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Ave Maria u n i v e r s i t y M a g a z i n e

Ave Maria Welcomes Former President George W. Bush inside

Towey Inauguration AMU Sues HHS In Memoriam: Jon Scharfenberger

spring 2012

from the president


President Jim Towey with students at the March 2012 Battle of the Bands.

appy Easter! At the Vigil Mass at St. Peter’s, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI seemed to explain why Ave Maria University exists and why our role in the Church to illuminate the path toward knowledge and truth, is vital. He said: “Light makes life possible. It makes encounter possible. It makes communication possible. It makes knowledge, access to reality and to truth, possible. And insofar as it makes knowledge possible, it makes freedom and progress possible. Evil hides. Light, then, is also an expression of the good that both is and creates brightness. It is daylight, which makes it possible for us to act. To say that God created light means that God created the world as a space for knowledge and truth, as a space for encounter and freedom, as a space for good and for love.” Ave Maria University seeks to be such a space. And it is hard to believe that the end of the 2011-12 academic year already is upon us! Our graduating seniors are savoring their last days on campus and looking forward to hearing former Governor Jeb Bush as their commencement speaker. He will be joined by Bill Simon, Jr., and the University will confer honorary degrees on both of these great Americans. I look forward to handing diplomas to 175 men and women upon the completion of their undergraduate and graduate studies. These commencement ceremonies will cap a year of remarkable events and I hope this issue of the Ave Maria University Magazine captures some of the key ones. The inauguration coverage includes the exciting announcement by Bishop Frank Dewane that Ave Maria University now enjoys official recognition as a Catholic university. You’ll also enjoy reading a fine feature on the historic lawsuit that Ave Maria filed against the Federal government in response to the HHS mandate to provide abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services as part of the University’s health plan. The national leadership that we are providing illustrates why our chancellor, Tom Monaghan, founded Ave Maria. Tom, by the way, turned 75 recently and the Magazine received permission from Naples Illustrated to reprint an intriguing profile of him which you won’t want to miss. You’ll also want to read about the first-ever Ave Maria University Scholarship dinner that was held in February. It was an unforgettable night. The Magazine also features some wonderful profiles of our faculty, staff and students and offers compelling proof of how Ave Maria is getting stronger by the day. Last month I concluded my first year as the leader of Ave Maria University and I can’t wait to see what is in store for year two! Yes, Ave Maria University is “a space for good and for love” and I am very fortunate to be among those privileged to be here.

Contents Save the Date

ave MARIA university SPRING 2012 Volume 1, Issue 2

2 Protecting Religious Identity 1st Annual AveMaria Maria Ave suesUniversity Scholarship Dinner federal government

President H.James Towey The ave maria university magazine is produced by The Office of Enrollment and Marketing

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5 A “Special Time” for AMU Ritz Carlton Beach H.James Towey To benefit Ave Maria Students inauguration ceremony

layout/design Apollo Design Group Inc. George Fetkovich Art Director printing Panther Printing contributing writers Bette Batson Kathy Becker Katie O’Hare Sean McMahon Dr. Lylas Rommel Dcn. Forrest Wallace


15 The Stable Life Graduate becomes entrepreneur

photographs courtesy of Public Relations Office Sports Information Office Office of Alumni Relations Gareth Rockliffe


18 Student Spotlight Shahodat Hamraeva pursues medical career 20 Scholarship Dinner A night to remember

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.

12 New Majors Expanding academic opportunities


24 Tom Monaghan 26 Lady Gyrene Basketball 29 Karl Rove in the Classroom 30 Presidential Visit 32 Battle of the Bands 32 News Briefs

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ve Maria University President Jim Towey announced on February 21, 2012 that the University is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from a federal court in Florida, because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services demands the University offer health plan services that undermine its firmly-held religious convictions.

Towey, former head of the Bush Administration’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is determined to stop the Administration’s assault on religious freedom. “Allowing a U.S. president of any political party or spiritual belief to force conformance to his or her religious or secular orthodoxy through executive action, is a perilous precedent,” said Towey. “I hope all of my colleagues in academia, including Catholic higher education, awaken to this danger.” Ave Maria University’s case is the fourth lawsuit brought by the Becket Fund challenging the Obama administration’s abortion drug mandate. The Becket Fund also represents Belmont Abbey College (a Catholic college in North Carolina), Colorado Christian University (a nondenominational Christian University outside Denver), and the Eternal Word Television Network.

BACKGROUND The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 17-year history of defending Student Andrea Allphin addresses the Health and Human Services religious liberty for people of all health plan that undermines firmly-held religious convictions. faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of churchstate law, and they recently won a 9-0 victory against the “The federal government has no right to coerce the Unifederal government at the U.S. Supreme Court in Hosannaversity into funding contraceptive services that include Tabor v. EEOC. abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization, in the health Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria University, knows plan we offer our employees,” said Towey. “Under the fedfirst-hand the immense value religious people of all faiths eral mandate Ave Maria University would be paying for bring to the public square and is determined to stop the Adthese drugs if we complied with the law. So we will not. We ministration’s efforts to push them to the margins. Towey are prepared to discontinue our health plan and pay the worked with Mother Teresa for 12 years, and saw her es$2,000 per employee, per year fine rather than comply with tablish AIDs clinics and homeless shelters, then served for an unjust, immoral mandate in violation of our rights of four years as President Bush’s director of Faith-Based and conscience.” Community Initiatives. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed suit on Towey brought this understanding and vision to Ave behalf of the University. Maria, a Catholic University dedicated to transmitting “The federal mandate puts Ave Maria in a terrible bind,” authentic Catholic values to students, who can then carry said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for the Becket Fund. those values to the world. But the Obama Administration’s “Either it betrays its faith and covers the drugs, or else it contraceptive and abortion mandate threatens the very ends employee health benefits and pays hundreds of thoufaith that animates Ave Maria’s mission. amu sands in annual fines.” | spring 2012 |



Statement by Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria University


F e br u a r y 2 1 , 2 0 1 2

t is a sad day when an American citizen or organization has no choice but to sue its own government in order to exercise religious liberty rights guaranteed by our nation’s Constitution. Today Ave Maria University is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is requiring the University to offer health plan services inconsistent with our firmly-held religious convictions. As an American Catholic, I am in disbelief that I have to choose between being a good Catholic and a good citizen. I will not, and the University will not, accept this false choice. The federal government has no right to coerce the University into funding contraceptive services that include abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization, in the health plan we offer our employees. Some will argue that this dilemma was resolved by a so-called “accommodation” by the Obama administration on February 10th, one that attempted to shift the provision of these services from the employer to the insurer. This sleight of hand maneuver by the government fooled no one. Ave Maria University pays 95 percent of the cost of the health plan we offer our employees. It is absurd for the federal government to suggest that these new pharmaceuticals will be free because they aren’t free now. In fact the administration’s own argument for free contraceptive drugs is that they currently place a financial burden on women. Under the federal mandate Ave Maria University would be paying for these drugs if we complied with the law. So we will not. We are prepared to discontinue our health plan and pay the $2,000 per employee, per year fine rather than comply with an unjust, immoral mandate in violation of our rights of conscience. Let me be clear: a woman’s right to contraception is not an issue in this case, nor is it at Ave Maria. Employees at Ave Maria and elsewhere are free to decide on their own whether to use birth control. Never before has the federal government bullied groups like ours into doctrinal conformance on an issue with such religious and moral gravity. America has respected the right of individuals to have faith or no faith, and the right of faith-based groups to be in the public square without having to sell their souls. My experience working in the White House in the faith-based office as its director taught me the beauty of the interplay between the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment. It is apparent that this administration does not want to strike a balance between its zeal to implement a new social policy and the rights of religiously-affiliated organizations like Ave Maria. The Chicago Tribune’s editorial in response to President Obama’s February 10th statement, entitled “The bishops aren’t alone,” said, “Americans want government policy to protect religious liberty—the first freedom guaranteed by our Constitution’s First Amendment.” Ave Maria agrees, and until the federal government backs down from requiring us to pay to practice our faith, we will fight it with all of our rights under the law. We will not violate the tenets of our faith and cower before our own government’s threat of massive fines. Allowing a U.S. president of any political party or religious affiliation to force conformance to his or her religious or secular orthodoxy through executive action is a perilous precedent, and I hope all of my colleagues in academia, including Catholic higher education, awaken to this danger. I want to thank the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty for representing Ave Maria University in this legal action. A university of our small size does not have the resources to fight the federal government and we are grateful to the Becket Fund for representing us without cost. In their good hands, and with the grace of God, I am confident the Ave Maria University v. Sebelius lawsuit will be successful. Mr. Towey was appointed President of Ave Maria University in 2011. He previously served as Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2002-2006. He was legal counsel to Mother Teresa of Calcutta from 1985-1997 and traveled with her in the United States and Mexico.


