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FA LL 2017




Contents 3 Letter from the President 4 News 10 Faculty Updates 24 Alumni Highlights 26 Student Highlights 28 JumpStart Program Launched 30 New Exhibit in Canizaro Library 32 Athletic Updates 34 Advancement







Having previously taught theology for eleven years at Ave Maria, Dr. Roger Nutt is the new VP of Academic Affairs. He explains how his workload has changed, what his goals are at his position, and how he unwinds when he’s not at work.

Bailey Timmis writes a first-hand account of her trip to Uganda with six other Ave Maria students, explaining how her perception of Uganda has changed since the time she went there as a child.

On the 20 year anniversary of Mother Teresa’s passing, Ave Maria welcomes 125 homeless people and volunteers from Miami for Mass, lunch, and a trip to the Mother Teresa Museum.

Dan D’Aniello, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, is the latest of many prominent figures to visit Ave Maria University. See who else has visited AMU in the past.

While visiting Europe, President Towey met with modern saint, Jean Vanier, to award him an Honorary Degree. Jean Vanier has founded over 100 “L’Arche” homes which house and care for those marginalized by society.

Long-time donor and friend to the University, Jack Donahue went home to God recently. Here is a look at his legacy as the founder of Federated Investors, a leading figure in the creation of AMU, and a devoted servant of God. Added in are his “Thoughts for a Lifetime.”


US Vice President, Michael Pence, with AMU students at Hurricane Irma event in Naples, FL


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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 Office of Advancement, Ave Maria University, 5050 Ave Maria Blvd., Ave Maria, FL 34142.


Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning devoted to Mary the Mother of God, inspired by St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, and dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service.



Letter from President Towey


Freshman Sydney Sommer greets Immokalee child at Boys and Girls Club during 2017 orientation

because at a dinner he and his beloved wife of 70 years, Rhodora, hosted in their home in January 2011, he convinced me to come to Ave Maria University. You also will see a number of new faces in these pages, ranging from first-year professors to full-time coaches, as well as a profile on Dr. Roger Nutt, our new Vice President for Academic Affairs, who for over 10 years has taught graduate and undergraduate theology courses at Ave. Other articles allow a number of current and former students to share their experiences, and transport readers to China (with our talented Information Technology team) and Uganda (with our Mother Teresa Project students). This academic year is off to a great start that no hurricane could overshadow. The University enjoyed a 7% increase in the size of our new entering class, and overall en-

rollment inched upwards as well. We have over 1,100 students from 45 states and 24 countries, including 415 student-athletes. If all goes according to schedule, our Shakespeare in Performance troupe under Dr. Travis Curtright’s leadership will inaugurate the University’s new, multi-purpose building and its specially-designed “black box” theater in a production of The Taming of the Shrew. Who knew when that play was selected it would turn out to be an ode to Irma?

Jim Towey President

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s this edition of the AMU magazine went to the publisher, the cover story about speakers invited to the Ave Maria University campus was overtaken by the arrival of an uninvited guest: Hurricane Irma. The University will publish a special edition later this year that will include students’ accounts of their experiences, photos that document their stories, and the updates I posted before, during and immediately after the storm. The forthcoming publication is not meant to be commemorative as much as evangelical – the Lord and His holy mother had much to teach us about trust in God, love, sacrifice and service. Our campus will never be the same, thanks to the inundation of graces this storm unleashed. This edition, like Irma, covers much terrain. In addition to a recitation of Ave’s friends in high places, you will enjoy a feature on one in an even higher place. Jack Donahue, former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University and an indispensable partner with founder Tom Monaghan from day one, went home to God a few months ago. What can be said about a man who had 13 children, 84 grandchildren, and over 100 great-grandkids, who also successfully launched and stewarded Federated Investors? Along the way, he donated approximately $1 billion toward charities that advance the interests of the Catholic Church, as well as other worthy causes. I am personally indebted to Jack Donahue,


AMUNEWS (L to R) Caitlin Bostrom, Casey Knox, and Joe Free



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ve Maria University is among the recommended colleges and universities listed in the latest edition of “The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.” Founded in 1993, The Cardinal Newman Society’s core mission is to promote and defend faithful Catholic education. The 2017-2018 edition marks the




ast spring, AMU graduated its first-ever students in the Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) major. The two graduates from

tenth year of publication of the Newman Guide. Despite its dramatic growth over the past six years, Ave Maria’s inclusion on the list clearly demonstrates that the University remains faithful to its mission as a Catholic, liberal arts institution dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service. In describing AMU, the Newman Guide notes that “Cathol-

icism is exhibited throughout the University’s architecture, art, and curriculum. The centrality of the parish church and the availability of the Sacraments highlight the school’s focus.” Chair of the Theology Department, Dr. Michael Dauphinais, says, “The faculty and students enjoy being at a university where they possess the freedom to be Catholic, and non-Catholics enjoy the wholesome and supportive environment.”

the class who took the National Counsel Licensure (NCLEX) nursing exam, Tyler Church (left) and Michelle O’Loughlin (right), passed, which gives AMU BSN majors a 100% passing rate at this point! The NCLEX exam is a standardized exam that each state board of nursing uses to determine whether a candidate is prepared for entry-level nursing practice. Tyler Church is working full-time as a Registered Nurse at Lee Health in Ft Myers. Michelle O’Loughlin is seeking to begin her career in Texas.

The first group of BSN students began their studies in 2015, and there are now 19 students in the major (7 seniors and 12 juniors). The major is attracting significant interest, as can be seen by the 26 incoming freshmen who selected the pre-nursing track this fall – the second largest declared major cohort of the incoming class. The growth is poised to continue, with a new nursing lab and classrooms coming on-line once the building now under construction on the beautiful academic mall of the campus is completed.



e are convoked at AMU for the cause of truth.” Dr. Roger Nutt opened with these words at the 2017 Academic Convocation ceremony shortly before the Convocation speaker, Dr. Daniel Philpott, addressed a serious truth that many religions have faced: persecution. Philpott, who is Professor of Politics at the University of Notre Dame and codirector of Under Caesar’s Sword, explained the various ways in which Christians around the world respond to persecution, presenting from their example a lesson for the students and faculty gathered to ponder as a new academic year commenced. Philpott identified three ways in which Christians respond to persecution: survival, association, and confrontation. Of these three, he focused on strategies of association as instructive to American Christians, for whom martyrdom is not

imminent, but who will most likely face what Pope Francis termed “polite persecution.” In the face of such discrimination, Philpott advised adopting strategies of association, like the witnessing to religious freedom and the building of ties with fellow Christians to counter the power of the persecutors. Such strategies can be seen in the examples of many of those commemorated at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew, like Shahbaz Bhatti, who served in public office and was martyred for his faith in 2011 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Philpott commended Ave Maria University for its lawsuit against the federal government over the HHS contraception and abortifacient mandate. “Many persecuted Christians around the world will not live to see the vindication of

their cause,” he concluded in his address. “Here, the Christians may take comfort and courage from what the great Second Vatican Council document Gaudium et Spes teaches: that the goods that we construct in this life are burnished, transformed and placed on eternal display in the next.”

