Aquinas had its beginning in 1887 as the Novitiate Normal School of the Dominican Sisters of Marywood. In 1922 it became Marywood College. When the college was moved downtown in 1931, it became the coeducational Catholic Junior College. It began operating as a four-year college in 1940 and was named in honor of the great medieval theologian and philosopher, St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas is primarily a liberal arts college. It was moved to this campus, the former Lowe estate, in 1945.