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A “Special Time” for Ave Maria The October 7, 2011 inauguration of H. James Towey as AMU’s second president spotlighted the bright future for the young University, while firmly celebrating and establishing its traditions.


he tone of the University’s first formal presidential investiture was set by a surprise announcement, which with two important words changed the status of Ave Maria University. Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, announced his recognition of Ave Maria as a Catholic University during the ceremony, bringing the crowd of 500—students, faculty, staff, community leaders, and leaders and delegates from other universities—to their feet for nearly a full minute of applause. “This announcement marks a special time in the history and faith life

of Ave Maria University,” said Bishop Dewane of the designation, four years after the University moved to the Ave Maria campus. “While the university continues to grow, it is the deepening of its roots of faith that is of primary importance to me as the Bishop of this diocese. The Catholic Church views Catholic Universities in very high regard, and, with that, the entire Ave Maria University community should be encouraged and inspired by its new designation.” “I am grateful to Bishop Dewane for his confidence in our future and thankful for [founder] Tom Monaghan and all those who built the foundation that

made this announcement possible,” said Towey, who only learned of the designation the day before the inauguration. “This recognition means a lot to us as we continue on the path toward new excellence.” The status change was a fitting launch for President Towey, who has been charged by the board and Monaghan to make the University financially independent, while growing enrollment and securing the University’s place in academic and Catholic worlds. “I think this is going to give a strong message out there in Catholic higher education that now Ave Maria University has worked through its beginning

towey inauguration

TOP: The celebration of Mass by Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Frank Dewane. BOTTOM: Tom Monaghan places the Ave Maria academic hood on H. James Towey.

phase and is now ready to roll,” Towey said after the inauguration. Towey was selected in February to succeed founder Monaghan as CEO and the University’s first president Nicholas J. Healy and to move the fully-accredited University forward from its establishment phase. While Monaghan transformed tomato fields into a Catholic University campus with eleven state-of-the-art buildings and a magnificent church that seats 1,100 6

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people, Towey is to take the University to the next level. Since the inauguration, he has reorganized the administration, including the appointment of new vice-presidents for academic affairs, institutional advancement, and enrollment, as well as a new chief financial officer and chief information officer. He has streamlined all areas of the University and cut the 201011 operating budget by $3.6 million, and reduced the number of full-time

coaches in athletics from 15 to 5. The University nearly doubled the number of majors and minors to be offered in August, hoping to attract 400 new students, the largest incoming class so far. Towey also noted that Ave Maria University can play a pivotal role in reforming Catholic higher education and American culture. “The need has never been greater,” he said. “Too often students leave high school and arrive at college and find the values their parents instilled in them under constant attack. They are encouraged to believe that hooking up is better than getting hitched. They are urged to live recklessly, to the point where binge drinking has nearly become a rite of passage for freshmen.” Towey said he was inspired by the words to college professors by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid at World Youth Day. “The Pope said to the group, ‘Always remember that teaching is not just about communicating content, but about forming young people. You need to understand and love them, to awaken their innate thirst for truth and their yearning for transcendence.’” Challenged to satiate that search for the truth, Towey marked three hallmarks of Ave Maria University, starting with the pursuit of academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition. “It is our desire that each and every graduate leaves this campus as a responsible adult and better human being,” he said. “The Catholic, liberal arts education we offer at Ave Maria University must be transformative.” The tools for such an education are already in place in the faculty of the University, many with degrees from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Cambridge, Boston College, Notre Dame and elsewhere. “We have some of the finest instructors in the country,” Towey said after the inauguration.

Behind the Inauguration: Ursula Pfahl’s Guiding Hand


lanners of Ave Maria University’s first inauguration wanted to create a memorable series of events to mark the transition of the University from its founding phase to its growth phase. Ave Maria University President Jim Towey knew just who to call to head the inaugural planning committee—Dr. Ursula Pfahl (right). Pfahl, who spent nearly 30 years in higher education, first as a professor, and later in administrative roles, had been involved with Ave Maria University since the beginning, working with the administration on various projects. When Towey was named president, Pfahl offered her assistance to him as well. His task for her was to organize Ave Maria’s first presidential inauguration, something she has done twice at other universities.

The plan was so complete that, when Pfahl’s husband fell ill a week before the inauguration and she learned she would be unable to attend, she confidently handed the events over to others. “The people at Ave Maria executed the plan,” she says. “There was such emphasis on joint collaboration for the outcome.” Although the inauguration was “by the book,” Pfahl said events were not restricted by decades, or even centuries of tradition like other universities. “Ave Maria is young and flexible, so we were able to say, ‘let’s structure a series of events that focuses on people and involves them.’” Personal touches included Towey’s choice of the music for Mass as well as minimal use of Latin to make it accessible to members of the audience who were not Catholic. “Jim’s concern and consideration of the comfort, interest and conveniences of those in attendance is a telling aspect of the man,” Pfahl says. “While some newly inaugurated presidents sequester themselves with prominent guests, Jim met with as many people as he could.” The celebration started with a cocktail party for 150 donors and dignitaries the night before the inauguration at a private club in Naples, sponsored by Michael Timmis, Chairman of Ave Maria’s Board of Trustees. The Inaugural Mass of Our Lady of the Rosary preceded the inauguration, and included Presentation of the Gifts by Towey’s children, Joseph, Maximilian, John and Marie Therese, and a reading by his wife, Mary. After the traditional inauguration ceremony, a luncheon was held for visiting guests on campus, including a surprise presentation of a cake to President’s Council members Don and Mosey Gunther for their 50th wedding anniversary. Although Pfahl was unable to attend the events she had planned, she was touched by the experience. On his way to the gathering the night before, Michael Timmis places the Ave Maria seal on H. James Towey. Towey stopped at Pfahl’s house to personally deliver flowers and the first copy of Pfahl worked with a committee and the University Council. his inauguration address, along with handwritten expressions Planning for the October events began in May, and culminated of his appreciation. “I was so touched that he would take time in a comprehensive plan that charted out what, when, where out to honor a personal relationship,” she said. “That’s just who and how by the minute for the inaugural events. he is.” | spring 2012 |


Professors and dignitaries in contemplation during the ceremony.