Moments after graduating, Michael Reilly walked to the flagpole in the center of Ave Maria University’s campus and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, fulfilling a journey that began in his sophomore year of college. The nearest Marine recruiting office is in Miami, so Reilly did most of his training in Ave. This training came at the expense of social interaction and free time, but he says that keeping his eyes on the prize was key. Sometimes he would even put on his dress blues in his room just to give himself motivation to earn the right to wear them in public one day. Reilly would like to become an infantry officer while serving. Despite stating, “once a Marine, always a Marine,” he would like to teach at his high school alma mater, The Heights School, in Potomac, MD, after his active service ends.

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(L to R) Eddie Dejthai, Ralf Gomez, and Lafayette Alves explore the Great Wall of China on their day off


Intel Competition Brings Members of AMU’s IT Team to China


hree members of Ave Maria University’s Information Technology team – Chief Information Officer Eddie Dejthai, Ralf Gomez, and Lafayette Alves – travelled to Beijing, China in August to participate

in the annual China-US Young Makers competition, sponsored by Intel. Their entry in this year’s prestigious competition was a visual alert system for hazards or emergencies, the “Intelligent Community Alert Beacon”(iCAB).

The iCAB submission gained the team advancement to the final round, where they found themselves competing against teams which, like their own, had survived multiple knockout rounds leading up to the finale in

Beijing. Upon returning from the competition, members of the team talked about their experience.

Eddie takes a few moments of relaxation, as they had very little sleep during the competition

AMU: And Intel funded this trip? Eddie: Yes

AMU: How was it representing a small school and competing against bigger universities like Purdue? Was it intimidating? Eddie: Not at all. We had a great team and we worked really well together. And it helps that we work together on a daily basis. This shows that a small university really can compete. Ralf: For me, it was a little intimidating going up against bigger institutions. Some of the projects were really well developed and had a lot more time and resources than we had. But like Eddie said, the takeback was teamwork. Lafayette: It was a little bit intimidating for me too, but also humbling to be able to go up against all of those different groups. As Ralf mentioned, some of these groups had a lot more time to develop their projects.

AMU: So you made the cut among the competition in the U.S. and won the trip to China. How did your team perform in Beijing, and what was the competition like? Eddie: There were 60 teams from China and 10 teams from the US. Those 70 teams got divided into four groups. Twenty-four of the 70 advanced to the second and final round. We were one of the four American teams that made it to the final round. The top three awards went to Purdue, which finished in third place, and two Chinese teams taking the first and second prizes.

AMU: How long have each of you worked at AMU and how have you seen the IT department grow since you arrived? Eddie: I have been here about 6 years, and I can say with confidence that I would put our team up against any IT team out there in terms of performance, especially under pressure, and our ability to perform with the resources given to us. I feel that we are now delivering a lot more than we did in the past years. Ralf: I have been here four years, and having worked at a few IT depart-

ments before this, I can say that this team is one of a kind. Everyone here has the initiative to learn and grow. Lafayette: I have been here for about six years, as well. I started as a student-worker when Eddie came on board. The growth of the department and the University has been immense. I could go on and on about how we’ve helped automate things and how we have helped the business intelligence side, but most importantly, we’ve helped the student experience. AMU: What did you find most interesting in your trip to China? Eddie: The overall culture of learning impressed me, and having the opportunity to compete on the world stage was special. Also, you can’t beat the Great Wall of China. Ralf: I was impressed by how the Chinese embrace technology, but at the same time embrace their history and culture. They realize technology brings people together, but they still maintain their ancient traditions. I was amazed that kids were building robots at 12 years old and learning DNA sequencing. Lafayette: The most powerful experience for me was seeing the culture of youth over there. We had several Chinese volunteers under the age of 18 who might as well have been post-grad students in terms of their maturity and competence.

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AMU: Talk about the competition itself. How did you find out about it? Eddie: Ralf found this competition on “Hackster,” which is sponsored by Intel. He pretty much came up with the idea. Ralf: The idea behind the contest was to reach out to young makers: hardware and software tinkerers. Intel was a big partner, and the goal was to use some of its hardware to create a change that would help humanity in the health sector, education, cultural development, transportation, etc. We chose something that we thought would help a community at large – an intelligent alert system. Basically it’s a fire alarm system, but one that uses lights instead of sounds to relay important information – alerts regarding hurricanes, tornadoes or other emergencies. Eddie: The system also ties into something like an amber alert. When an amber alert triggers, the system is designed to grab the information and send out an alert.



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fter teaching theology at Ave Maria University for eleven years, Dr. Roger Nutt stepped into the key leadership role of Vice President for Academic Affairs this summer. His daily routine has certainly been altered. Instead of prepping for class and addressing rooms full of students, Dr. Nutt finds himself going to meetings and answering emails—“infinitely more emails!” he laughs. As a veteran professor, it was not without some regret that he relinquished the duties of the

classroom, but he is eager to serve in his new role. “I care deeply for the University and its students,” he shares, “so even though I was attached to teaching, I saw it as an opportunity to serve these entities for the sake of a higher good.” There are a number of priorities Dr. Nutt is looking forward to advancing during his term as VPAA. “We’ve turned a significant corner,” he explains. “There was so much work that went into the founding of AMU: the construction of the campus, obtaining initial accreditation, the reaffirmation

of our accreditation, the rapid development of many new majors, and the introduction of intercollegiate athletics. It finally feels like we can grow into the institution that has been put together over these last several years.” Dr. Nutt adds, “We have moved past the founding period, and are now in the permanent-life phase.” Although he will not be teaching this semester, Dr. Nutt will continue to shepherd doctoral students in the graduate Theology program, and pursue his research projects. He is in the process of editing a book on

“He is going to take Ave Maria University to a higher level of general excellence because he has the skills and temperament to excel.”

Mother Teresa and Catholic Mystics, and also is writing an article on Thomist theologians of the 20th century. He hopes to resume some of his teaching load in the spring. Dr. Nutt holds a Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, in Rome. He is Co-Director of the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal and Editor-in-Chief of AMU’s publishing house, Sapientia Press. He has written more than twenty-five articles, book reviews and book chapters. He has edited three books and authored two recently.

His latest highly-acclaimed work, General Principles of Sacramental Theology (CUA Press, 2017) displays his talent for taking complex subjects and making them accessible to academicians and general readers alike. In his free time, Dr. Nutt enjoys spending time with his wife, Susan, and son, Timothy. His regular regimen of exercising, and his quiet time reading great works of literature by authors such as Dostoevsky and Dickens helps offset the demands placed on the University’s chief academic officer. Department

of Theology chairman and colleague, Dr. Michael Dauphinais, who knows the pressures of the position having served in the VPAA capacity for several years, believes Dr. Nutt is the right scholar and administrator to lead AMU’s academics. “Roger is respected in the U.S. and abroad as a theologian, writer, and thinker, but nowhere more than among his colleagues on our campus,” Dauphinais observes. “He is going to take Ave Maria University to a higher level of general excellence because he has the skills and temperament to excel.”

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—Dr. Michael Dauphinais



Welcome, New Faculty Nottingham Trent University, Prime Projects International, and Institute of Astrophysics.

