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FA LL 2013

The Anniversary Edition Students Celebrate the Election of Pope Francis

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Head football Coach Marty Quinn leads the AMU football team in their pre-game prayer before their Aug. 31 game at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Gyrenes were defeated 34-20 by Robert Morris University. See Story Page 36. Photo by Erik Kellar photography

Contents 12

Decade No. 1 Travel through time to experience AMU’s history.



Men’s head basketball coach Ken Dagostino brings new energy to Gyrenes.

Kevin Joyce believes in the AMU mission and his faith is changing lives on campus.

Winning Tradition

Creating A Buzz

DEPARTMENTS From the President..........................................................................................2 News @ AMU......................................................................................................3 Athletics............................................................................................................36 Alumni...............................................................................................................45 Giving................................................................................................................46

ave MARIA university fall 2013 Volume 3, Issue 1

President Jim Towey The ave maria university magazine is produced by The Office of Institutional Advancement Kevin Joyce, Vice President editor Brigid O’Malley Director of Communications

contributors Andrea Allphin David Bathon Kendel Jordan Kevin Joyce Colin Voreis Dr. Joseph Yarbrough


photography Erik Kellar Photography Jason Easterly Sara Bowes Josef Hofbauer cover /design Edition Custom Media layout/design Apollo Design Group Inc. George Fetkovich Art Director

Ave Maria University Magazine is published by Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, Florida for alumni, parents and friends. Third class postage paid at Ave Maria, Florida. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Alumni Office, Ave Maria University, 5050 Ave Maria Blvd., Ave Maria, FL 34142.


Ave Maria University subscribes to a policy of equal opportunity and does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status or disability in any of its programs, admission or employment decisions.

On the cover: Yes, that’s the history of Ave Maria University in photos. Nearly 2,000 images from the past decade make up this Anniversary Edition cover. Cover by Edition Custom Media. | fall 2013 |


from the



President Jim Towey


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hat an incredible 10 years! Ave Maria University sings its own Magnificat, joining our voice to that of our patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as we proclaim, “God who is mighty has done great things for us! Holy is His name!” When Tom Monaghan courageously undertook the mind-boggling task of moving a small college in Michigan to the tomato fields south of Immokalee, he could not have imagined all that awaited him—and all that has been accomplished by the men and women, past and present, who joined him in this noble endeavor. By the numbers, we now have nearly 1,000 students on our campus from 48 states and 18 countries in 23 distinct fields of study. We also have about 1,000 graduates who have gone on to the priesthood and religious life, to medical schools and law schools, to other post-graduate studies at fine institutions at home and abroad, and to various other careers. Nearly 200 alumni married a fellow AMU graduate and about a dozen students are engaged to a classmate. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Through all of the growth and change, Ave Maria has never wavered in its commitment to the Magisterium of the Church. We remain rooted in our Catholic faith and open to seekers of the truth wherever they happen to be on their spiritual journeys. The good Lord has assembled a diverse student body and an exceptional faculty to light the way. Students are on this campus for an education that occurs in the classroom as well as in the dorm, the cafeteria, and in service projects in faraway places like Calcutta. The University challenges the fine people entrusted to our care to discern “the deep things of God” and ponder why they were created, what their purpose in life is. In this issue of the Magazine, you’ll read about some incoming students who are yearning and learning to answer those questions. Some have had life experiences in war zones that many of us can only imagine. Others are just starting out in life and their goals are awe-inspiring. You’ll also take a trip through the first decade of our University’s history. And you’ll experience our football team’s trip to Chicago in stunning photojournalism that you’ll find nowhere else. Throughout the academic year, we have a number of special activities planned to celebrate this milestone, including campus lectures by best-selling authors such as George Weigel, Arthur Brooks and Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, and festival celebrations on All Saints Day and our University feast, the Annunciation. We have our amazing choir’s performances throughout both semesters and in the spring our students perform Shakespeare on campus and in the community. As we celebrate 10 years of existence, let us thank everyone who has made this campus the wonder it is. To our Founder, Tom Monaghan, whose tremendous financial and spiritual support means so much, and to those donors and supporters who have given so generously of their time and talents, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And to those who seek to know more about Ave Maria University, and are interested in contributing to our future, come visit and learn about us. Warm regards,

Around Campus | news@AMU

AMU Again Files Lawsuit Over Obamacare Mandate Towey: “AMU will not violate its core religious beliefs”


ve Maria University will file suit against the federal government, renewing the University’s efforts to fight the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. “The Obama administration’s mandate that seeks to coerce Ave Maria University to cooperate with its scheme to make abortioninducing drugs, sterilization and other contraceptive services available to employees under our employer-provided health plan, is unconstitutional and a violation of Federal law, and today we are suing to prevent its enforcement,” University President Jim Towey said Thursday. In March, the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, granted the motion by the Defendants (Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al) to dismiss AMU’s lawsuit. At that time, the dismissal was made on technical legal grounds —so-called “ripeness”—because the federal regulations in question are not in final form. Now that the regulations have been finalized, President Towey says he believes this lawsuit is a logical next step.



You might have to look around for the answers or find them in this issue of the Magazine.

President Jim Towey faces the media at a news conference on new Obamacare lawsuit. Photo by Erik Kellar Photography

“The Obama administration seems hell-bent on denying faithbased organizations their rights of conscience and religious freedom,” he said. On January 1, 2014, the socalled “safe harbor” protection the University now enjoys will no longer exist. “..the fines with which the Obama

administration threatens to compel Ave Maria’s compliance – $100 per day, per beneficiary, totalling as much as $7 million in fines annually – seem to have the intended effect of forcing us to choose to either violate our religious beliefs or face bankruptcy,” President Towey said. “Ave Maria University will not violate its core religious beliefs.”

New Bonds Show AMU Financial Stability


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n a move that shows great confidence in the financial stability of the institution, Ave Maria University has completed a restructuring of $60.5 million in debt through the issuing of new 30-year tax-exempt bonds. This summer, President Jim Towey made the announcement that the bonds will restructure debt issued to build both residence halls and townhomes in the Middlebrooke development, an Ave Maria neighborhood where some students live. “The value of today’s refinancing transaction is manifold. First, the University will no longer have a variable rate debt structure and therefore no longer face the serious downside risk of rising interest rates,” Towey explained in an email to the AMU community. “Second, the University no longer will labor under antiquated covenants and collateral requirements which hamper governance and long-term planning, and restrict the use of some University assets. And third, costly letters of credit will no longer be necessary, which will save the University a fortune.” This move validates the progress AMU has made as an institution. “Investors objectively looked at Ave Maria University and made the decision to invest in our future. They saw what we already knew – that Ave Maria University is green and growing…” he wrote.

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How many majors does AMU have?

Who is the Vice President of Institutional Advancement?


Where did the AMU football team play their first game of the season?


What’s the name of the new AMU mascot? Answers on Page 48. | fall 2013 |


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a r o u n d cam p u s

Average AMU class size:

20 By the Numbers

Student to faculty ratio:

15:1 Classes taught by professors with a Ph.D. or a terminal degree

85% Number of majors, including Education & Accounting, with Nursing expected in 2014:

23 U.S. states represented by students:

48 Countries represented by students:




AMU Announces Tuition Reduction


resident Jim Towey announced that Ave Maria University is reducing its tuition and fees by 22 percent, a move that will not result in any cuts to academic or student life. Instead the reduction will maintain affordability, increase accessibility and uphold the 10-year-old University’s commitment to excellence, Towey said. Tuition starting in the Fall of 2014 will be reduced to $17,940, which is a $5,060 decrease from this academic year’s tuition. Currently, students pay $23,000 in tuition and fees. Returning students will also pay $17,940 in tuition and fees. These students will receive a recalculated bill next summer that adjusts tuition and fees charges and University institutional aid proportionately to harmonize this one year freeze. No returning student will pay a dollar more than they paid this year in tuition and fees. “I don’t believe any college or university in Florida provides the excellence and value we provide, nor is there a campus culture anywhere more suited to the spiritual and moral development of its students,’’ Towey said. Class sizes and student-faculty ratios will remain small. More than 85 percent of the University’s classroom instruction is by professors with a Ph.D. or other terminal degree, not by graduate assistants and adjuncts. Small class sizes and top-flight faculty will remain hallmarks of the University. U The average student at AMU pays less than an attendee at nearly all private M A colleges and universities in Florida and at Catholic universities nationwide. d e at is loc e of During the last 25 years, there has been an “affordability crisis” in on fest brewing in higher education. Tuition costs at American universities have the sa es in spiraled out of control, increasing at more than four times the rate of ti coun ida inflation. The AMU tuition reduction will help families no longer willing Flor to mire themselves in debt to pay exorbitant tuition costs or jump through complex and confusing financial aid hoops. This AMU plan will help decrease that debt and increase transparency in the financial aid system. Towey said AMU can reduce its tuition and fees by $5,000 for two main reasons. First, AMU’s budgetary cost controls are firmly in place and the streamlined administrative structure allows the University to operate in a cost-effective manner. Second, the reduction will be cost neutral for the budget because AMU expects to increase enrollment and thanks to Founder Tom Monaghan and other generous donors, the $250 million infrastructure in place is ready to accommodate this growth. With nearly 1,000 students from 48 states and 18 countries, AMU is ready for the student body to reach 1,500 by the fall of 2016.

the 22% reduction 4

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tuition and fees 2013-14 2014-15


$23,000 $17,940 $5,060

Leaders | student life

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The AMU Class Of 2017 Arrives By Brigid


hey’re a non-traditional bunch. Some have experienced life—and war— overseas. Others have campaigned for issues close to their heart. Still others have found that helping others is their calling. Meet Alex. He’s a former Marine who earned a Purple Heart during his time in Afghanistan and now wants to help other Wounded Warriors. Say hi to Vito. He’s another former Marine who set aside his career to study here on his way to be an attorney. Get to know Letty. She’s a budding politician who can’t wait to see what’s in store for her at AMU.


Listen to George’s story. He’s a football player who believes he’s here for a higher purpose. Learn about Margaret. She’s dedicated her young life to help others. Each of them have their own tale to tell, their own reason for coming to Ave Maria University. It’s not just about academics and earning a diploma or getting a job one day. Their lives are about faith, about service, about the future. Read their stories in the following pages.

Photos by Erik Kell ar photography | fall 2013 |


alex morton Alex Morton will tell you where he found paradise. For five months earlier this year, he worked as a whitewater rafting guide on the Ocoee River in Tennessee where he discovered that someplace special. “It’s like going to heaven,’’ he said. The 25-year-old started his studies at Ave Maria University this fall after earning a Purple Heart while serving with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. After serving his country for five years, he came to campus to study business administration and combine his love of the outdoors with serving others who may not be as fortunate as he is. His sister, Emily, studies at AMU so Alex knew about the school. Raised Catholic and homeschooled until high school, Alex sought the experience at AMU to do more with his life. “I knew I could come here and go to school, get a degree,’’ he said. “But my passion is the outdoors and I want to do something with that.” His goal is to start an international expedition


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company that will take serious adventurers to places in South America or Russia. They’ll be able to rock climb, climb mountains and do some action-packed white water rafting. But his business will also have a non-profit side, where he’ll bring military vets from Wounded Warriors and children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation into the outdoors to heal. “I want to take them out of their hospital bed so they can see nature in a pure place,’’ he said. “I’ve seen so many vets out there way worse than me, I just want to help.” Alex said he’s learned a lot from his experiences in the military, his adventures in the outdoors and just through living to know he can make a difference. It’s in his spirit to be open and non-judgmental of people he meets. It’s a balance in beliefs, in life, in learning, that can make a difference. “I’ve had people in the Marine Corps, in the outdoors community say to me, ‘Why are you so nice? You don’t share the same beliefs as me.’ And I know it opens up those one-on-one moments. You can open people up to Christ.”

Leaders | student life

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LETT Y B U R G I N Nine years ago, Letty Burgin gave her first political speech. The crowd numbered 1,000. The topic was conservatism. She was 9 years old. The local Republican Party of Hillsborough County enjoyed the speech so much she was the speaker designate for an up-and-coming politician, Marco Rubio, now a Florida Senator. “I just knew how important it is for conservatives to be in politics and that’s what I talked about,’’ the Ave Maria University freshman explained. The result: a standing ovation for this young speaker. Letty, who is from Plant City, is studying political science at AMU. She’s a campaign veteran, working on campaigns throughout Florida and for her siblings who ran for office. She also worked as a page and a messenger for the Florida House so she’s been around world of politics for half of her young life. Letty learned about AMU from her sister’s campaign adviser who lives in the area. She visited in February and in August, she was unpacking her belongings in a dorm room. “I was looking for a school reflecting my values,’’ she said. “I wanted a school that supported my conservative values.” She looked around the country and found AMU to give her what she was looking for. Letty, who is Baptist, said the Catholic education here at AMU is something she respects. “I really didn’t want to be torn down for my conservative beliefs,’’ she said. Also active in the pro-life movement, Letty hopes to be active on campus on that issue, too. Her sister, Rachel, is the executive director of Florida Right to Life. A former state representative from Hillsborough County, she sponsored the 2009 ultrasound bill requiring that ultrasounds be performed on any woman seeking an abortion. “I’ve definitely learned a lot being around politics,’’ she said. Letty said she looks forward to the March for Life this winter, an event that nearly a third of all AMU students take part in when they travel to Washington, D.C. She’s also interested in choir and another area of student life. “Student government,’’ she says, smiling. Student government president? “Maybe next year. We’ll see.” | fall 2013 |


George de los Reyes For George de los Reyes, Ave Maria University was the perfect place. He could get the quality Catholic education he desired. He’d earned the chance to play football. And he was close enough to his parents’ home in Naples that he could drive there for a home-cooked meal. Just every once in a while. But it wasn’t just academics, two-a-days in the searing Southwest Florida sun and being close to family and friends that brought him east to campus. “I came to Ave Maria to know why I believe,’’ said the 18-year-old who was raised Catholic. “That’s the most important part of Ave Maria for me.” George, an incoming freshman in the AMU Honors Program, was home-schooled for most of his young life, but graduated from First Baptist Academy in Naples after attending the school for two years. George filled his time there; football, basketball, the National Honor Society. Among his accomplishments, he won the prestigious Harvard Book Award. He learned a lot spiritually at First Baptist. “You get to meet a lot of different people and instead of attacking them, you learn about what they believe and you respect them,’’ he said. “I’m sure I’ll find that here.” Studying political science and theology, George is considering sales or getting a law degree. He’s got big plans for his college career first, though. Add student government and an AMU household, a sort of spiritual fraternity to the mix with his football experience. “I want to get the full Ave Maria college experience,’’ he said. “I want to have fun but also be closer to God.”


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M A G G I E ST U T Z M A N When she’s not in class, Maggie Stutzman finds her special place, not far from the Ave Maria University campus. She’s not alone, but her companion is the strong, silent type. “I’ve always had a special feeling when I’m riding,’’ she says, as her counterpart, Irish, a 13-year-old paint thoroughbred/ quarter horse seemingly listens in on the conversation at the Ave Maria stables. “The feeling of being on a trail ride, you just feel closer to God.” Eighteen-year-old Maggie, who is from Hilton Head, S.C., is a freshman at AMU and probably the only new student who trailered her horse for the trip to Southwest Florida. “I couldn’t imagine not having him here,’’ she said. “He had to come with me.” That the stables are a short drive from campus was a big selling point for Maggie who tries to ride Irish at least three times each week. Although she’d considered some other schools, when she visited the campus in 2011 during an Open House with her youth group leader, she knew she’d found the place where she’d study. “The campus is so beautiful. And they were the only place that mentioned there were stables,’’ she said. Riding since she was 3 years old, Maggie was a show rider who competed for years when she was younger. But it was another part of her equine experience that really made a difference for her and became part of her life during high school. Called Heroes on Horseback, she worked with the group, which offers therapeutic riding for children with disabilities. She hopes to continue helping when she’s home and maybe find a local program to take part in. “It was really rewarding,” Maggie said. “Some were so hesitant in the beginning, but then they got into it. They’d be so proud of themselves and learning everything.” Maggie isn’t sure yet what she wants to study, but she’s considering biology, marine biology or being an equine veterinarian. But Maggie, who was raised Catholic, says having the AMU spiritual experience is important to her, both on campus and in the classroom. “You can really feel the Catholic culture here,’’ she said. | fall 2013 |