The second goal of Ave Maria is to remain firmly rooted in Catholic faith while remaining fully open to the world. “When an Ave Maria student graduates, he or she should be able to thrive in the midst of people who do not pray like them, think like them, vote like them or worship like them,” he said, adding he intends to look into study abroad, service learning, campus ministry and student internships. “The more outside engagement, the better.” The third element Towey called for was unity through mutual respect, sincere dialogue and a protection of the rights of individuals. “Imagine a campus free of the defects of pettiness, jealousy, intellectual bullying and spiritual arrogance,” he said. “Such an environment in our faculty lounges, administrative offices, classrooms and residence halls would place Ave Maria 8

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University at the forefront of the new evangelization.” Towey’s pledge to get to know every student, which he started by moving his office to the Bob Thomas Student Union, was reinforced by remarks by Alexander Pince, president of the student government association. Pince told of playing tennis in a court next to President Towey and his son, and joked that Towey would be engaging in a game of student dodge ball later. His athletic prowess notwithstanding, Towey brings his unique perspective gained as senior advisor to President George W. Bush as his Director of the White House Office of Faithbased and Community Initiatives, as well as twelve years as legal counsel for Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Prior to his appointment at Ave Maria University, Towey established record enrollment

and fundraising during his four-year term as President of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. “We are in this together,” Towey said, closing his remarks. “I leave the University community with Mother Teresa’s words which I adopt as my own: ‘What you can do, I cannot do, and what I can do, you cannot do; but together, we can do something beautiful for God.’” Clearly, those in attendance were energized about what the University will do together with President Towey in the coming years. The second standing ovation of the day came when Monaghan placed the academic hood on Towey, symbolically marking the beginning of a bright, new chapter in the University’s history. amu

inauguration address

Jim Towey

President of Ave Maria University Inaugural Address | October 7, 2011


would like to begin my remarks with a few words about Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, with whom I had the extraordinary grace of friendship for 12 years, and to whom I dedicate my presidency. Meeting Mother Teresa truly changed the trajectory of my life. She asked me to be legal counsel to her and one of my tasks was to stop individuals or groups who were raising money in her name. Mother prohibited fundraising of any kind. Instead, she said she preferred what she called, “the insecurity of Divine Providence.” Now, I want to make clear to all of you that Ave Maria University does not prohibit fundraising. We love fundraising AND Divine Providence. But what Mother Teresa said to me about wholehearted dependence upon God is worth repeating as Ave Maria University and the country as a whole learn how to live beneath the clouds of unsettling uncertainty. The stagnant economy, the joblessness, the gyrating financial markets, and the threat of terrorism disturb our sense of security, and there also are deep concerns within America about the assault on religious conscience, the sanctity of life and marriage. At Ave Maria University, successive campus relocations, and the collapse of the housing market that was to have endowed us, have added to the anxiety.


Indeed it seems questions about our future as a University have persisted from day one. Would students attend? Would faculty stay? Would donors give? And the biggest question of all now looms: Will the University be able to move from dependence upon Tom’s generosity to the land of self-sufficiency? So, with so much doubt and uncertainty before us, is it reasonable to think that Ave Maria University can actually prefer the “insecurity of Divine Providence”? The answer is a resounding “yes!” One need only look to Mary of Nazareth, whom our university honors in name and mission, to understand how to prefer the insecurity of Divine Providence. We heard this in the Gospel at Mass today. Mary was asked to do the impossible, to be evervirgin yet bear a child, and to mother the Savior of the world. She, a humble handmaid, said yes. She believed without understanding, and trusted God. As I stand before you I do not know all that the future holds for Ave Maria University. But I do know that Our Lady wants to lead us along the path of humble dependence upon God, of preferring the insecurity of Divine Providence. Tom Monaghan knows this path. He made the decision to devote his personal wealth toward the creation of this | spring 2012 |


inauguration address great church and University. He did not fear the seemingly impossible. G.K. Chesterton seemed to speak of Tom when he wrote, “When once a man has been called an impracticable visionary, he is practically bound to be a success. The moment a thing has been called impossible, something sporting in the soul of man takes the bet and resolves to bring the thing about.” My friends, look around and see what God, through Tom and so many, has brought about in fewer than ten years: Scholars on our faculty with degrees from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Cambridge, Boston College, Notre Dame and elsewhere; 750 young men and women studying here; full accreditation; and a campus that is joyfully Catholic and welcoming of all. This fecundity should come as no surprise. Throughout Judeo-Christian history we see that God exalts the humble and chooses holy men and women like Abraham, Moses, Ruth, and Mary, for His service. The lesson for us is simple: Ave Maria University will prosper to the extent it remains humble and depends upon God. And prosper we must. I believe that Ave Maria University can play a pivotal role in reforming Catholic higher education and American culture. The need has never been greater. Too often students leave high school and arrive at college and find the values their parents instilled in them under constant attack. They are encouraged to believe that hooking up is better than getting hitched. They are urged to live recklessly, to the point where binge drinking has nearly become a rite of passage for freshmen. The prevalent secular ideology on American campuses, including many faith-based ones, seems to assert that absolute moral truth does not exist, and that faith and reason are enemies. The Church disagrees. Six weeks ago in Madrid at World Youth Day, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI met with a group of young university professors. He himself had been one in Bonn and to this day has not lost his love of the academy. The Pope said to the group, “Always remember that teaching is not just about communicating content, but about forming young people. You need to understand and love them, to awaken their innate thirst for truth and their yearning for transcendence.” The Holy Father’s words challenge us to satiate this thirst for truth, and I would like to touch upon what I believe the three hallmarks of Ave Maria University must be as it accomplishes this task. First, academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition. Pope Benedict rightly decried in his Madrid address an approach to education that simply prepares students to satisfy society’s demand for labor without leading them in the pursuit of truth. He said, “The Gospel message perceives a 10

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rationality inherent in creation and considers man as a creature participating in, and capable of attaining to, an understanding of this rationality.” He continued, “The University thus embodies an ideal which must not be attenuated or compromised, whether by ideologies closed to reasoned dialogue or by truckling to a purely utilitarian and economic conception which would view man solely as a consumer.” As we ponder the Pope’s words, we must be careful in how we apply them. His warning does not mean that Ave Maria should ignore the development of professional and pre-professional programs; indeed our mission statement requires us to. But it does mean that our students must become critical thinkers, competent writers, and perpetual students of life. Of course, we hope that their studies in theology and philosophy, the lungs of any true Catholic university, will breathe life into their vocations. It is our desire that each and every graduate leaves this campus as a responsible adult and better human being. The Catholic, liberal arts education we offer at Ave Maria University must be transformative. The second distinctive trait of Ave Maria must be that we are firmly rooted in our Catholic faith while remaining fully open to the world. I say this because we are called to engage the culture, not flee it, or our convictions. Students should not be sheltered from society and the so-called “real world” that awaits their full participation. When an Ave Maria student graduates, he or she should be able to thrive in the midst of people who do not pray like them, think like them, vote like them or worship like them. That is why during my tenure we will look to expand study abroad, service learning, campus ministry initiatives and student internships. The more outside engagement, the better. The freedom students experience away from home should lead to the formation of virtue and a deepening of faith, as befits their God-given dignity. Such things cannot be coerced but should be encouraged, and I pledge myself to that task. I believe we can foster the responsible exercise of freedom and promote open debate, without abandoning our convictions, provided that we remain rooted in our Catholic faith and open to the world. The third hallmark of Ave Maria University must be our unity. In Calcutta, Mother Teresa’s tomb has the simple inscription from the Gospel of John: “Love one another as I have loved you.” St. Paul warns that we can move mountains and work wonders but if we have not love, then we have gained nothing. Twenty-one years ago, the apostolic constitution governing Catholic universities was issued, Ex Corde Ecclesiae,