“I always liked Physics and Engineering and realized I was naturally quite good at experimental physics early on in my life.”

Gerald Boersma: Theology

Katherine LeNotre: Composition

Education – Durham University (PhD) and

Education – University of Dallas (BA) and

Ave Maria University (MA)

Catholic University of America (MA and

Work experience – Professor at St.


Bonaventure University

Work experience – Teacher of Rhetoric

“My wife, Maria, and I are both graduates from Ave Maria and the opportunity to return and contribute to the dynamic mission of our vibrantly Catholic, liberal arts institution is a tremendous blessing.”

and Composition at Catholic University of America

“By learning to write better, a student can learn to think more clearly.”

Thomas Mathews: Business Education – Seton Hall University (BA), MBA [Fin and Computer Sc], CFA, CPA: Passed all parts of exam. Work experience - CFO, Spencer Savings Bank, NJ; Treasurer, Spencer Savings Bank; Treasurer, Mizuho Whitehall Bank, NYC.

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“Since I had heard of the potential to set up AMU in Naples dating back to 2002, I had set a goal of teaching at this university.”


Isabelle Gaulin: Education

Andrew Lerwill: Physics

Education – West Virginia University

Education - University of Hertfordshire

(Doctoral) (Two Masters degrees)

(BS), University of Reading (MS), Exeter

Work experience – Professor at Saint

University, Nottingham Trent University

Mary-of-the Woods, Professor and Chair


of Elementary Ed. at Virginia Union

Work experience – Has either taught,


lectured, researched, or managed at

“Without teachers/education as a profession, there wouldn’t be any ordered society at all.”

College of the Bahamas, Rochester Institute of Technology, Getty Conservation Institute, Tate Gallery,

William Serson: Biology Education – University of Kentucky (PhD) and Millersville University (BS)

Work Experience - Teacher and researcher at University of Kentucky

“At many institutions a faithful Catholic faces much opposition in the biology department. Happy to see faith and reason coexisting here at AMU.”

“Once I discovered that theology was more than simply the reading of Scripture, I found myself increasingly drawn to a richer, more historically self-aware expression of the faith.”

Jeffrey Walkey: Theology Education - Purdue University (BS), Duke University (MTS), Marquette University (PhD Candidate) Work experience – Instructor of Theology

James Vranish: Chemistry Adam VanWart: Theology

Education - University of Notre Dame (BS) and Texas A&M University (PhD)

Education - Texas Christian University

Work experience - Researcher at the Center

(BS), Dallas Theological Seminary (MA),

for Biomolecular Science and Engineering

Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM), Duke

at the US Naval Research Laboratory in

University (MTS), Southern Methodist

Washington, D.C

University (PhD)

“The passionately Catholic nature of Ave Maria University made this job opportunity one that I couldn’t pass up.”

Work Experience – Professor at Southern Methodist University

at Marquette University

“I want to be of service to the Church, not its critic. AMU provides just such a context, one in which I can be faithful and fruitful, and in some way serve the Church.”

Faculty Publications, 2017

TONY BARBOSA WO2016201356 – “Solid Forms of (Z)-4-(5((3-Benzyl-4-Oxo-2-Thioxothiazolidin-5ylidene)Methyl)Furan-2-yl)Benzoic Acid.” It is one of a series designed to cover Adhaere Pharmaceuticals’ Immuno-Oncology drug planned to enter Phase I Clinical Trials for Pancreatic Cancer in the first half of 2018. Two additional patent applications US 62/440,195 and US 62/440,206 (content confidential) expanding Adhaere’s patent portfolio were also submitted. JANICE BREIDENBACH Janice Chik Breidenbach, “Action, Animacy, and Substance Causation”, in Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science​, ed. Robert Koons, Nicholas Teh, William Simpson (Routledge, 2017). MICHAEL BREIDENBACH Michael D. Breidenbach, “Jacques Maritain and Leo XIII on the Problem of Church-State

Relations,” in The Things that Matter: Essays on the Later Work of Jacques Maritain, ed. Heidi M. Giebel (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2017) TRAVIS CURTRIGHT Travis Curtright, “Thomas More and the ‘genius’ of Utopia” Moreana 54.1 (June, 2017): 1-18. FR. ROBERT GARRITY Mother Teresa’s Mysticism: Christo-EcclesioHumano-Centric Mysticism (Hobe Sound, Florida: Lectio Publishing, May, 2017). Resurrection Power: Spiritual Solutions for an Anxious Age, Second Edition, Digital Only, with Supplement: The Resurrection: Truth or Deception? (Hobe Sound, Florida: Lectio Publishing, July, 2017). GABRIEL MARTINEZ Martinez, Gabriel X. (2017) “Uneven Playing Fields: Markets and Oligarchy” in Pope Francis and the Caring Society, ed. Whaples, Robert M., The Independent Institute: Oakland, CA. pp. 69-86. DENISE MCNULTY Whitehead, D. K., Dittman, P., & McNulty, D. (2017). Leadership and the advanced practice

nurse: the future of a changing healthcare environment (1st ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company. STEFANIE MORRIS Dorough Morris, S., Grice, J. & Cox, R. (2017). Scale imposition as quantitative alchemy: Studies on the transitivity of Neuroticism ratings. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 39(1), 1-18. 2016.1256288 THOMAS SCHECK Jerome. Commentaries on the Twelve Prophets, volume 2 [Zechariah, Malachi, Hosea, Joel, Amos]. Edited by Thomas P. Scheck. Ancient Christian Texts. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2017. St. Jerome: Commentary on Ezekiel. Translated by Thomas P. Scheck. Ancient Christian Writers No. 71. New York: The Newman Press, 2017. WILLIAM SERSON Orlowski, J. M., Serson, W. R., AL-Amery, M., Gregg, G. L., & Lee, C. D. (2017). Early-season Stress Can Have Small Effect on Soybean Seed Protein and Oil Content. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management, 3(1). doi:10.2134/ cftm2016.12.0082

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PAUL BAXA Massimo Moraglio, Driving Modernity: Technology, Experts, Politics, and Fascist Motorways, 1922-1943 in The Journal of Transport History, vol. 38 (no. 2), December 2017 (forthcoming).