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student life




Vito Congine doesn’t mind telling the truth about the first time he came to Ave Maria University. “I fell in love with the campus,’’ he says, explaining how welcoming, friendly and helpful everyone, from admissions counselors to financial aid experts, were in making him feel he was making the right decision. At 50 years old, Vito is pursuing a new career and as an incoming student at AMU, he’s determined to succeed. This former Marine who lives in Golden Gate Estates, just a handful of miles from campus, served 15 years in the military, including a tour of duty in Iraq. He left the military at the rank of gunnery sergeant. “At 18 years old, I wasn’t ready for college then,’’ he says. “But now I am.” An electrician by trade, Vito spent a year in Afghanistan in charge of 208 electricians from a dozen nations. He returned home in January and was ready to hit the books, a little closer to his home in the Naples area.

Having earned his Associates Degree in paralegal studies from the College of Lake County, Grayslake, Ill., he was ready to come to AMU and study pre-law, hopefully on his way to Ave Maria Law School. Taking advantage of veterans and AMU scholarships, he was able to quit his job as an electrician to devote his time to classroom studies. He ticks off his classes for the semester: theology, political science, math, literature. “I know it’s academically hard,’’ he said. “Something like this doesn’t scare most people who came out of combat tours. You don’t quit. You stay with it.” Vito grew up Catholic and thinks the AMU spiritual experience will add to his education— and to his ultimate goal as an attorney specializing in labor law or civil rights law. “I want to help people,’’ he said. “I can’t think of a better place to learn than here.” amu

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U n i v e r s i t y D i g e s t | o n cam p u s

academic convocation Board of Trustees member Arthur Brooks was the keynote speaker at the Ave Maria University 2013-2014 Academic Convocation held in September. Brooks is also the President of the America Enterprise Institute. Photo by Josef Hofbauer

novak birthday conference Ambassador Michael Novak shares his thoughts on his daylong conference to celebrate his 80th birthday in September. Scholars from around the nation came to praise Novak. Speakers included George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Catholic theologian, Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute, Brian Anderson, Editor, City Journal and Father Derek Cross of the Toronto Oratory. Photo by sara bowes

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new dean of students Julie Cosden was promoted to the role of Dean of Students. For the last five years, Cosden has served as Director of Student Life, responsible for the administration and oversight of virtually all student events and activities on campus, including various campus-wide concerts, lectures, weekly series and programming, and other social events. She manages the Student Government Association and the Student Activities Board and will now add managing Campus Ministry, Intramural Athletics, the Rome Study Abroad Program and Counseling Services to her list of jobs as well as be involved in student discipline. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from The Catholic University of America.

Faculty BBQ AMU President Jim Towey and his wife Mary chat with faculty members and their families at the Welcome Back Faculty BBQ in August. Photo by Jason Easterly

commencement Class of 2013 graduates march into the commencement exercises in May. AMU handed out 174 diplomas this spring. Photo by Erik Kellar Photography |fall 2013 |


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5200620072008 1201220132014 “THE BEST CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY” Ave Maria University Finds A Home - And Success B Y B R I G I D O ’ M A LL E Y


little more than a decade ago, the idea of a Catholic university planted in the middle of thousands of acres of farm fields in eastern Collier County, just a dozen miles from the exclusive coastal living of Naples, Florida, was a far-fetched, far-flung and a faraway notion in a billionaire’s mind. The idea would take hold, flourish and produce Ave Maria University, the newest Catholic University in the United States in 40 years. “Our goal is to have the finest Catholic university we can possibly build,’’ said Ave Maria University Founder Tom Monaghan at the 2003 announcement about his bold effort in Southwest Florida. “We want to be the best Catholic university, not the biggest.” The campus would sit in a new town off a straightaway boulevard through the Collier County wilderness called Oil Well Road. The town also called Ave Maria, would grow around the University and bring thousands to live within a golf cart ride of the campus. Welcomed by the faithful and lauded as authentically Catholic, the University would first occupy a North Naples campus while construction commenced in Ave Maria. And when it began, a new spirit found its way to Collier County, rising up in the east. From the monstrous job of erecting the landmark Oratory to the tremendous task of designing a Southwest Florida campus, with its ivy-draped library, inviting student union building and busy

network of dorms, a University like no other was about to blossom. The University would attract donors of conservative beliefs, both political and religious, and other supporters of considerable wealth and fame. With no alumni, those believers would have to produce results. And they did, with money coming in by the millions to cover scholarships and the cost of operating the University. Monaghan, now the University Chancellor, continues his generous support to this day. As they built it, students came. They sought a liberal arts education while enriching their Catholic faith. Some sought the intellectual challenge. Others sought the ability to grow in their faith. Still others came for the college experience of building lasting friendships and taking part in college life, from athletics to the arts. Top-flight faculty sought to teach here and bring their scholarly strengths to a new generation seeking education. Professional staff members came to be part of the growing of a new University and to experience bringing a new element of Catholic education to life. The surrounding community gained an ally in the struggle to help those in need. In Immokalee, the poorest agricultural town in South Florida, the University launched service projects. Students worked with the neediest of all, helping with reading, writing, mentoring, feeding the hungry and ministering to the poor, children and young adults.

The University grew too, adding performing arts, a football team, education and accounting majors and more students. As the numbers expanded, with nearly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students on campus, the word spread, too. As its national stature continues to gain momentum, more young men and women are seeking the education and experience the University offers. The message is spreading that Ave Maria University can offer these students an exciting, dynamic education, one that readies them to be tomorrow’s leaders. They’ll be prepared to bring the intellectual enthusiasm and the spiritual strength to our society. Take the long 10-year journey with us as we hit the highlights and flash back through the years. You’ll see some familiar faces and read some familiar – or not so familiar - names. It’s a trip down Ave Maria Boulevard that you’ll remember and want to share with those considering an Ave Maria University education. If you’re an alumnus, you will no doubt recall your years on campus. If you’re a longtime supporter, you’ll refresh your memory on our past. If you’re new to the Ave Maria University experience, you’ll want to read about us here and then visit our subtropical, palm tree-laden campus and learn about our mission. Our first 10 years will be just the beginning of our success story.


“A Catholic College, a Billionaire’s Idea, Will Rise in Florida,” the New York Times Proclaimed.

The nation’s newest Catholic university grabbed the spotlight. Media members from around the nation arrived in Naples, Florida to see Opening Day.


one might say. Or at least inspired,” Naples Daily News editorial on the opening of the campus. “We wanted to build a major Catholic university in the southern part of the U.S. with the highest standards.” - AMU Founder Tom Monaghan

AMU Founder Thomas S. Monaghan

Students outside AMU’s Vineyards campus in Naples.


s the world watched, the nation’s newest Catholic university grew from tomato fields south of Immokalee, Florida. The campus started to take shape as Ave Maria University began its string of firsts. From the first Founders Club, a group that works to promote AMU, to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Naples, the University was taking its first steps to getting on the local and national stage.

From tomato fields, a campus grew.

‘04 Before there was a campus, crops grew at AMU.

Students enjoy a laugh.



t was the time for growth. The University’s first phase in eastern Collier County got the go-ahead, permitting plans were OK’d and construction on the University campus commenced. The idea of a huge Oratory soaring into the eastern skies was born. The academic year began with 400 students and 45 faculty members. And most importantly, 23 undergraduates were part of the first commencement in Naples.

Oratory Rendering

Students enjoy an AMU dance.

AMU Students study on the Vineyards Campus. Students participate in the “AMU Coliseum.”


his year marked a year of construction and groundbreaking for the universty. With the first walls of the campus buildings going up, a cornerstone of faith laid at the Oratory, and the hanging of a cross on the top of the Oratory, the Ave Maria University spirit was taking shape.

