As soon as you set foot on The Catholic University of America’s campus you immediately sense that you are standing in a world within a world. On one hand, Catholic University’s location puts you in the middle of the major metropolitan city of Washington, D.C., less than 4 miles from the United States Capitol and the National Mall, and on the other hand, the peaceful, green and residential feel of campus gives you a belonging, a community, and a home.
That feeling is a large part of what attracted sophomore Megan Boretti, a nursing major, to choose to attend Catholic University.
“I wanted to go to a small school in a big city,” she said. “I was debating among several schools but once I saw the environment of CUA’s campus, the welcoming people, and the fact that there is so much green area despite being in a big city, I knew I wanted to go to Catholic.”
Covering a span of 176-acres, Catholic University is the largest university in Washington, D.C., by land area. Campus features many green areas for students to relax and study, including a basketball court, outdoor cafeteria seating, and open park-like areas where students are frequently found picnicking or playing pick-up frisbee or soccer.
“Our campus always over-delivers when people visit for the first time,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Mike Allen. “People expect that they will have to cross busy streets but it truly feels like a park or a rural setting.”
Most students live on or adjacent to campus for the entirety of their time at Catholic University, offering them the opportunity to take advantage of a four-year residential experience.
After his sophomore year, finance major Stefano Bellucci (`20) moved to Brookland Ridge, an apartment community just beyond the north side of campus.
“I spend even more time on campus now than I did before,” he said. “Once you get involved in commitments with campus clubs and activities, you have so many opportunities to interact and connect with the rest of the campus community.”
Bellucci volunteers with the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity and is the president of the consulting club, a group for aspiring business consultants. He is especially excited about the re-opening of Maloney Hall in the fall of 2019 as the new home for Catholic University’s Busch School of Business.
The re-purposed building will feature brand new classrooms, a large auditorium, office and study spaces, and a chapel. The chapel will be the seventh chapel on Catholic University’s campus, offering students dozens of daily and weekend Mass times or a chance to stop by for quiet prayer and reflection in the midst of a busy academic schedule.
“One of the most common themes among our students is that the thing they like the most about our university is the strong sense of community we have here,” Allen said. “ A community where people are serious about their academic studies but also where people support and lean on each other. Catholic is a fun place to go to school."
While the feel of campus may be one more common in a rural setting, Catholic University students have the city of Washington, D.C., right at their fingertips. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Brookland-CUA metro platform is full of students headed to the city to see shows, movies or visit Chinatown or the national monuments.
“I spend every other weekend in the city with friends,” said Boretti. “We love to try new food places, visit museums, and even sometime venture out to the outlets at National Harbor.”
Bellucci, who hopes to stay in the city after graduation, appreciates the benefits of Washington, D.C., from a business perspective.
“It’s a great place to connect with future employers, to discover new internships and to put myself on the path to where I want to go professionally,” he said.
At Catholic University, students truly have the best of both worlds: exposure to the culture and resources of a metropolitan city, while at the same time having a beautiful, safe place to call home during their college years.