successful Study Abroad in Poland for undergraduate and graduate students who follow the footsteps of Saint John Paul II in his native country to learn about his life and legacy. It also complements the recently started Saint John Paul II studies program, which is devoted to the study of the life and thought of Saint John Paul II in the context of Polish history and culture. These new programs were recently endowed with a generous $200,000 endowment gift from Dr. Ewa Thompson.
Strong Polish Presence in America, Texas and Houston
There are 10 million Americans of Polish descent in the United States. Poles immigrated to Texas in mid-19th century, among others to College Station, Panna Maria and Brenham where they were farmers. Houston has a large Polish population estimated at 80,000 Poles living here.
Today, many Polish companies are doing business in Houston in the oil and gas sector and with the Texas Medical Center. Houston has a Polish/American Chamber of Commerce. Two years ago, Poland opened a Polish consulate in Houston, and only five cites in Americas can claim the distinction. Houston’s Polish parish, Our Lady of Czestochowa, located on Blalock Road in Spring Branch, celebrates Mass in Polish.
“With the presence of so many people of Polish ancestry in Houston and all over the state of Texas, combined with the rising importance of Poland as an economic and strategic ally of the United States, the time seems right to launch this program in Polish Studies at the University at St. Thomas,” Dr. John Hittinger, director of the JPII Institute, said.
For information, contact Dr. Hittinger, director, Saint John Paul II Institute, at the University of St Thomas, 1211 Colquitt Ave, Houston TX 77006. Hittinger@stthom.edu, 713-525-2155.