that is, “From the Heart of the Church.” It recognized the importance of having an authentic human community grounded in “a common dedication to truth, a common vision of the dignity of the human person and, ultimately, the person and message of Christ which gives the Institution its distinctive character.” The document goes on to call for mutual respect, sincere dialogue, and protection of the rights of individuals. My friends, those characteristics of a Catholic university serve as a “sign of contradiction” within academia. And from its founding, Ave Maria University has held itself to a higher standard – to be a light to academia by the example of our unity and our love for one another, even in the midst of reasonable disagreement. It would be hypocritical for us to present ourselves as an authentically Catholic institution if our relationships with one another are not rooted in Christ. Imagine a campus free of the defects of pettiness, jealousy, intellectual bullying, and spiritual arrogance. Such an environment in our faculty lounges, administrative offices, classrooms, and residence halls would place Ave Maria University at the forefront of the new evangelization. Unity and intellectual charity will be the bond that perfects our scholarship and allows the “splendor of the truth” to shine. My friends, in conclusion, do not look to me as the guide through the thicket of challenges before us. Instead, join with me in looking to the example and life of Blessed John Paul II, one of my heroes, for guidance. In fact, Mary and I loved him so much that we wanted to name one of our sons after him, but that posed a problem, because that would have made him John Paul Towey. So we went with John Mariano. John Paul graduated from high school as valedictorian and enrolled in Krakow at Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364, where Copernicus studied. In his freshman year John Paul carried a demanding load in Polish philology, from literature classes to introductory courses in Russian to the study of Old Church Slavonic. No sooner had he started his sophomore year of studies than the Germans invaded Poland, and within a month, the Russians followed. Poland was under siege. On November 6, 1939, SS personnel went to John Paul’s campus and rounded up 184 academics, including 18 current or former rectors, and 50 deans or assistant deans, and sent all of them off to concentration camps. The soldiers ransacked the libraries and looted the buildings but failed to shut the University down. In fact, surviving faculty went underground and held classes clandestinely, with 136 professors risking instant death to teach 800 students. To say the least, John Paul’s college years were turbulent,

but fortunately, he had well-developed habits of prayer and perseverance that sustained him during times of hardship. And he had known many such times. When he was in third grade his mother died, and before entering high school, his beloved and only brother, whom he imitated and adored, died suddenly from scarlet fever. Now, at age 19, his University seemed to have been decapitated, and he was consigned to a world of secret study and forced labor, first in a quarry, and later in a factory. He was so poor he had only wooden shoes with which to walk the 30 minute journey to the mine every night. In the winter, the temperature was so cold – as much as 20 degrees below zero – that he used to rub petroleum jelly on his face to keep his skin from freezing. And just when you thought things could not get any worse or more hopeless for John Paul, at age 20, his father, with whom he shared an apartment, had a heart attack and died. Now John Paul was all alone. He had no family, and his college dreams and all of his bright promise seemed utterly destroyed. And then it got even worse. One night while walking home after a double shift at the factory, John Paul was struck by a German Army truck and knocked unconscious, left lying in a ditch, bloodied and battered. My friends, pause for a moment and picture John Paul in that ditch, left for dead, all of his dreams dashed, and his beloved homeland under totalitarian rule. Ask yourself, how is it possible that this man in the ditch, left for dead, with no family, no money, and seemingly no future, could later become the Vicar of Jesus Christ and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, and one of the giants of Church and world history? That is the awesome beauty of Divine Providence where throughout salvation history, God has done great things with those who humbly trust Him and persevere against all odds. Raising a small university up from the remote tomato fields of Immokalee has demanded great trust and heroic effort. The challenges that the University must confront to maintain excellence and transition to self-sufficiency, will require even more. But we need not be afraid. We are in this together. I leave the University community with Mother Teresa’s words which I adopt as my own: What you can do, I cannot do, and what I can do, you cannot do; but together, we can do something beautiful for God. Thank you for welcoming my family and me to this wonderful University at this exciting time in our young history. God bless you. | spring 2012 |


new majors

expanding academic opportunities Dr. Michael Dauphinais, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.


ve Maria University has significantly increased the number of academic majors and minors it will offer in the upcoming academic year. Having achieved full regional accreditation in 2010 with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the University leadership judged the time appropriate to consider adding to its previous twelve majors. The faculty worked with the administration to develop a variety of new major and minor programs through a process that began with individual academic departments, worked through various ad hoc and standing academic committees, and then was approved by the full faculty, the administration, and, finally, the Board of Trustees. Dr. Michael Dauphinais, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, commented, “The University is now is a position to take a step forward in fulfilling its mission by expanding our offerings in the sciences, the humanities, interdisciplinary offerings, as well as programs directed toward the greater professional preparation of our students within the overall study of the liberal arts.”


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The new majors include disciplines in the sciences and languages as well as a range of interdisciplinary areas of study, which assist students in acquiring “an organic vision of reality” (cf. Ex Corde Ecclesiae no. 20). The new major programs are: • American Studies; • Biochemistry; • Catholic Studies; • Global Affairs & International Business; • Greek; • Humanities & Liberal Studies; • Managerial Economics & Strategic Analysis; • Physics; and • Political Economy & Government. In order to broaden further the scope of areas of study and pre-professional formation for our students, the University also added four minors. They are as follows: • Catechetics; • Ecology & Conservation Biology; • Education; • Family and Society. Both current and prospective students have expressed considerable interest in the newly developed offerings. Pending final acceptance from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Ave Maria University plans to begin offering these new programs in the 2012-2013 academic year.

d r . gab r i e l ma r t i n e z Global Affairs and International Business At Ave Maria, Dr. Martinez teaches courses in macroeconomics, statistics, history of economic thought, development, and globalization.


he new major in Global Affairs and International Business gives students the intellectual foundation to think about global interactions. The program coordinator, Dr. Gabriel Martinez, is an economist specializing on global economic interactions, particularly the effect of the quality of institutions on living standards across countries. We know that we live a “globalized” world, in which interactions with other countries are inescapable. “Globalization” is not just a political phenomenon, or an economic phenomenon, or a cultural phenomenon: it affects the very fabric of our lives, and it does so in a million directions. Not only do we need to know about it, we need to have the intellectual foundation with which to think about interactions that span the planet. For this reason, a major like Global Affairs and International Business is an attractive complement to a solid liberal education. While many schools may offer this kind of interdisciplinary major, what puts Ave Maria University in a position of strength is that we offer faculty in business, economics, and politics who not only have a great deal of knowledge and experience in the area but who also know each other very well and can help each other see these issues from many sides. The Global Affairs and International Business major builds on and integrates a high-quality and rigorous curriculum in economics, politics, and business, helping students become careful thinkers and actors in the global society. Similarly, the majors in Managerial Economics and Strategic Analysis and Political Economy and Government cover areas of tremendous intrinsic interest and rely on the strengths of our current faculty and curriculum. For example, Dr. Gabriel Martinez’s research focuses on global economic interactions, particularly the effect of the quality of institutions on financial sectors and living standards across countries. In November 2011 he presented a paper at the Washington, D.C., meetings of the Southern Economic Association that investigates whether improving institutional quality lowers borrowing costs or raises them. Many people assume that improvements in institutional quality lead to more abundant and cheaper finance (by reducing lending risks and raising the supply of funds), which leads to more productive investment, and higher growth rates of output. It turns out that better institutions may actually raise borrowing costs if they raise the marginal productivity of capital, the demand for funds and the interest rate … if the country is relatively closed to international capital flows. Using data from 100 countries, this paper shows that the impact of institutional quality on borrowing costs depends on whether the country has favored improving financial institutions, controlling for a host of factors. | spring 2012 |


dr. seana sugrue Political Economy and Government


olitical Economy and Government, a truly exciting new major, brings together the disciplines of politics and economics to explore their mutually supportive dimensions. It provides students, as aspiring policy-makers, with the ability to understand the importance of institutions in shaping public policy as well as the sometimes agonizing trade-offs involved in responsible decisionmaking. Be it the nation’s debt crisis, health care reform, immigration policy, or proposed K-12 educational initiatives, the study of the intersection of government and economics is essential to any sensible and meaningful public policy. This study is also at the very heart of philosophical inquiry into the nature of man and society, for as Aristotle noted, “politics uses the rest of the sciences, and ... the end of this science . . . must be the good for man.” Dr. Seana Sugrue, who teaches a number of courses in the PEG major, is passionate about the study of institutions and the ways in which they interact to sustain or undermine one another. It is from this vantage point that she has published articles about the nature of marriage as a social institution, as well as the multifaceted relationship between Church and State. She recently delivered a paper at the University of Colorado at Boulder, through its St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center, arguing that the separation of church and state remains a matter of vital importance to public policy, and suggesting concrete guidelines for their interaction in conflicts involving sexual morality. As an advocate for limited government, she believes that the state is not well-suited to make people moral, and so it is necessary to uphold and preserve those more fragile institutions through which people learn to exercise their liberty responsibly, especially families and religions. So too, as Hegel understood, a robust economy cannot function absent political order. Yet government ought to be limited for the better preservation of human creativity and responsible liberty in the economic realm. Dr. Sugrue’s other major professional passion is teaching. Her lectures are discussions in which she elicits a good deal of information from the students themselves, making them full participants in the classroom. She instills confidence in her students in their communication skills, which they acquire through years of practice at Ave Maria University, and she stresses the importance of mastering verbal presentation skills. Her lectures are dynamic; students typically report that they learn a great deal more than they thought they ever would and truly enjoy learning under her tutelage.