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lthough this was Ave Maria’s pioneer mission trip to Uganda, I was not expecting to encounter too many surprises. I had not worked with the Missionaries of Charity before, but this was not my first visit to a third world country or my first mission trip.  It was not even my first time to the country itself.  And yet, in spite of all that, God, in the way that He often does, still managed to surprise me. My family has a long history with Uganda. Though my father was raised Catholic, I am told that he was quite the wild child throughout high school and college, and it was not until he was 22 that he encountered God for the first time.  He moved to Uganda for a gap year between college and a master’s degree, but, inspired by his newfound faith, he founded a Jesus-centered high school, Cornerstone Leadership Academy (CLA), with two other Americans. There are now CLA schools in five countries: two in Uganda, one in Rwanda, one in Tanzania, and one in South Sudan. My parents met during those years, and my mom joined my dad in Uganda for three years before they moved back to the States for business school and to start their family. My dad has continued to visit Uganda almost every year since he moved back home, and when I was thirteen, he began to take me along too.  I have now been to Uganda five times. I went with fellow AMU students Helen Smith, Maura Littleton, Sarah Kozak, John Lesniewski, Johnny Thrun, and Benny Carollo,

Bailey Timmis

accompanied by Joe McDonald, who staffed the trip. Staying with the Missionaries of Charity and working at their home for the mentally and physically disabled was a different experience. It was there that I encountered the “poorest of the poor” for the first time. It is one thing to be poor materially, but at least the poor that I had met before were still in possession of their bodies and minds.  The people I met with the Missionaries of Charity were scarcely in possession of one or both of these.  If no one fed them, they could not eat.  If no one cleaned them, they remained sitting in their own filth.  The idea of this extreme dependence still terrifies me. We worked with the sisters and those who help them, feeding these peo-

(Top to Bottom) Benny Carollo; The group visits CLA girls’ school; Maura Littleton

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ple, bathing them, and doing their laundry. Watching these handicapped people, I was also reminded of my own Downs Syndrome brother. Thanks to first world technology, he was able get heart surgery as a one year old and received braces to straighten his legs so that he could walk. Had he lived in the third world, he could have been crippled or even dead by now. The sisters do their best to care for these handicapped people with very limited supplies, but they do not have the first world advantages that helped my little brother. Yet in spite of these difficulties, I saw the face of God in these handicapped people.  I have been to adoration of the Eucharist many times before and I realized that caring for these people was in a way the same thing.   I finally understood that whatever you do for the least, you do for God. I also saw God in our trip to the shrines of the Ugandan martyrs, both Catholic and Anglican, neither of which I had visited before.  Shortly after the first Christian missionaries arrived in Uganda, King Mwanga II had 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic pages executed for their faith.  True to the saying, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,” Christianity blossomed in Uganda after their deaths, and in Africa more generally.  Not only did we get to hear about the vibrancy of the Church in Uganda, but we also got to experience it on some level. On Sunday, we attended Mass at the Catholic shrine. There were five masses that day and though I cannot be certain, I believe that they were all as overflowing as ours was. There were multiple tents outside of the church with speakers so that the overflow could still hear the Mass. In spite of the several times I have been to Uganda, the Mother Teresa Project mission trip allowed me to understand and love more deeply not only my faith but also the country that has been so much a part of my own personal history.  I pray that the lessons I learned will stay with me for the rest of my life.


Missionaries of Charity (MC’s) arrive in Ave Maria with volunteers and homeless; Hannah Martin greets the arrivals

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Over 120 homeless people and volunteers from Miami travelled with the MCs to enjoy Mass, lunch, and a trip to the Mother Teresa Museum.


(Top to Bottom) Sister Mangala and President Towey have a word after mass; Lunch in the AMU cafeteria; Trip to the Mother Teresa Museum, Departure

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eptember 2017 marked twenty years since Mother Teresa went home to God. In honor of this Anniversary, the Missionaries of Charity Sisters from Miami bused a group of 125 homeless people and volunteers to Ave Maria University to celebrate Mother Teresa’s legacy. The visitors poured off the buses in blue shirts themed for the event. For most of them, it was the first time they had ever been to Ave, or anywhere else on the Southwest Gulf Coast of Florida. AMU students joined the homeless, volunteers, and the Sisters for Mass in the University ballroom, followed by lunch in the cafeteria, and a visit across the street to the Mother Teresa Museum. The event offered the students a unique opportunity to take part on campus in Mother Teresa’s mission of feeding the poor, and it further deepened the already strong bond between Ave Maria University and the Missionaries of Charity. Sister Mangala, the head of the Missionaries of Charity branch in Miami, said that the homeless were excited to see Ave Maria, for many of them had heard of it, adding that, of the homeless the MCs had encountered that morning in Miami, eighty percent agreed to come along on the visit. Sister Mangala knew Mother Teresa on a very personal level. She was born in South India, and joined the Missionaries of Charity in 1969. Most of her time as a Sister had been split between Haiti and India before coming to Miami two and a half years ago. Her work in Miami includes feeding between 250 and 300 people a day, sheltering women and children at night, visiting shut-ins and patients in nursing homes, and making weekly visits to prisons. Sometimes AMU students volunteer in the Miami houses, helping the impoverished that come to it. Sister Mangala says that she prays for the Mother Teresa Project every day. “The students are growing beautifully as the future of this country,” she stated, and added, “They always express their happiness, joy and peace.” She describes AMU President Jim Towey as a very special person to the Missionaries of Charity community, explaining that “he was like a son to Mother Teresa.” Ave Maria students also shared their thoughts on Mother Teresa’s legacy being carried on at the University. Sarah Kozak, an AMU senior, who went on a mission trip to Uganda through the Mother Teresa Project, reflects, “It’s so beautiful, because it’s what our university was founded on. And for a lot of us, it’s easy to forget about the outside world because you’re in this bubble. But you need to remember there’s a whole world of people whom you are called to serve.” Anna Murphy, a junior, believes that Mother Teresa taught her the meaning of simplicity, and that small acts of kindness can make a difference in helping people. She also felt genuinely inspired by the Missionaries of Charity Sisters. “They give up everything to go and serve. We often forget about the needs of the most vulnerable, but they respond to the call every single day.”


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(L to R) Bishop Frank Dewane, Jim Towey, and Dan D’Aniello


A-LIST AT AMU America’s Elite Flock to Campus

When Dan D’Aniello arrived on the campus of Ave Maria University for the first time, he felt instantly at home. D’Aniello is a man from humble origins - the only son of a hard-working mother who held down three jobs to provide for him. D’Aniello himself began working at age 9 at his uncle’s fruit market, and toiled in a steel mill during college.  Like many Ave students, D’Aniello needed to work to cover his college expenses. Throughout his life he always put his Catholic faith first, and in fact, attended daily Mass as an altar server

“Dan D’Aniello is a bluecollar guy on top of the white-collar world.” —JIM TOWEY while at Syracuse University. After graduating and then serving as a U.S. Navy supply officer through four major deployments during the Vietnam War, he earned his MBA degree at Harvard Business School and embarked upon a business career. Decades later D’Aniello co-founded The Carlyle Group, one of America’s most prestigious investment firms, with $170 billion in managed assets.   “It was an unbelievable honor to have him on our campus and in front of our graduates,” said Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria University.  “Dan D’Aniello is a blue-collar guy on top of the white-collar world.”  All of the success and accolades D’Aniello has known have

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Cardinal O’Malley addresses Class of 2016