‘06 Students pose on campus.

The Cornerstone of the Oratory is blessed.

The cross is hung atop the Oratory.

Dr. Maria Fedoryka instructs a philosophy class.


“…I have this undeserved


that I can get the job done. I may be blessed with ignorance – but maybe that’s an advantage.” - AMU Founder Tom Monaghan


ith permanence settling onto the campus as buildings arose, the University’s growth was gaining steam. A ribbon cutting made it official. Outside interest in this Catholic campus within a new community also now blossoming on the outskirts of the wilds of Southwest Florida, was stoked by more media coverage, including a New Yorker profile on Founder Tom Monaghan. Classes began on the new campus.

Students enjoy the new campus.

Students celebrate on campus.

The first AMU President Nick Healy and other AMU officials attend the permanent campus ribbon cutting.

‘08 The first Women’s Basketball team to compete in the NAIA poses on the Ave Maria University sign on campus.


ollegiate sports programs arrived at University in the form of sports teams called the Gyrenes. The Student Union was built to house everything from the cafeteria to the event ballroom to the offices housing the inner-workings of Student Life. The Oratory was officially dedicated. Diplomas were handed out to 178.

Oratory dedication ceremony.

Orientation Weekend Luau at the pool.

Bob Thomas Student Union dedication.

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all it the year of the students. Their on-campus lives got a boost when the new residence hall, the 550-student Mega-Dorm, was opened. Student activities grew with teambuilding, spirit-building events like Dorm Wars emerged as the newest Catholic university in the nation took shape.

The Mega-Dorm is opened.

Students participate in Dorm Wars.

Students relax at the Bean on Open Mic Nights.

‘10 Students cook during the Iron Chef of Pizza with AMU Founder Tom Monaghan.


cademics took center stage as the University earned its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools. Athletics took flight as the Golisano Field House was built and opened to give the Gyrenes home court advantage. Tom Golisano, famed philanthropist and University supporter gave the Gyrenes a place to play on campus and gave the student-athletes a much needed cheering section.

Tom Monaghan and Tom Golisano participate in the ribbon cutting for the Golisano Field House.

Jax leads the cheers.

‘11 AMU President Towey is conferred the presidency of AMU.

Fans cheer on the Gyrenes.


resident Jim Towey became the University’s second president. Bringing his Washington, D.C. experience, the University was readying to be led into the next decade. The Oratory’s final piece was put into place as the Annunciation Sculpture was unveiled. Bishop Dewane formally recognized AMU as a Catholic university.

The Oratory sculpture is unveiled.



he University’s biggest fundraiser was put into place with the first Scholarship Dinner. The Gyrenes picked up their first win on the football field when they defeated Southern Virginia University. Students, faculty, staff and University supporters turned the Feast of the Annunciation into a community event and the March for Life in Washington, D.C. attracted nearly half the students to board buses and head north. Special guests, from President George W. Bush to his brother, Jeb, made it a point to talk up AMU.

President George W. Bush poses with AMU President Jim Towey.

AMU students jam March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush receives an honorary degree from President Towey.

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ith two new majors, education and accounting, the University’s majors jumped to 23. Financially, the University’s future outlook was pronounced stable and Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services awarded the University an investment rating of BBBafter reviewing its finances, allowing the University to sell its bonds this summer. President Towey and 12 students traveled to Calcutta to follow in the Florida Governor Rick Scott with President Jim Towey footsteps of Mother Teresa. The at the 2013 commencement. University grabbed part of the Papal spotlight with a Scholarship Dinner speaker, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C., who was headed to Rome to elect the new Pope just days after his speech at the University’s Second Annual Scholarship Dinner.

Students greet AMU President Jim Towey and Cardinal Wuerl at the 2013 Scholarship Dinner.

Lauren Hebert hangs sheets in Calcutta as part of a mission trip.


As AMU’s celebration of our

10th anniversary carries on into 2014, here’s a look at what to expect:

Feb. 20: The Third Annual Scholarship Dinner honoring Mrs. Myra Janco Daniels will be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida. The biggest fundraiser of the year for the University provides scholarship funds to our students. March 25: Feast of the Annunciation Celebration. The event features a Mass, the President’s Reception, a steak cookout dinner on the green, live band entertainment and a performance from students. April 23-27: Shakespeare in Performance Professor Travis Curtright has grown this production in just two years to one of the most popular events on campus. Several performances will be open to the public. AMU will honor Mrs. Myra Janco Daniels at the Third Annual Scholarship Dinner on Feb. 20.

May 10: Commencement.

Students take part in the Annunciation Festival.

Actors take the stage in Shakespeare in Performance.

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F a c u l t y / Te a c h i n g

a man of big ideas Dr. Sugrue Wants Students to Learn About “The Best That’s Thought and Said” by BRIGID O’MALLEY


ichael Sugrue has a plan for his students. “You come to college to read and write and talk,” he said. That’s why some of his lucky Ave Maria University students have a 15-minute individual, oral exam for a midterm. He wants to talk to them and exchange ideas. He secretly hopes they disagree with him. “I want them to discuss the work,’’ he said. “I want them to think. They don’t have to like what I like. They need have original thoughts. What’s interesting is when we disagree.’’ Sugrue, who hails from Long Island, New York, is a Professor of History. He holds a B.A. from The University of Chicago and an M.A. and M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Before coming to Ave Maria, Professor Sugrue taught history, philosophy, religion, literature and politics at Princeton. During his 10 years at Princeton, he was a member of the Council for the Humanities and the department of politics. Earlier, he taught at Johns Hopkins and Columbia University. Sugrue teaches world history, American history, the history of Western philosophy and the history of literature at AMU. He is married to Dr. Seana Sugrue. He recently completed a one-year sabbatical at Princeton where he taught for the last academic year. Sugrue saw an advertisement for faculty members in 2004 and came to AMU to

interview. He wanted to move to Florida to be closer to his parents. He said he was ready to leave Princeton and move somewhere closer to his Catholic values. “I like the campus,’’ he said. “It’s a campus of moral order.” He said the competence and professionalism that have since followed in the President Jim Towey administration has been tremendous for faculty members. Sugrue’s Humanities course is one of the most popular on campus. His students will read one book per week for 12 weeks. “It enlarges their thinking,’’ he said. He said he thinks all students benefit of learning about “the best that’s thought and said.” His favorite philosopher to teach: Plato. “You can feel Plato cutting new grooves in their brains,’’ he said. And when Plato or another great thinker awakens a student’s learning, he really enjoys it. “It makes me feel like a million bucks,’’ he said. Sugrue doesn’t talk about his prostate cancer in class. He was diagnosed three years ago and underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery and now is in remission. “It really reminded me that I’m not in control anymore,’’ he said. But many on campus know about his health struggles. It hasn’t changed his teaching methods in the classroom, but it has changed his outlook on life. He takes time out to enjoy his family and other nonscholarly endeavors, he says. One of those is obvious to visitors. On the wall outside his office door in the Henkels Academic Building is a photograph of a proud fisherman. It’s Sugrue showing off his 20-pound red grouper. He caught it about 100 miles offshore of Naples. “Hopefully, soon I’ll be back out there,’’ he says, smiling. amu