alumna entrepreneur

the stable life By Katie O’Hare


first came to Ave Maria University in 2007, the year of the campus relocation from Naples. I had left behind in Colorado some of my best friends—my horses—and was soon feeling the need for the therapy that horses give so well. With thousands of open acres around the new town of Ave Maria, I imagined plenty of space for horses to roam.

I surveyed fellow students to gauge potential interest in joining a horse club near the new campus, and the response was enthusiastic. Start-up costs were a challenge, however, and I had to put the idea of a club on the back burner. There it might have remained, but for a conversation with AMU founder and chancellor Thomas S. Monaghan. When I told him about my idea, he mentioned a holding shed that had been built on eight acres to house the big rigs used for the construction of the new university and town. With the completion of the massive construction project, he explained, the shed was no longer needed. After thinking things over, I decided to form my own LLC and rent the facility. Not long afterwards, work began on getting the property ready for horses. I got the inspiration for the name The Stable Life from a John Wayne quote—“There’s something about a horse that will keep you sane and grounded, even though

Riders practice their form at the Ave Maria stables. | spring 2012 |


you’re off the ground.” In the fall of my senior year, I brought my horses down from my family home in Colorado and began giving riding lessons, training and boarding other people’s horses, and offering trail rides. Students started coming, and word spread to nearby residents, then to Immokalee, and eventually reaching Naples, Ft. Myers and as far as Orlando. Membership has been steadily growing year by year, thank God. I am still offering trail rides through the

fields and cypress stands around Ave Maria, and this spring I will be adding steak cook out rides and overnight camping trips. Riding lessons are given

Katie O’Hare at her stable facility.

in Western, (Western pleasure, barrel racing, pole bending and cattle work) and English (equitation, hunter/jumper. While we are not yet registered with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), within a year or so we hope to be able to have an Equestrian Team that would begin to compete against other schools. Meanwhile the University is home to the Ave Maria Southwest Silverados Mounted Drill Team—a synchronized horseback riding team that performs at local parades and will compete in state competitions next year. For more information, call 970-799-4644 or email: amu


n the middle of my sophomore year I became involved with the Southwest Silverado Equestrian Drill Team, armed with very little horse experience, but a lot of I-can-do-it! Katie O’Hare has been the perfect coach and teacher: patient, fun, knowledgeable, humorous and encouraging. She worked with what I had to offer and turned me into a horsewoman. I went from zero to sixty; from no experience, to the Drill Team, and now I have even moved on to barrel racing! Anyone who has ever met Katie O’Hare would agree with me in saying that she is a wonderful friend, teacher, model, and coach. A drill team really needs a lot of commitment, communication and chemistry, all of which we have. Being a member of the Southwest Silverados has really helped to make me a well-rounded person, taught me team values, balanced out my academic studies, got me outdoors, and basically, it has just been plain fun! Between the bonfires, parades, and long, sunny days at the stables, I have had an exhilarating run with the Drill Team and I highly encourage everyone to give Katie O’Hare a visit.


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— Adrienne McClellan, Ave Maria University Class of 2013

“There’s something about a horse that will keep you sane and grounded, even though you’re off the ground.” — john wayne | spring 2012 |


student profile

a bright light Shahodat Hamraeva, Class of 2012

By dr. lylas rommel


hahodat Hamraeva heard about Ave Maria University when she was in Hawaii where she was a recipient of a US State Department Freedom Support Act and Future Leaders Exchange Program/Scholarship. Originally from Uzbekistan and fluent in Russian as well as English, Shaka is one of many of the bright lights among the current crop of graduating seniors. Looking back on her experience here, she sees her participation in the Harvard National Model United Nations as one of the highpoints. This program, begun in 1955, has offered college students an opportunity to participate in United Nations committees’ activities by roleplaying as delegates, representatives of NonGovernmental Organizations or of various countries. Students prepare for the Harvard Model by studying the countries or the organizations they will represent and then being able to debate, critically analyze issues, write position papers, and otherwise engage in the process of a United Nations model just as real members of the United Nations do. In 2008, Shaka’s first year at the University, the Ave Maria team won Best New Member. “It was an amazing experience. It was cutthroat. It was real world; real UN. You know, it’s one thing to hear about world problems, but another to participate in the process. You see the real issues and have to judge the policies, you have to solve x, y, z problems and rush to


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think things out. I tried to help people and to get policies and people together.” A member of the International Club in 2008, she has served as President since 2009 and has helped to welcome international students to the campus. She has organized various events for the club and has been active in fundraising. “Although student contemplation is a focus here, we want to make the school famous and build its reputation,” she says. She hopes that she has laid a foundation by initiating forums and events that allow for continuing discussion of real world issues. Having shown a strong interest in science and global awareness from high school, Shaka will graduate with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. She was research assistant to Dr. Vladislav Sallai the summer of 2009-2010 and worked on metal-metal bonded compounds. The next year she won the Department of Biology and Chemistry Research Fellowship and worked with department chairman Dr. James Peliska. As a result of these awards, she has gained hands-on experience in laboratory research that will give her an advantage over students in much larger schools because of the intimate nature of Ave Maria. “Working as an assistant gave me practical knowledge: why this formula has to be the way it is or why that procedure has to be that way,” she continued, “I think the department does a very good job with what they have. I’m happy I’m here. The professors have been very help-

ful and encouraging and tell you to do things you might not think about for yourself. They push you to seek beyond what you would do yourself. Go get your master’s degree, for example, go to

The professors push you to seek beyond what you would do yourself. medical school. They play a big part of your life.” Shaka’s interest in medicine developed slowly. She says, “Initially my passion for medicine was somewhat artificial, but as I advanced through my science classes it became not just a real passion but a vocation. This vocation was fueled by my frequent travels to Russia. It was a weeklong trip in a tightly packed train with my mother and two sisters, our great ‘quartet.’ Everyone in that train was travelling to do heavy work to support their families. I met a lot of people whose loved ones were suffering from asthma, serious kidney diseases and most frequently cancer. It was not surprising because we live in close proximity to the Aral Sea, an area of high pollution. These trips helped us to become citizens of the world. While our peers played hide and seek, we were practicing adaptation and seeing ‘survival of the fittest’ in real life. People I met evoked in me an enormous feeling of compassion. I fell in love with their zeal, commitment, and simplicity. That is when I knew: Final destination—M.D.” amu Shaka is currently awaiting acceptance into medical school. | spring 2012 |


“There are those who believe—and they are not limited to Catholics—that today the Catholic university may be the only Western institution with the claims to higher truth that give it the wherewithal to carry out this enterprise in our modern age. That is Ave Maria’s challenge. God willing, it will be her glory.”

press timeshaka anticpates acceptance o medical school


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scholarship dinner

A Night to Remember By Deacon Forrest Wallace

A Keynote speaker and Wall Street Journal columnist Bill McGurn.