13th Librarian of Congress James Billington Arthur Brooks

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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush


not changed him or the way he lives. He and his wife Gayle live in the same home they have occupied for 30 years. The D’Aniellos remain fully engaged in the lives of their two daughters, and are active in their local parish as well as with numerous civic and faith-based organizations.  “Our students loved Dan and instantly related to what he had to say,” Towey added.  “He is dramatic proof that a man can maintain his Catholic faith and keep his family first, and still succeed at the highest levels.” Dan D’Aniello is not the first prominent individual to come to Ave Maria University. When D’Aniello addressed the Class of 2017 he followed in the footsteps of scores of nationally and internationally-renowned men and women who wanted to see first-hand the University which, in less than 15 years, has become one of the finest Catholic liberal arts colleges in America.  Indeed, the list of Church leaders, public officials, and scholars who have come to Ave Maria’s campus in recent years is a veritable “Who’s Who” of some of the most distinguished men and women of the 21st century. Zach Crockett, Class of 2013, said his years at AMU were enriched by such high-profile lecturers. “The frequent speakers brought to campus demonstrate that learning does not end in the classroom at Ave. The students get to hear from experts in the field, and the speakers in turn seem to enjoy being at a place where we relentlessly pursue intellectual truth.” Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Roger Nutt, agreed, “The principal way that Ave Maria University serves the needs of the Church and the modern world is by serving the cause of truth through teaching, research, and study. Having scholars and professional leaders from outside the Ave Maria University community naturally enriches our academic pursuits in many important ways.” Unlike D’Aniello, who only came to learn about Ave Maria University recently, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston has been a long-time admirer of the University and friend of founder, Tom Monaghan. Indeed His Eminence has followed the University from day one and had been to the campus before the morning he addressed a packed Golisano Field House on gradua-

tion day 2016. He declared in his remarks to the graduates of the Class of 2016 that, “Ave Maria University is Mother Teresa’s University.”  Cardinal O’Malley currently is a trustee of the University, and in 2013, along with fellow trustee Tricia Flatley, was instrumental in getting the Mother Teresa Project established on campus.  The fact that Cardinal O’Malley is one of His Holiness Pope Francis’ most trusted friends and advisors, and that Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa in 2016, makes his aforementioned declaration all the more significant.  Joe Guernsey, Class of 2015, recalled his commencement. “Cardinal O’Malley’s presence at our graduation was an incredible blessing. He challenged us to live out our calling to use our education to bring Christ to the world, and with his presence he showed us how important that calling truly is.” Some guest speakers have come to Ave Maria University at a great sacrifice. Former Florida Governor and U.S. Presidential candidate Jeb Bush finished his remarks to the Class of 2012 and immediately drove himself to the dentist for emergency surgery. Another, Dr. Arthur Brooks, a best-selling author and the President of the American Enterprise Institute (Washington’s pre-eminent think tank), arrived on the eve of his remarks to the Class of 2015 and had to be treated for similar dental woes. Towey quipped, “Sometimes getting A-list folks to our campus is like pulling teeth.” What was most impressive about the sacrifices of these two highly-respected individuals was that no one knew of their condition. “Jeb and Arthur share two things in common: a firm Catholic faith, and a commitment to the future of the University.” Both men also number among the thousands of donors Ave enjoys. In addition to the academic convocation and commencement speakers, Ave Maria has an annual procession of prominent lecturers during the academic year. The subjects they address range from contemporary issues to those of antiquity. AMU students consider these lectures as an added bonus to the Catholic liberal arts education of the classroom. “These notable men and women raise the level of discourse and enrich the intellectual life of the community,” Crockett opined.

US Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson

Florida Governor Rick Scott

Selected Excerpts of speech by Dan D’Aniello, Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group, Washington, DC Commencement 2017

country, if not the world.

have in this world, and none more important than our relationship with Jesus Christ. *****

As a graduate of Ave Maria University, however, you’ve not only received a

Today, while hard to comprehend, there are more Christians facing violence

top-flight education in the field of your choice, but you’ve also received a strong

and persecution around the world than ever before in human history. The hostili-

faith-based formation.

ty, while less pronounced, is even evident in America.

**** Understand, however, that from time to time, you will be challenged for your

Mindful of this threatening environment, St. John Paul the Great said, “The power of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection is greater than any evil that mankind

beliefs. And that’s when your Christian formation will give you the most strength-

could or should fear.” And he doubled down on that when he said that in our

-the courage of your convictions to be an unwavering defender of your faith.

increasingly secular culture, Christians must unapologetically promote a count-

Of course, these occasions won’t be easy or comfortable, but always remem-

er culture. Now, I can tell you, as someone who lived through the tumultuous

ber that you have a chorus of Saints behind you­as St. John Paul the Great often

1960s, that the idea of a sainted pope telling us to be counter cultural is pretty

said, “Be not afraid”. Your moral compass will guide you because of what you


have learned here at Ave Maria. That moral compass is all-important as you navigate the uncharted waters

***** There are many detractors these days of our free enterprise economic system.

of building a personal and professional life in the secular world. We live in an

They decry it on the basis that it serves the few to the detriment of the many. But

age of moral ambiguity and relativism, where we’re rarely called upon to make

the facts prove differently. The cure for poverty isn’t where one would first expect.

stark choices between “right and wrong”-rather we’re constantly and covertly

Is it found in a thousand government programs under the banner of the so-called

pressured to give in to what is popular, socially trendy, or politically correct. This

“war on poverty”, spending tens of trillions of dollars, but achieving nothing?

is particularly true when the compromises seem trivial or inconsequential. So re-

No. It’s found where critics would least expect it; in an economic system that

member what St. Teresa of Calcutta told us: “Be faithful in small things because,

enables the God-given creative impulse of well-intentioned entrepreneurial

it is in them that your strength Iies”.

people, to create value for all of mankind.

**** One of the greatest gifts God gave me, as an only child of a single parent, was

***** Definitions of success are as unique as each person here today. St.

the realization at a very young age, that my mother and grandmother were living

Francis de Sales said it best when he said “Be who you are and strive to be that

their lives for me, in loving and selfless sacrifice. In like manner, I ask that each

perfectly. In doing so, be guided by the words of Leon Blay, “the only real failure

of you take time to reflect, with love and appreciation, on those in your life who

in life, is not to become a saint.” Hashtag “Live Jesus”!

have supported you; who have been there for you in good times and bad; and whose dreams are being fulfilled by your great achievement today. And if I leave you with one thought on this graduation day, it would be this: I hope you will find ways to turn your appreciation for what has been given to you into an inspiration toward helping others-including family and friends, your