“You come to college to read and write and talk.” 26

| ave maria magazine |

Faculty/New Members | AMU

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welcome to the team Name: Dr. Stefanie I. Badzinski, Assistant Professor of Psychology Education: Ph.D., Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma; M.S., Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma; M.A., Psychology, University of Dallas, Texas; B.S., Psychology, Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma At AMU: Human Development and Learning, Principles and Methods of Psychology, Social Psychology Name: Daniel Davy, Assistant Professor of History Education: Ph.D., Candidate, History, University of Otago, New Zealand; M.Sc., Scottish History, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; B.A., Ave Maria University, Florida At AMU: Western Civilization I, The American West Name: Denise Donohue, Visiting Assistant Professor of Education Education: Ed.D., Candidate, Educational Leadership, Nova Southeastern University, Florida; M.C.S.L, Catholic School Leadership, University of Dallas, Texas; B.A., Psychology, University of West Florida At AMU: Foundations of Education, Classroom Management and Organization Name: Dr. Charles F. Feeney, Professor of Business Education: LP.D., Law and Policy, Northeastern University, Massachusetts; M.B.A., Northeastern University, Massachusetts; M.S.T., Taxation, Bentley University, Massachusetts; B.S.B.A., Accounting, Boston College, Massachusetts At AMU: Cost Accounting, Finance, Business Law I Name: Dr. Andrey Glubokov, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education: Ph.D., Mathematics, University of New Mexico, New Mexico; M.S., Physics, Moscow State University, Russia At AMU: Functions, Statistics Name: Dr. Deana Basile Kelly, Visiting Instructor of Literature and Italian Education: Ph.D., Italian Literature and Linguistics, University of Toronto, Canada; M.A., Italian Literature and Culture, Boston College, Massachusetts; B.A., Political Science and Italian Studies, University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire At AMU: Elementary Italian, Literary Tradition I, Medieval Literature Name: Dr. Teresita Ramirez-Rosas, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education: Ph.D., Mathematics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California; M.A., Mathematics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California; B.A., Mathematics, University of Guanajuato, Mexico At AMU: Functions, Calculus I, Ordinary Differential Equations Name: David A. Tamisiea, Assistant Professor of Theology Education: Ph.D., Candidate, Theology, Ave Maria University, Florida; M.A., Theology, Ave Maria University, Florida; J.D., University of Texas School of Law, Texas; B.A., Pre-medicine and Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana At AMU: Sacred Scripture, Living in Christ: Moral Theology | fall 2013 |


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1 0 t h a n n iv e r s a r y



316 YEARS AND COUNTING Thirty-six faculty and staff members who have been with AMU for at least 10 years or are celebrating their 10th anniversary this academic year combine for a total of 316 years of service.


ront row, from left: Antionette Bosch, Dr. Seana Sugrue, Dr. Travis Curtright, Linda Richter, Dr. Richard Dittus; Middle row: Father Matthew Lamb, Dr. James Peliska, Dr. Michael Dauphinais, Father Eamon McManus, Christy Dorer; Back row: Patrick Kelly, Donna Rittereiser, Dr. Andrew Dinan, Dr. Gregory Vall, Father Bob Garrity, Dr. Gabriel Martinez. Not pictured: Dr. William Riordan, Dr. Timothy Hermann, Dr. David Twellman, Dr. Maria Fedoryka, Mercedes Cox, Dr. Lynn C. Kraehling, Catherine Dailey, Dr. David Dalin, Dr. Barry David, Dr. Michael Marsalli, Dr. Jorge Calvo, Dr. Michael Sugrue.


| ave maria magazine |

Campus Community | student life

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Moving In To Stay Day


ith Moms, Dads, boxes full of random stuff, refrigerators, piles of clothes and bedspreads in tow, AMU students made their way into the dorms on Orientation Weekend. Some new students even got a little help from President Jim Towey, who turned in his suit jacket to help join the moving team. Getting the dorm rooms in shape takes a little time as roommates negotiate. Photos by Erik Kellar Photography.

a v e ma va er m i a a. re idau. e|d us p| r fi na gl l 22001133 | |


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student life


Campus Community

AMU Steps Up and Serves Up


early 250 members of the AMU community, from students to faculty and staff participated in the Orientation Weekend Service Project. In 2 ½ hours, the AMU group put together 100,000 meals for Meals of Hope to be distributed to schools in Collier and Lee counties. For more information about Meals of Hope, visit http://


| ave maria magazine |

Campus Community | student life

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Destination AMU

whether students were enjoying the sun and slides at the Water Park at Ave Maria or in the middle of the fun at the PlayFair event on campus or meeting new classmates at the cafeteria, Orientation Weekend was busy. Students got a chance to learn about the campus and find new friends. Photos by Jason Easterly | fall 2013 |


Working with the sick and dying was part of the six-day mission trip for a dozen Ave Maria University students who traveled with President Jim Towey in May. They spent time volunteering at some of the houses where illness and death are part of everyday life and at a home where disabled children live. The students experienced the spiritual side of following Mother Teresa’s life of service in Calcutta. President Towey served as legal counsel to Mother Teresa and plans on making the trip an annual pilgrimage for AMU students. The students wrote thank you letters to donors who helped fund their trip. The following is Kendel Jordan’s account.

Benji Ruefer, an AMU junior, comforts and feeds an ill man during the AMU mission trip to Calcutta. Students spent time helping care for the sick and dying.

Photos courtesy of jim towey


| ave maria magazine |

Calcutta | student life

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Kendel Jordan, AMU Class of 2016


ell, I made it back from my first mission trip in one piece! Unless you count the pieces of my heart which I left behind. When my classmates from Ave Maria University and I first landed in Kolkata (Calcutta), I was immediately struck by the city’s chaos. Past and present seemed fused together. Brand name stores, motor vehicles and businessmen, all shared the same streets with rickshaws, livestock, and homemade shelters. Piles of trash were everywhere. It was common to have homeless people knocking on my car window, or even to have poor children hugging my knees and pulling on my arms as I walked down the street. Our guesthouse was right down the road from the Missionaries of Charity Mother House. I woke up every morning at 5 a.m. to go to Mass with the Sisters, and returned every evening for Holy Hour. In the mornings I went to work with the Sisters at Prem Dan (“House of Love”), which is a hospice for the convalescent, elderly, and handicapped who have been abandoned by their families. Even though I had learned how to speak a few words in Bengali/Hindu, there still existed a major language barrier between me and the patients. But I quickly learned that love and smiling are a truly universal language. After cleaning the building from floor to ceiling, I spent time feeding and cleaning the women who lived there, or simply holding their hands. In the afternoons, I fed and played with the beautiful children at Daya Dan, a home for severely handicapped orphans and children too old for adoption. I also got the opportunity to experience life in the slums of India, where Mother Teresa began her mission. People were sifting through great piles of garbage or bathing with pots of water on the roadside. I witnessed families of eight sharing a sleeping space no bigger than my closet. And yet there was so much joy there, especially among the children. They were so excited just to ask me my name or shake my hand. Some of them eventually dragged us into a big dusty field to play cricket. I was also able to meet with some teenagers who call the slums their

Mother Teresa ministered to the neediest, the sick and the dying in the slums of Calcutta. AMU students experienced the same scenes of despair and poverty during their mission trip there.

home back at Seva Kendra, a social services center of the Diocese of Kolkata. It was interesting to talk with these students and discover that despite living half a world away, we actually have a lot in common. I also met two of Mother Teresa’s closest friends. They welcomed our group into their elegant home and had us sit on the floor as they told us stories about Mother. Some of the stories brought us to tears; others made us all laugh out loud. Sometimes we forget that the saints were also ordinary people. I was very sad to leave India. I had never felt so tired or dirty and yet I had never felt happier, either! I really haven’t been the same since the trip. (And I don’t just mean that I find driving on American streets incredibly boring, or that I occasionally get a craving for curry.) I am definitely more appreciative of the people and possessions in my life. I’ve also taken to heart Mother Teresa’s reminder that we don’t have to go to a Third World country to help the poor. There are people hungry for love in every corner of the world, even in our own homes. So even though I do not know if I will ever go on a foreign mission again, that doesn’t mean I cannot be a missionary. We are all called to be missionaries.

A HELPING HAND This fall, AMU students will be working to raise money to put a solar panel lighting system on a school in one of the poorest parts of Calcutta. The AMU group visited Seva Kendra, a Catholic Charitiessponsored social service center, which works to install solar panels on the roofs of boarding schools. With solar lighting, the boarding students, ages 6 to 16, can study in the evenings. The systems cost 300,000 rupees which is about $5,000. To help, contact Andrea Allphin at “mailto:andrea. allphin@avemaria. edu”, andrea. allphin@avemaria. edu or 239-280-1565.

amu | fall 2013 |


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amu o n t h e r o a d



when in rome . . .

