Featuring a small chapel and a communal area for Bible studies and other activities, the 376-bed Newman Center caters to students looking to nourish their spiritual side. It is open to people of all faiths, though the ministry space is leased by the Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile. Alcohol is forbidden, even for those of drinking age.
"I like the Christian feel of it," said Ms. Gray, 17 years old, who attends a nondenominational church back home and moved into the dorm in August before the start of classes. "We're like a family."