**** There needs to be more pioneering institutions with the transformative power of Ave Maria, striking out new paths, not just open to truth, but defending it at all costs against the false self-gratification of today’s secularism. The pioneering example set by all of you at Ave Maria will inspire future stu-

communities of faith and, of course, the poor in corporal needs and the poor

dents and new institutions to better defend our faith, restore our civilization, and

in spirit. In the end, our personal relationships are the most important thing we

reform our culture.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

First, let me start by saying how proud you must all feel to be graduating from what many consider to be one of the very finest Catholic universities in the


a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | F a l l 2017


Jim Towey presents Jean Vanier with Honorary Degree in Paris, France

Templeton Prize Winner Honored for Walking with Jesus and Loving the Poor By Jim Towey


ve Maria University’s newest alumnus, Jean Vanier, did not wear a black graduation gown and receive his AMU diploma in front of an adoring crowd. He accepted his honorary doctorate in a Paris restaurant and wore his trademark blue windbreaker (the same one he would wear two days later for tea in Buckingham Palace when he visited with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II). For an unpretentious man who lives a very simple life, such an unassuming presentation of an honorary degree was perfectly tailored to his preferences. Because he no longer travels the world as he once did, the only way Ave Maria could confer its highest honor on him was to bring the ceremony to him, and so we did. These days Jean seldom leaves his beloved Trosly-Breuil, the village in France where in 1964 he first welcomed into his home two men who were languishing in an institution for the developmentally disabled. That initial step in faith grew to become an international network of nearly 150 homes in over 35 countries. He named these communities “L’Arche” (The Ark) and they are sprinkled like mustard seeds all over the world. The reason you may not know who Jean Vanier or L’Arche are says a lot about the times in which we live. True celebrity seldom resides in the limelight or associates with the poor and powerless. In our hyper-competitive world, Jean chooses to break bread with those whom society marginalizes. He knows they are precious to God and have a gift to give us. They help us see that we, too, have handicaps that prevent us from loving and living freely. Our handicaps just are not as visible. To know Jean Vanier’s life story is to realize he is no ordinary man. As a 13 year old Canadian boy, he enlisted in the Royal Navy in England during World War II; assisted the survivors of Nazi concentration camps; studied Aristotle; and then taught at

a university in Toronto. It is striking that a man with a towering intellect (Ph.D. in Philosophy, author of 30 books) left academia to spend the rest of his life in community with those with intellectual disabilities. His early work in France escaped the world’s acclaim. But as with Mother Teresa when her decades of obscurity in the slums gave way to global recognition, Jean Vanier’s prophetic witness to the Gospel by welcoming the institutionalized and the rejected eventually commanded attention. The diploma he received from Ave Maria University in June joins the many awards and honors, including the coveted Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, which the Vatican, world governments, and others have conferred upon him. Indeed, on the day my wife Mary and I visited with him and his treasured assistant, Odile Ceyrac, a powerful documentary film about his life and companions, “Summer in the Forest,” was showing in London. I have known Jean for over 30 years and am privileged to number among his friends and admirers. Now in his 90th year, Jean is accepting the changes in his life that the aging process presents. But he is as engaged with the world as ever. His walk with the developmentally disabled testifies to his deep Catholic faith, love of Jesus, and embrace of others with differences. At our 2 ½ hour lunch Jean seemed genuinely happy to learn about Ave Maria University. He was delighted that hundreds of Ave students are serving the poor through the Mother Teresa Project (he regularly ate breakfast with Mother Teresa in her Calcutta convent, since he had a nearby L’Arche community). He also likes Alpha (a program in evangelization for Catholics and non-Catholics alike that Ave Maria uses). He enjoys receiving our magazine. Even though he will never step foot on our campus, he is part of the Ave Maria University family. We are privileged to have his distinguished name number among the ranks of our alumni.

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Remembering Jack Donahue 1924-2017

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I 22

Seeking Heaven While Changing the World

try.” Donahue’s life story gave ample n Matthew 6:21, it is stated, “For testimony to this. He graduated from where your treasure is, there your West Point in 1946, was a pilot in the heart will be also.” Typically, a man military, and became personal friends who co-founded a company that with two U.S. commanders-in-chief. grew to the point of managing $360 Ave Maria University was one of billion in capital would consider his the many places that benefited from earthly wealth to be his treasure. AMU BIDS FAREWELL TO FORMER BOARD the leadership and wisdom of Jack Jack Donahue, who passed away on Donahue. As Tom Monaghan recalls, May 11, 2017, was not a typical man. CHAIRMAN AND FAITHFUL FRIEND “He was a mentor and the ultimate role He found his wealth first and foremost model. His commitment to his faith, in his faith and family. He left behind a family and Catholic education was an inspiration to me and all family lineage of over 200 members, most of whom are divided who met him.” Donahue was the first Chairman of the Board of between his hometown, Pittsburgh, PA, and chosen city of resiTrustees at AMU. Monaghan says about his role, “As Chairman, dence during his final years, Naples, FL. he got us through the toughest time we had at AMU as we faced Donahue’s record of success and philanthropy runs deep. His some critical challenges early on; his efforts were masterful.” history of giving and donating was not a product of his tremenCurrent Chairman Michael Timmis was personally chosen by dous wealth, but a principle that was without contingency. His Jack Donahue to succeed him after he stepped down. “At first daughter Rebecca Foxhoven said that when they received an I didn’t want to do it, but he (Jack) saw something in me. I’m allowance as kids, he encouraged them to budget and spend it grateful for that trust,” Timmis explains. When asked what he responsibly. “More importantly, he emphasized generosity and learned from Jack Donahue, Timmis adds, “I observed how genbeing good stewards.” erous and unfailingly kind he was, but also how he would fight His son Chris Donahue said that on top of his father’s genfor a cause when he had to, in an honest and Christian manner.” erosity, “He also believed in a patriotic duty to God and coun-

Left: Jack Donahue with wife, Rhodora, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl; Top: Donahue Street runs through the heart of AMU’s campus; Bottom: Jack and Rhodora Donahue stand by commemoration plaque with members of extended family

Jack Donahue Thoughts for a Lifetime (Written on the occasion of his 50th Wedding Anniversary, 1996)


n the realm of the spiritual, there are important thoughts on which to reflect. Always remember that

your goal in life is to go to Heaven and to help others in every way possible to get there. You cannot repeat this thought often enough; it should be a part of your very being. To achieve this goal: 1) Be determined to accept the will of God in everything that happens to you. Make every effort to discern the will of God for you, and make even a greater effort to follow wherever it leads. 2) Pray… Pray constantly. Nothing is more important than daily prayer for the preservation of the precious gift of faith you have received. Do not stop praying; for the day you stop praying is the day you will begin to lose your faith. This applies to everyone… even bishops, cardinals and the pope. 3) The Eucharist stands at the center of the Church’s life. The Church and Pope John Paul II have encouraged us to receive the Eucharist frequently; daily, if at all possible. There would be no Catholic Church without the Eucharist. 4) The Lord commanded us to “love one another.” There are no qualifications in this command. It is not complicated nor subject to interpretation or rationalization. So, pray that you will always find it in your heart to “love one another.” In Summary… Seek Heaven as your primary goal in life. Seek to know and do the will of God. Pray so that you keep your faith. Receive the Eucharist as often as possible. Love one another.

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Jim Towey claims he would not be President of Ave Maria University if it were not for Jack Donahue. “There’s no disputing the central role that Tom Monaghan played in founding the University, but Ave would not be where it is today without Jack and Rhodora,” Towey stated. Jack Donahue is survived by his wife of 70 years, Rhodora, who has played a crucial role in the bond between Ave Maria and the Donahue name. Monaghan points out, “I would be remiss if I did not mention Rhodora. Her strength of faith, love of family and loyalty to friends cannot be overstated.” Towey concurs. “Rhodora was the love of his life, and nothing he accomplished meant more to him than being a good husband and father. The two of them are forever one.” More than once, Donahue stated without reservation that with the exception of his marriage and family, Ave Maria University was the most significant work of his entire lifetime. Jack Donahue will be missed by his friends and admirers at AMU, but his legacy on the AMU campus will only grow with the generations to come.