ve Maria University’s First Annual Scholarship Dinner was the occasion for the announcement of the Thomas S. Monaghan Catholic Leaders Scholarship Fund, a promis ing source of support for future Ave Maria scholars. The dinner, held on the 1st of February, will likely be remembered as a night filled with surprises and majesty. As it turned out, the man who was honored that night was not surprised simply by the nearly $500,000 raised during the event. Tom Monaghan and his wife Marge were just settling down for dinner when AMU president Jim Towey picked up a phone at the podium. He dialed Gyrene Burger, Tom’s new business venture, and ordered the University’s founder and chancellor one of his favorite meals – a Classic hamburger. Towey explained that he wanted to see if Tom’s legendary take-out service worked or not. No sooner had he hung up than a camouflage-wearing Gyrene Burger delivery

cadet sprinted into the Ritz-Carlton’s largest ballroom and delivered a bag containing a Classic Gyrene Burger to the Monaghan’s table. Once the laughter and applause subsided, the Ritz brought out the planned dinner of surf and turf to all of the guests, including Tom and Marge Monaghan. But the surprises were not over. Without any advance notice to the audience, Broadway legend Franc D’Ambrosio, best known for his portrayal of the “Phantom” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award winning Musical The Phantom Of The Opera, took the stage later in the program. D’Ambrosio serenaded the audience, which included Honorary co-chairs John F. and Rhodora J. Donahue and other members of the Ave Maria University Board of Trustees and sponsors, with a medley of hits from The Phantom, as well as the song “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables. The surprise appearance was arranged by Brian and Denise Cobb, members of the Ave Maria University President’s Council. This breath-taking performance followed the evening’s keynote speaker.

Broadway legend Franc D’Ambrosio.

To anyone in the audience familiar with the wit and intelligence of the former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush, it came as no surprise that the remarks by Bill McGurn, now Wall Street Journal columnist and Vice President at News Corporation, would leave the audience just as captured. | spring 2012 |


Scholarship Dinner

Clockwise from upper left: Jim Towey places the “order�, and a camouflaged cadet enters the ball room with the bag. Delivery complete, Tom Monaghan is all smiles on receipt of his Classic Gyrene Burger.


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(McGurn on Tom Monaghan) “The Marine way of life is not for everyone. But let me tell you this: If your goal is something that every rational human being will tell you is impossible—whether that be defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Helmand province or transforming a Florida swamp into a Catholic university— you want a Marine leading the way. We are here tonight because Ave Maria has been blessed with her own Marine. For that we are thankful. We are thankful too for an unknown drill sergeant who probably has no idea of the great gift he gave Our Lady when he taught a raw young man from Michigan what it means to live by the words Semper Fidelis. Tom, we know that the good work you do is its own reward. But we also know there is grace in a simple thank you. So before I go any further, I’d like to ask everyone here to lift your glasses—and join me in a salute to a real Gyrene. Tom Monaghan.” In the midst of all the glamor, excitement, and surprises on the program, the AMU Men’s Chamber Choir managed to stand out, demonstrating the excellence that has earned them high praise in South Florida. Under the di-

rection of Dr. Timothy McDonnell, the Choir performed a masterful rendition of Gaudeamus Igitur (So Let Us Rejoice). Also on stage during the evening were Ave Maria University scholarship recipients Alex Pince and Carolina Morales, who expressed gratitude for the opportunity to continue their education at an institution committed to Catholic principles. Dr. Lou Traina, Ave Maria University’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement announced that next year’s scholarship dinner will be held on Februay 21st, and the fundraising goal will be a million dollars. If the success of the First Annual Scholarship Dinner is any measure to go by, there will be many more students like Alex and Carolina on the campus of Ave Maria University in the years to come. “Thanks to the generosity of the members of this community who contribute to this scholarship fund,” said Dr. Traina, “Ave Maria will remain excellent, affordable and Catholic, giving many deserving students the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented faculty in the country.” amu For more information or to make a contribution to the Thomas S. Monaghan Catholic Leaders Scholarship Fund, contact Dalna Berrios at or (239) 280-1523.

AMU Lady Gyrenes basketball players served as hostesses at the Ritz-Carlton dinner. From left: Amy Myler, Erika Derks, Emily Huber, Cassie Kreiger and Tamica Mora. | spring 2012 |



delivering on a promise By Kathy Becker


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om Monaghan, 74, who spent much of his childhood between foster homes and a Catholic orphanage, has had it all. When he was in college in Michigan, he built an empire—Domino’s Pizza—from one pizzeria to more than 6,000 locations around the world, changing the restaurant and franchise landscape. With his success, he indulged in his passions, buying collector cars and his beloved Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team in 1983, and amassing an amazing collection of Frank Lloyd Wright furniture and property. In 1987, after a visit with Pope John Paul II in Rome, he came up with the idea for Legatus (“ambassador” in Latin), a group of Catholic business leaders who would study, live and spread their faith. The idea was founded on the Young President’s Organization (YPO), an international business leader group. “There’s something about dealing with peers, but YPO kicks you out when you turn 50,” he says. “After meeting the Holy Father, within an hour I had thought of creating a YPO for Catholics.” The first chapter was started in Michigan in 1987, and the Naples chapter started in 2002. The group will celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary at its annual summit in Naples in February. Legatus moved its headquarters to Naples in 2005, and to Ave Maria two years later. Legatus has more than 2,000 CEO members in 75 chapters in the United States, Canada and Ireland. “It’s one of the best things I’ve done,” Monaghan says. In 1989, he read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and a chapter about pride changed everything. He sold Domino’s in 1998, and turned his attentions to other pursuits. “I wanted life to mean something,” he says. “I thought, ‘What can I do with my success for the church?’ I looked at everything and narrowed it down to education. I thought I could make a difference. Not too many people can afford to start a university.” In 1998, the business tycoon, who gave up his idea of becoming an architect because he was a bad student but a good businessman, started building Catholic higher education in Michigan, where he still owns Domino’s Farms, a Wright-inspired office park housing Domino’s headquarters and the longest nonindustrial building in the world. He founded Ave Maria Institute, a Catholic school in Ypsilanti, where Domino’s started; took over St. Mary’s College; and founded Ave Maria School of Law in 2000. His dream was to bring all three together on one campus at Domino’s Farms in Ann Arbor, but the necessary zoning was denied.

university self-sufficient in three years. “I’ll pay more attention to Legatus and traveling to chapters around the country,” Monaghan says, adding he still has Domino’s Farms as well as a Catholic radio network. His work for Ave Maria now will be raising money and awareness by giving talks at Catholic schools around the country and recruiting donors. “It’s kind of a relief not to have to deal with the daily problems of the university,” he says. “But with Ave Maria, I’m still on the board and intend to be a major contributor for my life and beyond, so I still have a toe there.” Monaghan’s schedule, outlined weekly on a green paper he keeps in his suit breast pocket, starts at 3:45 a.m. “I pray and say rosaries. I have so much to do, something to prepare for, a speech, meeting, idea to explore on my legal pad. I think through the end of a ball-point pen.” He exercises daily, including weightlifting, discipline he learned in the Marine Corps. He plays horn—a trumpet or miniature baritone—for at least 20 minutes daily, and goes to bed at 9:30 p.m. “I schedule a nap daily,” he says. “Bad decisions are made by not asking questions or being too tired. Since I started napping, I don’t have problems with getting tired.” As he travels during the week, he talks daily with his wife, Marjorie, on the cell phone he carries mostly for that purpose, and returns to Michigan on weekends to the family compound, where his extended family of four daughters and sons-in-law and eight grandchildren live. “Saturday and Sunday are my days off,” he says. “I have a two-hour massage, take a nap and go out to dinner with friends. Sunday after Mass, the kids and grandkids come over. Later in the day, I’m off to the airport.” When he was interviewed for this story, Monaghan did not reveal what else he might pursue, but he was adamant that he wasn’t retiring. Since then, he opened a gourmet burger delivery restaurant in Naples, Gyrene Hamburger. “My doctor tells me I’m going to live to be 100,” he says. “I’ll figure out what to do for the next 26 years.” amu photo by roland scarpa.