AMU Students Study Latin Where It All Began by Dr. Joseph Yarbrough


ABOVE: AMU alumnus Fr. Matthew Grady sits with Ave Maria students before a rooftop dinner near the Gregorian University in Rome. RIGHT: Cody David (left) and John Paul Jaquith (right) inspect the panoramic view of Rome from atop the Janiculum Hill just south of the Vatican. Photos Courtesy of Dr. Joseph Yarbrough


| ave maria magazine |

here better to study Latin than in Rome itself? Eleven students had this very opportunity for 10 days this June as part of the Ave Maria University’s Department of Classics & Early Christian Literature. The students weren’t newcomers to Latin, either. Each of these students had studied Latin for at least three semesters, so the group was in a unique position to appreciate Rome’s art, churches, and monuments. The aim of Dr. Andrew Dinan and I in offering this course was to share with their students the living realities that underlie the Latin words on the page. Under the shade of Bernini’s colonnade in St. Peter’s Square, students read a homily by Pope St. Leo the Great about the patrons of Rome, St. Peter and St. Paul. Earlier that morning students had seen some of these very Latin words inscribed on a door of the Clementine Chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica, where they had attended Mass. Having read in the Vulgate of St. Paul’s desire to visit Rome, they saw the consummation of his love for the Romans at Tre Fontane, where St. Paul was martyred. A few miles away at the patriarchal basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, they knelt in prayer before the final resting place of his bones. At Ostia, Rome’s ancient port, students walked among the ruins where St. Augustine had wept over the death of his mother, St. Monica. As St. Augustine relates in the Confessions, he finally found some consolation in the words of a hymn by St. Ambrose, which students were able both to read and to listen to through the iBook for iPad that their professors had written for the course. The Latin language provided students with more than a linguistic key to Rome’s culture. It also served to introduce them into places not open to the public. Msgr. Daniel Gallagher, one of the Pope’s Latin secretaries, was pleased to take the group on a private tour of the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. To read more about the group’s trip, visit http:// and explore the Department of Classics. amu

L a n g u a g e | o n cam p u s

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greek speak

From AMU to the Zoo, Ancient Greek Spoken Here by BRIGID



hey start with the alphabet and then eventually, they’re having light conversations about monkeys at the Naples Zoo. And it’s all Greek to them, both inside and outside the classroom at a summer workshop offered at Ave Maria University. For three weeks and for four hours each day, nine students, a few from AMU and others from around the nation, gathered to speak and hear the only ancient Greek of the first centuries A.D. The University offered the course as part of its

Members of the summer Greek language workshop enjoy the Naples Zoo.

second annual workshop in instruction on using the classical languages such as Latin and Greek as “living languages.” The students learned to understand dialogues, read text and carry on basic conversations with speakers of ancient Greek. Dr. Christophe Rico of the Polis Institute in Jerusalem taught the course for the second straight summer. He’ll be returning next year and adding a second level to the Greek course for those who’ve mastered the first level. The idea is to use your Greek. Your vocabulary will grow as will a greater interest in the language, which isn’t the easiest of the classics to conquer.

“Whenever I would see them in the dorms, I’d speak Greek,’’ Rico said. “And then they end up themselves speaking Greek in the dorms. It’s simple Greek. But it’s a great exercise.” In the classroom, the students began with the basics. Then through storytelling exercises and his own text book, Rico takes the students deeper. One morning, as he tells what seems to be a long, complicated story seems to be easily understood by the students. The tale about a burglar, a dog, a chase and a fall into some water seems to be entertaining. They grab onto some words and using the context that they can understand, they come up with the answers as he circles the room, asking questions. They even smile at his joke-telling. Outside the classroom, the students travel to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Collier County and to the Naples Zoo. These opportunities build an awareness of vocabulary for basic facts and word usage, often not normally used in the classroom. They also allow students to talk more naturally among themselves and with instructors. Judy Corrao, a senior at AMU, who is studying the classics and theology, said she appreciates the bit of immersion. A speaker of English, French and a student of Latin for two years, she said Greek seemed a bit easier. She said the group only got a few strange looks from people as the students used the words for tiger and monkey to talk about the animals. Some people were puzzled, trying to figure out what language they were speaking. “I like the fact that he forces you to speak Greek,’’ she said. Revel Martinez, a 26-year-old graduate student at Sao Paulo University in Brazil, has studied Greek for more than two years. “I’ve never seen this kind of teaching. It’s awesome,’’ he said. “We can deal with the language through a different point of view.” The course is designed for beginners as well as those who may have studied the language for a year or two, said Dr. Bradley Ritter, AMU professor of classics. “It operates in the most ancient method of teaching,’’ Ritter said. “People want to speak it.” amu | fall 2013 |


Junior Wide Receiver Chris Fahey snags AMU’s second touchdown to put the Gyrenes ahead 13-0 to start the game.


| ave maria magazine |

F o o t b a l l | A t h l e t ic s

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the ultimate away game Gyrenes March Onto Chicago’s Soldier Field Story by

kevin joyce |

photos by

erik kellar photography


t’s an opportunity that comes along once in lifetime. Chicago. Soldier Field. Football. For the Ave Maria University football team, stepping onto the Kentucky Bluegrass of Soldier Field in Chicago, was a chance to live out a dream. For a few hours on a warm Saturday afternoon, the Gyrenes took to Soldier Field, one of the most storied venues in American sports and the home of the Chicago Bears, and played their season opener. The idea behind the trip wasn’t only to play football, but to bring the AMU experience to the city by sharing the mission, recruiting new students to the University and meeting with donors whose generous support allows these football players the chance to study on the Southwest Florida campus. For the football team, it was also a chance to see some of the most historic parts of one of the United States’ greatest cities. On Aug. 29, the Gyrenes left the heat, humidity and home field of Ave Maria and traveled to Chicago to play NAIA Top 25 Robert Morris University at Soldier Field. A group of 75 players, coaches and trainers represented the University for three days in the Windy City.

AMU Founder Tom Monoghan sports his Gyrene colors at the game. | fall 2013 |


Senior Captain Gage Hayes fires the team up before their first game at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Members of the Gyrene football team enjoy lunch at Chicago eatery, Lou Mitchell’s. The team also took a sightseeing tour of the city.


| ave maria magazine |

After landing at O’Hare Airport, the team headed immediately to Connie’s Pizza for some Chicago Style Pizza. Freshman Ulises Marquez took home the MVP award for downing 13 pieces of pizza. The average person is stuffed after just two slices, locals say. On Friday, the day before game day, the Gyrenes got down to some football business. National powerhouse Mount Carmel High School opened their facilities to the football team for a pre-game practice on Friday morning. Mount Carmel is also the alma mater of Head Coach Marty Quinn and starting linebacker, sophomore Frank Kelly who scored the first defensive touchdown in school history last season. After practice, the team had a chance to talk with some of the high school students at Mount Carmel about AMU and the commitment required by a student athlete in college. A little time was set aside to take in the stunning culture of the city as the team visited the Shedd Aquarium on Chicago’s scenic lakefront.

