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John Henry Newman's "Idea of a University" is a seminal work in secular as well as Catholic understanding of what the true university must be. As tutor and later chaplain at Oxford in the 19th century, his respect for the life of learning was enhanced by his Christian faith; and his learning became the catalyst for his own spiritual journey.
Because it aspires to promote such an alliance of the life of the mind and the life of faith, the association of Catholic students at Caltech is called the Newman Center.
In adopting this name, it follows in the tradition of the majority of Catholic centers at non-Catholic universities in the United States (many of which now have home pages on the web).