Three years after the death of John Henry Cardinal Newman in 1893 a small group of students at the University of Pennsylvania joined together to minister to their fellow students. This goal was inspired by Cardinal Newman and his devotion to the service of Catholic University students who were enrolled in secular colleges. Thus, the first Newman Club.
In 1929, on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a similar group of students formed a Newman Club. This was a place where Catholic students, faculty, and staff could go for both spiritual and intellectual growth. In 1963, the Newman Catholic Center was built at UMass. Opening its doors on April 1st, Newman has now grown to be a "home away from home" for thousands of UMass and Five College area students.