His life was marked by a constant struggle for integrity and truth at considerable cost to himself. Newman was Beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010.
Newman was an extraordinary thinker whose creative and lively mind engaged with the process by which men and women come to knowledge and truth. His explorations of the human intellectual and spiritual journey anticipate much of the contemporary work on multiple modes of intelligence and understanding that underpin the way we learn and teach at Newman. In his famous lectures The Idea of the University Defined and Illustrated he emphasised the main role of the university to train the mind rather than to diffuse useful knowledge. To this end he developed the tutorial system, which again we use to good effect here at Newman.
A deeply spiritual man he was always available to the people of Birmingham, rich and poor, who came to him for advice and instruction. When he died the streets of Birmingham were lined with thousands whose lives he had touched and inspired.
Blessed John Henry Newman died a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, honoured internationally, but it is his ability to touch and enlighten the hearts of so many, from so many different walks of life, that make him such a fitting patron for our University and its mission in contemporary British society.
“A university training is the great ordinary means to a great but ordinary end; it aims at raising the intellectual tone of society…It is the education which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them and a force in urging them.”