Authentic ethnic food could be considered part of the Chicago cultural stop and Joe DiBuono owner of Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap served up a great homemade Italian -style dinner for the team on Friday night. On game day, Aug 31, Father. Tom Hurley, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church, said Holy Mass for the team in the historic church. The parish was home to many of the city’s early Irish immigrants who fled famine and religious discrimination for the hope of a better life. The church itself was the only church building to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Following Mass, as the rain clouds moved in the team toured the near west side of the city, a once rundown neighborhood, that has become vibrant once again thanks to the building of the United Center and the six World Championships from the Michael Jordan Era Chicago Bulls. The team also got a taste of Chicago at another well-known establishment that has been frequented by Presidents and celebrities from around the globe. Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant opened

their doors to the Ave Maria Family for a pre-game meal. The AMU-RMU game got off to a late start thanks to some heavy rain. AMU struck early going up 13-0 on touchdown passes to Richard Shockley and Chris Fahey from freshman quarterback Clayton Uecker. The Gyrenes dropped the game, 34-20 in a tough fought game in front of 5,000 fans. The final stop after the game was Lizzie McNeil’s where the team came together to eat and enjoy the Navy Pier fireworks show with friends and family. amu

Junior Wide Receiver Travis Makauskas greets fans after a 34-20 loss to Robert Morris in Chicago. | fall 2013 |


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a t h l e t ic s


A Season of Change for AMU Men’s Hoops New coach, new players, same winning tradition by Colin Voreis

Coach Ken Dagostino, the new head coach of the men’s basketball team, is hoping to continue the winning Gyrene tradition this season. Photo by Erik Kellar Photography


| ave maria magazine |

Men’s Basketball


he upcoming season for the Ave Maria University men’s basketball team will be full of changes. Say hello to the new head coach and say goodbye to four starters who graduated. But winning remains in the AMU game plan. Ave Maria’s new men’s basketball head coach, Ken Dagostino, didn’t leave Hudson Valley Community College for just a new job. He is taking over a program that has increased their win total in each of the last four years. He’s looking to carry on that Gyrene winning tradition. “Our primary goal is to improve ourselves on and off the court each day. If we can do that, the wins will take care of themselves,” said Dagostino. Dagostino moved to Ave Maria earlier this year with his wife Christine and two young children, Olivia and Kenny. “It was difficult being away from my family during the first two months at Ave Maria. We were fortunate to be able to Skype, but that is still not the same as having them here with me on a day to day basis,’’ he said. “ Now that my family is here and settled my mind is at ease.” Dagostino has already shown his ability to recruit. The Gyrenes had 24 basketball studentathletes on campus for the first day of classes. “We try to recruit high character people, great students, and passionate athletes,” he said.

Being located in Southwest Florida is also very attractive to prospective student-athletes, especially the northerners,” he said. The returning players are also ready for the season to begin. Senior guard Matt Chattin has a positive outlook despite the recent coaching shuffle. “Coach Dagostino is willing to do whatever it takes for us to be successful on and off the court,” said Chattin, who spoke to Coach “Dags” often over the phone during the summer. “Even though we lost five seniors, I believe that we can still win the conference championship. We have to trust in Coach Dagostino’s philosophy and work hard. If we can focus on the task at hand, good things will happen.” Coach Dagostino played his college ball at Iona College in New York, where he was a walk-on during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He went on to earn a scholarship for the Gaels in his final two years of play. He was the captain of the 2006 MAAC championship team for coach Jeff Ruland. The Gaels went 23-8 in his senior season and made it to the first round of the NCAA tournament, but lost to fourth-seeded LSU in the first round. amu

N e w C o a c h e s | a t h l e t ic s





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Collier High School in Naples. He spent 13


years as the head coach of the girl’s soccer

received a degree in Political Science and was a

years with the girl’s program at Barron Collier,

team at Naples High School. While at Naples,

member of the Eagles’ golf team.

and 12 years as the head coach. He led the

Frostino has led the Golden Eagles to a record

A graduate of Ida S. Baker HS in Cape

Cougars to 10 district titles in his 12 seasons

of 96-54-7. In 2009 his team was named

Coral, Fla., Hannaford began her collegiate

as head coach.

the Academic Team Champion Program. In

career at Barry University to play for

addition to his time spent at Naples High,

coach and LPGA winner Patti Rizzo before

soccer arena, and helped the growth of youth

Frostino served as the coach of the Chicago

transferring to FGCU at the beginning of her

soccer across Southwest Florida. He led

Fire Juniors club team from 2010-2012.

sophomore year. As a sophomore she averaged

his U16 boys team to a United States Club

a score of 81.20, with her best finish being at

National Title in 2010.

coach at Ave Maria University two short years

the Atlantic Sun Championships where she

aymond Morgan, in his first year as head men’s soccer coach for the Gyrenes, comes to AMU from Barron

Morgan has also seen success in the club

Morgan developed the Southwest Florida

rank Frostino was announced as the new women’s soccer coach in June, 2013. Frostino has spent the last eight

Frostino served as the head women’s soccer


ackie Hannaford was named head men’s and women’s golf coach in July of 2013. Hannaford, a graduate of FGCU,

ago. During his first two seasons, the Lady

tied for 28th with a three-round score of 235

United Soccer Academy along with his

Gyrenes recorded consecutive season highs


brother Dwight in 2008. The academy is a

in wins and finished the 2010 season with a

In the first match of 2013 for the men’s

camp for athletes from 6 years old to high

No. 17 ranking in the USCAA. He brings not

team at the NAIA Fall Preview, the Gyrenes

school seniors, and runs for several weeks

only experience in building a soccer program,

fired a total score of 907. James Desanges, a

throughout the summer. It allows young

but also determination and desire to develop

freshman from Surrey, England, finished a

athletes the chance to experience a variety

the Lady Gyrenes and turn them into a

final round of even-par 72. He finished the

of coaching perspectives, learn about playing

consistent and competitive team within the

tournament at 220 and in a tie for 18th place

opportunities outside of school, and to

Sun Conference and the NAIA.

individually. Travis Miller also went low in the

become better overall players. Dwight will be

final round of the Fall Preview with a one-over

assisting Ray at Ave Maria. Ray and Dwight

team has already matched their 2012 win

par 73 to finish at 224.

are looking to improve on the soccer team’s

total, with big wins against Wiley College

Tatenda Mabikacheche fueled the women’s

2-13 record in 2012.

(Texas), Florida Memorial University and

team in their first match of 2013, posting a

Johnson University (Florida).

36-hole total of 187 (98-89) to finish in 27th

Through six games in 2013, the women’s

place as an individual at the 20th Annual Webber Intercollegiate on Sept. 24. | fall 2013 |


S t e p h e n ’ s S t o r y | a t h l e t ic s

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Fighting Back AMU pitcher tries to strike out cancer BY COLIN VOREIS


tephen Grove has more to fight for this year than ever before. And it’s not just about his earned runs, his strikeouts and his performance on the baseball diamond. The 21-year-old Ave Maria University pitcher was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in June and has been going

“It is going to be an epic story the day Stephen Grove takes the mound in the spring of 2014,’’ – Baseball Coach Shawn Summe through chemotherapy treatments since mid-summer. One morning, he woke up with what he described as an odd pain in his chest. He thought that he might have strained his pectoral muscle while pitching, but the pain remained days later. He went to an urgent care center and doctors called him later that afternoon to tell him that he had a mass in his chest, and to go see the Florida Cancer Specialists as soon as possible. “It was probably the worst call that I have ever received,” Stephen said. His girlfriend, whose mother works for Florida Cancer Specialists, helped Stephen get an appointment the next day. “I am lucky to have the support system that I do,” he said. His current doctor cured his father’s cancer a few years ago.

Stephen began chemotherapy a short time later, and finished his sixth chemo treatment on Sept. 6. After his fourth treatment, the doctors found that 80% of the mass in his chest was dead. The chemo is not holding Grove back. He is continuing with classes at AMU and training with the team throughout the fall. “Stephen is the toughest player that I have ever coached,” said Head Baseball Coach and Athletics Director Shawn Summe. “He is the perfect example of a hard worker. He is someone that our guys look up to.” Hailing from Naples, Fla., Stephen graduated from Naples High School in 2011 and was considered the top pitcher in the county during his senior season. He began his collegiate career at Saint Leo University, where he redshirted his freshman year. He transferred to AMU last spring to play for Coach Summe. The two became friends. Summe would stop by Stephen’s house on his way home from campus this summer to play video games and keep his player’s mind off of the treatment. “Coach Summe actually beat me in NCAA Football ’13 a few times this summer,” he admitted. “We had a great time together.” Stephen is majoring in business. His favorite class is Intermediate Spanish, and although challenging, he seems to excel. “He is on top of his academics,” said Spanish Professor Dayami Abella. Look for the 2014 Gyrene baseball team to try to improve on a historic 2013 season that saw them advance deep into the playoffs. And look for Stephen to be part of that ride. “It is going to be an epic story the day Stephen Grove takes the mound in the spring of 2014,’’ Coach Summe said. amu | fall 2013 |


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a t h l e t ic s


Vo l l e y b a l l

Bringing the Heat The Lady Gyrenes volleyball team looks to make an impact in the Sun Conference this season



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Senior Hayley Wonka is entering her fourth year at Ave Maria University. Hayley was the recipient of the Coaches Award in her sophomore and junior seasons.