“We were pretty desperate, bursting at the seams,” he says. “I went to Naples every winter after Christmas to visit friends from Michigan. Somewhere along the way, the idea came for Naples. It’s the easiest place in the country to attract students. Great weather. Highest average net worth in the country, many of them Catholics. I’m a demographic nut. I know the country. It has worked out, but it was a bloodbath getting there. I had no idea how resistant people would be.” Professors and some of the academic community, particularly at the law school, resisted moving from Michigan. In media coverage throughout his career, Monaghan has sometimes been labeled “eccentric” for his religious and conservative beliefs. “Eccentric? Christ was eccentric,” he says. “When I had toys and luxuries, I deserved it. When I’m doing the things I’m supposed to do, I would say enthusiastic is a better word. Successful people are enthusiastic, dreamers, and can pull the trigger. If you have those three, you have no problems.” Just like building the pizza business, which at times nearly bankrupted him, Monaghan’s dream of Ave Maria has not been without glitches. The plan was to fund the growth of the university—opened in Naples in 2003, with the permanent campus at Ave Maria opened in the summer of 2007—through the sale of real estate in the town created around the university. Then the real estate bubble burst. Estimates of the amount of Monaghan’s own personal wealth wrapped up in his plans vary, but numbers are upward of $300 million. “Well, the economy couldn’t have been worse when we built,” he says. “It doubled construction. We stubbed our toe in the recruiting department. But we had our best year in 2011, and 2012 will be a breakthrough.” The fully accredited university currently enrolls 858 students, employs 155 and offers 12 majors and 15 minors taught by full-time faculty, 98 percent of whom have advanced degrees. The school’s annual budget for 2010-2011 was $28.5 million. Monaghan stepped back from the day-to-day operation of the university last summer, handing the CEO position to H. James Towey, who has been charged with making the

Reprinted with permission from Naples Illustrated. | spring 2012 |



| ave maria magazine |

AMU Lady Gyrenes More Than Basketball By Bette Batson

Ave Maria Women’s basketball team went to Sioux City, Iowa to play in the NAIA Divsion II National Championship. But what happened there was more than basketball. | spring 2012 |





he women’s team spent Monday morning at a private K-8 school, touring and meeting the children who attended the school. Then they arrived at the kindergarten classes. In the first class the students had questions for the girls—where are you from, did you fly on an airplane, where do you live when you are not at school. Then the players read a story to the class. In the second kindergarten class, the team started out by reading the special book, Monty, the cat of Ave Maria, by Patricia Sette, they had brought for the class. Then the teacher had each one of her student’s pair up with a basketball player and the team interacted with each child and read to them. This was more than basketball. The team then went to St. Luke Hospital’s Pediatric ward. While there they read books to the children and played with them. There were many smiles on the faces of the young patients having this wonderful attention showered on them. The team’s time helped them forget that they were in the hospital. This was more than basketball. The team participated in a Special Olympics event at the Tyson Event Center. They helped the Special Olympics students learn about the game of basketball by teaching some basketball skills. That is when the fun began, games were invented, people started dancing and so many smiles were on all the faces of those involved. Then the ultimate moment arrived, the Special Olympics students got to play against some of the players. It was heartwarming to see the very proficient players dribbling off their feet, missing shots by a great

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Sandy Jenkins

distance, and—oh no—passing the ball to the wrong “team” and allowing them to score. This was more than basketball. The AMU women played a game on Thursday morning. When they arrived at the arena one of the Special Olympics groups was there waiting for the team. They had made signs in support of our players and had even baked cookies for the team. Although the game did not go as hoped, these young people cheered us on for the entire game and after met with the players to have a special good-bye. This was more than basketball. The team went to a retirement home for a visit. The players joined in card games and wheeled some of the residents to their next activity. The residents spoke about how they had played basketball in their youth. Imagine being 18 or 19 years old and speaking to someone who is 107! One woman who had been a “yell leader” (cheerleader) even got up and did some cheers for us. The team even got up and sang for the residents. This was more than basketball. Because of basketball, AMU’s Lady Gyrenes went to the Sioux City, Iowa, tournament but while they were there it was much more than basketball. amu

AMU Lady Gyrenes make new friends with Special Olympic athletes.


Emily Huber

Writer Bette Batson voluntarily assists her husband coach Bob Batson with AMU’s Lady Gyrenes Basketball team.


karl rove in the classroom By student Sean McMahon, Class of 2013 Photo editor of Gyrene Gazette


n February, Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the former President George W. Bush, visited Ave Maria University and gave a lecture to the students in Dr. Joseph Burke’s Economics class. The focus of the lecture was Rove’s tenure as chief gatekeeper to the Oval Office. Karl Rove was in daily contact with congressmen seeking to meet with the president. As they waited for their opportunity, these individuals were often belligerently determined to impress their point upon the president. Pacing, they would defiantly mutter their prepared speeches. Rove remarked that, upon entering the Oval Office and gazing upon the Great Seal of the United States and the presidential desk, a congressman’s manner would

immediately change. Instead of aggressively advancing his proposition, the congressman would begin to ask the president about this health and his family. This calming effect was not limited to United States officials. When

President Putin visited the White House, he too seemed overwhelmed. With an ironic grin, Karl Rove remarked that the Oval Office had such an impression upon Putin that the atheist exclaimed, “Oh my God!” As charming as these stories were, Karl Rove also left a much deeper message. When asked the secret to success in politics, he suggested an unusual answer. Rather than attending a prestigious law school and amassing a huge campaign war chest, the ability to be effective in politics depends upon the ability to say no. While this is primarily concerned with a person’s integrity, Mr. Rove noted that it also has a very practical element. To say no is to risk losing one’s job. Hence, an individual interested in politics should become established in a pursuit which he loves while devoting his time to politics. One will always have a source of income and will consequently be able to say no. Of course, Rove didn’t mention that sometimes saying no doesn’t just cost you your job. Like St. Thomas More, it could cost you your life, and there’s no insurance plan for that. amu | spring 2012 |


a v e ma r i a ’ s

presidential visit


resident George W. Bush made a special visit to Southwest Florida for the 25th anniversary of Legatus, the Catholic CEO’s organization founded by AMU founder Thomas S. Monaghan. While in Naples for the event AMU President Jim Towey hosted a roundtable for special friends of AMU with President Bush. All of the attendees were treated to a personal Q&A session with the 43rd President of the United States. President Jim Towey, former head of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives moderated the roundtable and took a few good natured jabs from his former boss. President Bush, recalled fondly his time working with Jim Towey in the White House and met the leaders of the AMU Young Republicans (opposite page).


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Brendan Weston with President George W. Bush

Molly Rublee with President George W. Bush

Charlotte Sawyer with President George W. Bush

Richard Lamarre with President George W. Bush | spring 2012 |


battle of the bands 5th Annual Swamp-Fest Battle of the Bands Some very talented students gave it up for a very enthusiastic crowd on March 24th at Ave Maria University’s 5th Annual Battle of the Bands. AMU’s hidden treasure of musicians, singers and drummers crossed swords or axes as the case may be, to secure a legacy of campus-wide fame. The winning band as announced by Prof. Michael Raiger was “It’s About Time”. Visit the Ave Maria University YouTube web site to see video of the winners.


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Left to right: Philumina Ratajczak-Smith, Reanna Barakat, Theresa Ratajczak, Cheryl Moleski, Sarah Landry.