First in Class Kendall Parker went to a small Catholic high school before choosing to attend a large state school for college. One year in, she changed her mind. She missed the integration of faith and reason and the smaller class size that she had experienced in high school—which is why she decided to transfer to Ave Maria University after her freshman year. “It was the best decision I have ever made,” she says.

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While at AMU, Kendall found the balance and faith integration she craved, both inside and outside the classroom. She was a Mother Teresa Scholar, captain of the cheerleading team, a member of College Republicans and Young Women for America, and she was also part of the women’s faith household, Asteria Tis Marias. She flourished in her faith life and extracurricular activities, but she also made AMU academic history: Kendall was the first to graduate with a B.A. in American Studies. Her experience with this interdisciplinary major was, she says, nothing short of amazing. “Each and every one of my professors,” Kendall shares, “went out of their way to fully explain the subject and answer all of my questions…[about] the historical, philosophical, religious, cultural and political principles that America was founded on and how we carry these principles into modern day.” In fact, she credits her AMU education with helping her land a job with the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) after she graduated in May 2017. The Michigan-based non-profit public policy law firm is dedicated to, among other things, preserving America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. As an American Studies major who also wrote her thesis on the misinterpretation of the Establishment Clause, Kendall was uniquely positioned to join the TMLC team in mission advancement and development.


“Being Catholic is not just attending Mass on Sundays but making your faith a part of every aspect of your life and everything you do,” Kendall reflects. “Ave encouraged me to make my faith a part of my education, and shaped me into the person I am today.”


Former AMU Player Trains Basketball’s Elite On June 22, Akii Dean was standing next to a stage that most basketball players only dream about. The NBA draft had just ended, and next to Akii stood the #6 pick that night, 6’10” Jonathan Isaac, someone he had befriended and trained for years. When his playing career ended at Ave Maria University after two hip surgeries, Akii knew that he wanted to stay involved with the game. He offered to train a teammate at the time, Matt Chattin. It was not long before Akii began to notice big improvements in Chattin’s game. Later, when Akii was in Orlando recovering from hip surgery, he got the chance to train Courtney Lee of the Memphis Grizzlies. Akii soon realized that basketball training might be his career path.

Akii had heard that Jonathan Isaac was an undervalued player in high school, and reached out to him. Cauley-Stein contacted Akii after noticing the improvements his brother had made while training under him. The introduction to Kevin Knox came through the young man’s grandfather, who had sat next to Akii at one of Jonathan Isaac’s games. Akii attributes Akii Dean at his success to God, and strongly believes 2017 NBA draft that Ave Maria helped him see who Christ with #6 pick was, and made him want to change. His Jonathan Isaac AMU experience also gave him one of his employees, Kiel Lewis, a fellow AMU basketball player. Akii’s wife, Amber, played on the women’s basketball team at AMU, and also helped Akii start Process Basketball Training. Akii sees his work as both job and mission. When asked whether it is intimidating training draft phenoms like Isaac and Cauley-Stein, he said, “It is definitely nerve-racking, but the key is preparation and loving the player. If you love the player, you will help prepare them and tell them what they need to improve.” Process Basketball Training is based in Tampa, with a gym in Orlando, and another set to open soon in Tallahassee.

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He founded Process Basketball Training, which develops players from the middleschool level to the NBA. In addition to Jonathan Isaac, he has also trained Willie Cauley-Stein of the Sacramento Kings (#6 pick in the 2015 draft), and top Kentucky recruit and McDonald’s All-American Kevin Knox (a projected top-ten pick in the 2018 draft).



Championing Charity There are three reasons, by Andrew Nussbaum’s recollection, why he chose Ave Maria University: to play baseball, to grow as a man, and to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the AMU faculty and President Towey. These were strong pulls for him, as he chose to move over a thousand miles away from his hometown, Pittsburgh. He described himself as a lukewarm Catholic when he entered AMU, and that “growing as a man” did not initially involve growing religiously. It just meant maturing in general. Two years later, Andrew’s personal development took a new direction following a mission trip to Mexico City through AMU’s Mother Teresa Project. “It was a life-changing moment. It was where I found God,” Andrew says of his time in Mexico City. Up to that point, he had believed that success in life could be measured in material terms.

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Two of his three reasons for attending Ave were being fulfilled, but one of them – baseball – would have to go. The decision was not easy, but he felt that his extracurricular time should be spent doing something for other people. He started “Champions of Charity,” a not-for-profit organization that helps connect AMU with the area’s disadvantaged youth. Through “Champions of Charity,” AMU athletes have clocked up 3,500 hours of service and raised $4,500 for the Immokalee soccer school. Other schools in the NAIA conference have joined the effort as well. Both student-athletes and nonathletes compete with each other to see who can give the most.


Andrew believes that AMU has helped him in a way that other schools could not. His friends at other universities, even large ones, did not have anything like the Mother Teresa Project. Andrew interned in New York City this past summer for Federated Investors. Recently, with the help of funding from them, Andrew helped the Mother Teresa Project team up with Habitat for Humanity in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Irma. Andrew is a senior, majoring in business, with plans for a career in investment banking or private equity.

STUDENT HIGHLIGHT NORA MULHERN (‘18) Blazing a New Path on El Camino Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain presents a contradiction that resonates with Nora Mulhern. There is the thrill of adventure, met with the therapeutic combination of silence and simplicity. With regard to the former, Spain was the 14th country she had been to, and before arriving there, she and a friend had spent five days in Iceland just for the sake of going somewhere new and interesting. As for the latter, the senior Psychology major has found peace, growing up, by being in nature.

Like many Catholics before her, Nora traveled on foot every day during the Camino and spent 6-8 hours in perfect silence. With only a small bag of belongings with her, she learned minimalism and savviness through the trip. To her surprise, she and her friend were the only Catholics in their group. Because of that, she felt like an ambassador for her faith. Throughout the course of the walk, she realized that the way to connect with those people was by listening to them. “I’ve experienced the most growth through travel,” she explains. The Camino was not the first time she had been overseas or left to her own devices in nature, but, as expected, there was always something new to be experienced in every new place. Nora does not know whether she wants to teach in Austria or in her home state of Virginia, or be a camp counselor in Colorado. But her hope is to work with teens, and to mentor and evangelize them through nature.

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Much like her trip to Iceland, Nora came to AMU because it was, “something different and new.” Entering her junior year, she was a Mother Teresa Scholar, and slated for a mission trip to Mexico City. “I wasn’t scared or anything, but I felt from the depths of my being that I was not supposed to go.” She withdrew from the Mexico City trip and chose instead to do a trip independent of AMU, the El Camino de Santiago. She went with her best friend, whom she had met on a mission trip six years before.