Gladys Chaparro makes an attack in a pre-season scrimmage. Chaparro, a junior from Kissimmee, will make an immediate impact for the Gyrenes in 2013.

Coach John Leonard huddles the team together after a pre-season scrimmage. The Lady Gyrenes look to improve on a 2012 season where they finished sixth in The Sun Conference.

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G r o w i n g O u r F a m i l y | a l um n i

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from AMU to the big show grad Alex Sanchez playing in cubs’ rookie league BY AND R EA ALL P H I N


lex Sanchez came to Ave Maria University in 2009 as one of the first recruits for the new baseball team. Now he’s playing rookie league ball as part of the Arizona League Cubs. Alex knows about patience, hard work and the desire needed to succeed. He learned it on the AMU campus. Alex, (Economics, Class of 2013) who played shortstop for the Gyrenes, remembers the first days of practice with more than 20 recruits and walk-on players. He would be one of only a handful of players to stick with it through the ups and downs of building the program. Alex and his few teammates saw their perseverance rewarded in the spring of 2013. After four years of dedicated hard work and commitment both on and off the field, Alex and his fellow seniors helped the baseball team earn AMU’s first-ever NAIA playoff win. Just a few days later, they proudly walked together across the stage to receive their diplomas at graduation. “It’s been special going through the last four years with my teammates,” Alex said. “We got to see a lot of ‘firsts’ being on the new team—the first wins, the first upsets, the first playoff berth. We’ll always have that together.” Alex has also received special recognition for his individual achievements the last few months. During his senior

season with the Gyrenes, Alex led the NAIA in total hits and was named the Sun Conference Baseball Player of the Year. This summer, Alex was offered the opportunity of a lifetime. After private workouts and a month of waiting and hoping, Alex was called by a Chicago Cubs baseball scout and offered a spot as an infielder on their rookie league team. “I said yes immediately,” he said. “It was a dream come true.” The next day, he was on his way to Mesa, Ariz., to join the team for the last part of the season. For the rest of the summer, Alex lived in a hotel with other signed rookies and spent all his time training, practicing, and playing games with the Arizona League Cubs. “It was a whirlwind—every day was the same: training, practice, batting, games,” Alex explained. “It was great to have the opportunity to follow my dream, and to get Ave Maria’s name out there more. Every time one of us has success, it helps everyone who comes after us.” Since the season ended in August, Alex has moved back to his home in Hialeah, Fla., to train and wait for the baseball season to begin again in the spring. He hopes to continue playing baseball as long as he can, and while he waits for the new season, Alex plans to help with his old team at AMU, especially since his younger brother Christian is a rookie on the team

this year. “I’m especially grateful that I was part of Ave Maria,” Alex said. “AMU strengthened the morals and principles I grew up with and my faith, the most important thing. The people I met and the opportunities I had taught me so much. It was such a blessing.” As Alex looks forward to his exciting future, whether he ever plays at Wrigley Field, or works his way through the farm system, he is sure to look back at the people and opportunities that made it possible. “I just want to stay in baseball— coaching, being a sports agent—anything to stay in the game,” Alex said of his future. “But I know my education has prepared me for whatever comes my way. The business courses and professors helped me grow and learn so I’d be ready for the real world.”

Alex Sanchez led the NAIA in total hits in 2013 with 98. Alex is now playing in the rookie league for the Chicago Cubs Photo courtesy of AMU Athletics | fall 2013 |



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L e a d e r | givi n g

perfect pitch Inspired By Students, Kevin Joyce Turns Giving to AMU Into An Art Form By

B R I G I D O ’ M A LL E Y

Photo by erik kellar photography


f there were a mayor of the Ave Maria University campus, Kevin Joyce would hold that office. In fact, he’d probably win that race in a landslide. He shakes hands, waves and works the crowds, from the restaurants in town to the Student Union and beyond, checking in with students, parents, prospective students and their families, faculty, staff, tourists and just about everyone else. Joyce, the new Vice President of Institutional Advancement since December first came to work on the AMU campus in 2010 as the Director of Government Relations and External Affairs. He also served as Director of Development Communications,

Special Assistant to the President, Athletic Director and head football coach. Now his job is chief fundraiser. “It’s a challenge,’’ Joyce said. “It’s a really great impact you can have here. It’s necessary because without this part of the University, you can’t have the great academics, the great professors and the great athletics.” Generating the buzz to grow a healthy giving community isn’t hard for Joyce, who grew up in Chicago, the son of an Illinois state senator who followed his dad’s political footsteps. Only after being elected four times to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Joyce changed course and headed into academics. Very skilled on the political front, he also ran a consulting firm and worked in government affairs and community relations for Waste Management. He also worked on several Illinois campaigns and was a White House intern. Joyce earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at John Carroll University in Ohio, where he played football and wrestled. Recruited by University founder Tom Monaghan, Joyce said he was impressed with the campus when he first saw it. “I was in awe of how massive it was for being so new,’’ he recalls. “I saw the potential here. I knew that there was a lot I could do here.” As the person out in front on fundraising and making that important pitch, Joyce believes the students’ stories are what make that breakthrough moment when a supporter becomes a donor. Some of these students would never have a chance at an AMU education or any college experience without the financial support of donors. It’s Joyce’s job to relay that message with passion.

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“Being around these young people, I really do see hope for our future. I believe in them,’’ he said. “And our donors see how they are changing lives.” Having worked as an assistant football coach at St. Xavier University in Chicago for four years, Joyce likes being around young people. “I like their energy. I like sharing insights and preparing them for life after college,’’ he said. Raising money for the University comes like second nature to him. He believes in its purpose. He believes in what a Catholic education can do to change a young life. He believes in this University and its students. When he first came to AMU, he spent hours in the cafeteria, talking to everyone that he could. Joyce was out front and ready to learn from students, faculty and staff. “It was the smartest thing I did,’’ Joyce said. “It inspired me.” In August, Joyce accompanied the football team on their trip to Chicago, his hometown, where they played their season opener at Soldier Field. He said watching the young men experience the city and play on an NFL field was awesome. “It really was a dream come true for them,’’ he said. “They never would have had this opportunity if they hadn’t gotten the chance to study here. That’s all part of what we do here, give young people a chance to grow and learn and experience life.” Joyce lives in Ave Maria with his wife Krista and their nine children. They enjoy being so close to campus and being part of the AMU community. “My wife and I really appreciate the opportunity to raise our family in a community that is home to so many kind, moral and devoted students,’’ Joyce said. “We consider it a blessing.” amu | fall 2013 |


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givi n g


Scholarship Dinner

Join Us! It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year and everyone is invited to Naples, Florida to be part of it. Proceeds from this event benefit the AMU Student Scholarship Fund. This year’s dinner honors Naples philanthropist Mrs. Myra Janco Daniels.


For more information about the event, including ticket availability, please contact Andrea Allphin, Director of University Events and Alumni Affairs at or call 239-280-1565.

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Celebrate With Us! February 20, 2014


Grow With Us

3rd Annual Scholarship Dinner Honoring

Mrs. Myra Janco Daniels

AriA Ave M y s i t v e r u n i

QUICK QUIZ ANSWERS (from Page 3): 1. 23; 2. Kevin Joyce; 3. Soldier Field in Chicago; 4. Gunny.

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Reception 5:30 Dinner 6:30 Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort, Naples

The Sun Also Rises The Oratory at Ave Maria University is shown just before daybreak this summer.

Photograph by Erik Kellar Photography

Ave Maria University 5050 Ave Maria Blvd. Ave Maria, FL 34142

Ruff Day, Gunny? A young admirer sneaks a peek at AMU mascot, Gunny, a 4-year-old English Bulldog, as he keeps watch over the events of Orientation Weekend. Photo by Jason Easterly

AMU Magazine Fall 2013