St. Thomas University

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, 18-year-old Ledishla Acevedo booked a flight to Miami in hopes of continuing her college education in Florida.

When she arrived at her cousin’s house here, she turned on the lights and started to cry.

Then she took a hot shower and cried some more.

Courtesy St. Thomas University. Image appears in "The Catholic University of Havana" by Fr. John J. Kelly

In 1961, a year before St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens opened as Biscayne College, the school's founding president, Fr. Edward McCarthy, was in prison. 

"With people with machine guns, submachine guns, following our every move," he said in a 1989 interview with St. Thomas University professor Richard Raleigh, of the auditorium-turned-prison in Havana, Cuba where he was being held.