Left to right: Kevin Nolan, Alex Pince. | spring 2012 |


News Briefs

Jeb Bush to Keynote at Ave Maria Commencement SaveFormer theGov.Date P University Ave Maria resident Jim Towey announced

1stthatAnnual Florida’s 43rd Governor, Jeb

Bush, will address the Ave Maria University graduating class of 2012. “Our graduates deserve the best and Governor Bush will provide the perfect conclusion to their Ave Maria education and leave them with a lasting memory. I look forward to having him on campus again and hearing his remarks,” President Towey said. Former Governor Bush will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Ave Maria University To benefit Ave Maria Students because of his noteworthy service as a two-term governor of Florida, during which he presided over an era of economic prosperity. Under his leadership Florida’s public school system was made more accountable and productive, and successfully navigated the aftermaths of a series of devastating hurricanes. Governor Bush earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Affairs at the University of Texas and co-authored Profiles in Character, which chronicles the lives of 14 Floridians of distinction. The University’s 8th Commencement exercises will take place on May 5, 2012

Scholarship Dinner

and begin at 10AM. Joining Governor Bush and also receiving an honorary doctorate degree will be William E. Simon, Jr., co-chairman of William E.

dnesday, February 1, 2012

Ritz Carlton Beach

Simon & Sons, LLC, a global merchant bank headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Simon earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his law degree from Boston College, and has served on numerous governing boards in education. He was Republican

nominee for governor of California in 2002, running as a pro-life candidate, and continues to enjoy considerable influence in the state. He and his wife established a foundation that helps needy youngsters in urban areas. Mr. Simon serves on the Board of Advisors at UCLA Medical Center, and also serves as Trustee on the Boards of St. John’s Health Center Foundation in Los Angeles, and The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. “Bill Simon, like Jeb Bush, has shown courage in the public square and made a significant difference,” President Towey added. “He has been a friend of Ave Maria University for years and we are privileged to honor him.” Mr. Simon will briefly address the graduates after receiving his honorary degree. Ave Maria University expects 175 men and women to participate in the commencement ceremonies that will award both graduate and undergraduate degrees. The commencement will be preceded by the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday May 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm in the beautiful Oratory Church on the campus of AMU.

“Bill Simon, like Jeb Bush, has shown courage in the public square and made a significant difference.” Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria University 34

| ave maria magazine |

a v e ma r i a ’ s

open house Ave Maria’s campus has been teeming with life thanks to the presence of our largest student body ever and the record-setting numbers of prospective students and their families visiting the campus. Every day of the week, admissions counselors have been meeting with visitors from all over the country. In addition to the steady stream of visitors, AMU has hosted two very successful Open Houses. The January 14th event was the most well attended Open House in the young University’s history. That record stood until February 18th, when even more students and parents visited Ave Maria’s beautiful Southwest Florida campus. AMU will host its final Open House of the 2011-12 academic year on April 21st. At an Open House event, prospective students and their fami-

lies hear from the President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, and the Athletics Director. At the conclusion of those talks, our prospective students and their families have the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of current AMU students. Then they enjoy a guided tour of the campus: the academic building, the library, dorms and the Oratory. Finally, attendees meet one-on-one with members of AMU’s distinguished faculty. The Open House gives students and parents alike an opportunity to experience for themselves Ave Maria’s Excellent academics and facilities, its integrated Catholic identity . . . and lastly, to learn that AMU is staggeringly Affordable. To attend contact Kevin Stinnet at 239.304.7079 or email kevin. | spring 2012 |


Two Ave Maria University Students Named Marketing Geniuses


usiness majors Mary Ladewski and Roman Samuels (pictured here), also majoring in economics, set their sights on winning Follett Higher Education Group’s Marketing Genius competition by creating the best million-dollar marketing campaign for the more than 850 Follett campus stores. In its second year, the Follett Higher Education Group (FHEG) Marketing Genius program provided students across the United States and Canada with the opportunity to develop a campaign highlighting the many affordable choices Follett offers students, including new, used, rental and digital textbooks. Three finalist teams were chosen to present their ideas to the company. The teams were flown to Chicago and treated to a hotel stay and a luncheon with Follett’s marketing team to network and learn more about the company. Each of the final teams presented their campaigns to a panel of Follett and advertising agency executives. Shortly afterwards, Mary and Roman, competing as Words Worth Consulting, were awarded the title of Follett’s 2012 Marketing Geniuses for their ideas on driving customer loyalty and facilitating a more fully integrated online experience. Special thanks for the support of the Follett Bookstore in Ave Maria.

Combined Choirs Sing to Benefit


o benefit local agricultural workers, the Ave Maria University choirs collaborated with the Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida to showcase works of Dvorak, Brahms and Beethoven under the direction of Dr. Timothy McDonnell, chair of the Ave Maria University department of music and director of the Southwest Florida Chorale. The proceeds benefited faith-based initiatives in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The CIW has been working for decades to improve the working conditions of laborers in our fields. This benefit is a clear indicator of the impact that AMU is having on the surrounding community. The concert brought together SWFL’s professional arts community with our highly talented AMU students to aid in improving working conditions for farmworkers.


| ave maria magazine |

in memoriam

letting god lay the path

Jon Scharfenberger 1989 - 2011

Ave Maria University “Class of 2011”


t is painful to post a memorial for a student when all of us at AMU loved and admired him so much. Jon Scharfenberger’s smile is fresh in our memories, his easy laughter still ringing in our ears, his sturdy Faith a subject of our admiration. Jon Scharfenberger tragically passed away in October 2011 as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident that also took the life of the car’s driver a co-worker at Students for Life America. Jon set out from his years at AMU to make a difference in the world. Following graduation, in May 2011, he began the next chapter of his life and he wrote to us. His words are a testament to the journey that he lived as a student at Ave Maria University. Jon was the president of the pro-life club and a very active and involved student. He wrote that he distinctively remembered sitting in a Bioethics class on the last day of March during his last semester at Ave Maria wondering what he was going to do after graduation. He felt that he was staring one of the worst job markets in memory in the face. Even though he was a college graduate he felt that he was in an uphill battle. But Jon did find a job. He found work in the field that he had devoted so much time to as a college student. He found meaningful work in pro-life ministry. Over the summer Jon began to work as the Campus Support Coordinator and Director of the Pregnant on Campus Initiative at Students for Life of America (SFLA.) SFLA is a non-profit pro-life organization geared towards training and equipping the next generation of pro-life leaders. They are a premier resource provider for college pro-life groups in the ultimate goal of having a pro-life group on every campus in America. As Campus Support Coordinator he met with active groups to discuss and strategize various ways to effectively combat the secular anti-life culture on college campuses. The Pregnant on Campus Initiative is a response to the stunning statistic that over 46% of abortions in America are performed on college-aged women. His job provided a vision and plan to the 630 + pro-life groups across our nation for how to create sustainable student pro-life organizations by establishing service projects to help women and families on campus and in the community. Exhilarating and challenging is how Jon described the job that he was engaged in when God called him home. While a student at Ave Maria, he had been a Philosophy major and president of the Pro-Life Club. His passion and ability to successfully engage in full time pro-life ministry gave an example of the qualities of Jon’s character and his spiritual, academic, and mental preparation to lead in the pro-life movement. In a speech he gave while at Ave Maria University, he extolled us all to, “rely on the Providence of God.” We will Jon. As you did. Rest in eternal peace.. Jon Scharfenberger, a graduate of the class of 2011. He majored in Philosophy and minored in History and was the pastPresident of AMU Students for Life.

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

save the date

february 21, 2013 2nd Annual Ave Maria University Scholarship Dinner Ritz-Carlton at the Beach, Naples, FL

Class of 2012 Baccalaureate Mass Friday, May 4, 2012 5:00 PM Ave Maria Oratory

All graduates, their families and guests are welcome to attend. Tickets are not required.

Commencement Saturday, May 5, 2012 10:00 AM Golisano Field House

All graduates, their families and guests are welcome to attend. Tickets are not required. Honorary Degrees and Commencement Speakers Former Governor Jeb Bush will deliver the Commencement Address and receive the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. William E. Simon, Jr. co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons, LLC will also receive the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

AMU Magazine Spring 2012