Announcing JumpStart


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(L to R) Brent Johnson, Andrea Groch, and Dr. Gabriel Martinez


August 2017 saw the launch of AMU’s JumpStart program, offering an inaugural group of 10 high school students the chance to get a head start on their college education. By enrolling in JumpStart, high school students now have access to highly affordable, fully accredited college-level courses, taught by Ave Maria University professors and offered entirely online. The concept of JumpStart was introduced at a strategic planning session last year,

and quickly gained momentum. “This is a logical step forward for the University,” says Dr. Gabriel Martinez, JumpStart’s Academic Coordinator and Associate Professor of Business and Economics at AMU. Dr. Martinez speaks from experience. A native of Ecuador, he benefitted from online courses in his own education. “Online classes helped me get an American undergraduate degree, which led me to graduate school at the University of Notre Dame,

which led me to teach here. It opened doors for me.” Dr. Martinez likens AMU’s rollout of JumpStart to the pioneering attitude of Mother Teresa’s sisters at their founding. “The Missionaries of Charity did not wait for others to come to them; they went out to the people who needed help,” he explains. In a similar way, JumpStart is Ave Maria University’s way of bringing Catholic higher education to students across the

JumpStart homepage on AMU’s Website

JumpStart is Ave Maria University’s way of bringing Catholic higher education to students across the country who wouldn’t otherwise have heard of or considered it.

lege-level class their junior year of high school,” Martinez warns, “but a lot of students can. It just takes proper coordination and discipline.” To ensure that high school students succeed, JumpStart requires

applicants to be 16 years of age or older, at least a rising high school junior, and have a parent or guardian agree to serve as their observer. Additionally, the courses offered by the program were specifically selected to appeal to the interests of high school juniors and seniors. For now, JumpStart offers seven courses and is only open to Florida residents, but that will change soon. The University plans to expand course offerings and extend the opportunity to high school students across the country. Part of that growth involves the University developing partnerships with select high schools. “JumpStart,” says Program Coordinator Brent Johnson, “is the midway point between the old way, which limited online classes to summer sessions, and the future, which is to offer the opportunity to complete an AMU degree program entirely online.”

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country who would not otherwise have heard of or considered it. “We want to offer what we have to the whole world,” Dr. Martinez says. Over the summer, the Admissions Office was hard at work spreading the news of JumpStart to high school students. “JumpStart helps students get in the door,” says JumpStart Admissions Coordinator Andrea Groch. She points out that students who successfully complete a total of 8 credit hours through JumpStart are guaranteed admission to AMU. JumpStart courses are priced at $125 per credit hour and do not require a deposit fee. With a typical course consisting of four credit hours, high school students can take a JumpStart course for just $500. After completing four courses, they are positioned to start college a full semester ahead. “Some students can’t handle a col-



Painting to Love, Loving to Paint

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“I think everyone needs beauty through art in some form or fashion,” explains Anne Goetze, who has been painting and photographing since she was 13 years old. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Goetze is the daughter of a hospital administrator. Given the amount of times the family moved, she described her early years like that of an army brat. Moving helped her, she feels, as it gave her exposure to different influences and cultures. Today she is back in Nashville, but she still travels for her work as an artist, capturing the spirit of different places and people. Goetze’s work is a unique artistic style called “oleography,” which combines painting and photography. She takes a fiber-based canvas of black and white photos, and paints over it, a skill she learned by spending years retouching photographs. Goetze recently arrived at Ave Maria University with a U-Haul carrying her newest exhibit, “Pray to Love, Love to Pray.” She had never heard about Ave Maria until a friend in Nashville mentioned it to her. The exhibit follows her aunt, a nun, and other nuns from her aunt’s convent in Montluel, France. There are more thirty paintings in the exhibit, encompassing a span of twenty years, and artifacts from her


work are also on display. One particularly interesting aspect of the work is that the paint includes ashes. This signifies that we are “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Goetze says that the most important component of art is lighting, which she said she learned from the works of the French Impressionist painters. All of the pieces in the exhibit are affected by the contrast of light. When asked if she had a particular favorite, she said, “Bird in Hand.” It features a nun holding a small bird in her hands. The piece reminds her that, “God holds us all

in the palm of His hand.” The exhibit has already been to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, MN.

Display case at Exhibit; “Bird in Hand”


Turf Wars

In June, Ave Maria University announced plans for an artificial turf, multi-purpose field that will be home to the Gyrenes football, men’s and women’s soccer, and lacrosse teams. Construction on the new $650,000 field was completed just in time for the football home opener against Edward Waters College on September 30. “This is a significant development in the short history of our athletic department,” said Director of Athletics John Lamanna.

“We are committed to excellence and growth in mind, body and spirit. The new synthetic turf field will enhance the student-athlete experience by providing excellent practice and game-playing conditions, and will help in attracting future students to Ave Maria University.” Making the switch from grass to artificial turf is especially beneficial considering the location of the University. Rainy season in Southwest Florida coincides with

football and soccer seasons, and afternoon storms often render grass fields unusable. “The artificial turf field will allow for perfect drainage and a consistent surface, both of which are nearly impossible on a grass field in Southwest Florida,” said second-year head football coach Joe Patterson. “The new field will have a transformative impact on the program, especially in regard to our practices and games.” The field is also expected to have a positive impact on recruiting, increase player safety, and substantially improve game-time experiences. Ave Maria’s athletic teams are members of The Sun Conference and compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Ave Maria football program begins a new chapter in 2017, as the team is participating in its first season in the Sun Division of the Mid-South Conference.

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AMU completes construction of new Artificial Field




John Kelly: Softball Playing experience

Cory Nelms: Strength and Conditioning

Oakland Raiders, (football and track) Work experience - Coached Track and Field at University of Miami and coached a track athlete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio Education – BS and MS from University of Miami

“I came to AMU for the opportunity to come in and be a part of a great university that has a faithful and positive atmosphere, while also helping build a rapidly growing university athletics program.”

San Diego Coached softball at Georgia

Abbey, and Soccer coach and teacher at Montgomery Catholic Prep School Education – Rhodes College, Ave Maria University (BA), California University of Pennsylvania (MS)

“I returned to AMU because I wanted to build a championship soccer program through putting Christ at the center of everything we do.”

Grant Desme: Baseball

Playing experience

Playing experience

- Majorette in the

- Oakland Athletics,

Redcoat Band at UGA,

Tech, The Next Level Travel Team, Scripps

San Diego State

cheered at DeKalb

Ranch High School, and authored websites

“It is my clear intention to build a championship caliber program filled with both high character and high academic studentathletes. I am more than excited to be at a university so committed to faith, virtue and the physical, moral and social development of every student.”

Missionary at Loras College and Belmont

Deona Pavik: Cheerleading

Work experience –

University of Denver

Ave Maria University Work experience -

University of Miami

and the University of

Education – University of San Diego,

– Rhodes College and

San Francisco 49ers,

University of Denver

How She Plays”

Playing experience

Playing experience –

– Baseball at the

and books such as, “How She Thinks is

Tyler Rosser: Women’s Soccer

University, and

College, and scholarship

California Polytechnic

with the Alvin Ailey Dance

State University

Company in NYC

Education - San Diego State University,

Work experience - Varsity cheer coach

California Polytechnic State University,

and head of front office at Mathew High

and St. Philip’s Seminary in Toronto,

School, VP of Administration at The Pavik


Group, Dance Instructor for a former

“God’s Providence brought me to Ave. A friend of mine told me just after I discerned out of the monastery that Ave was looking for a new head baseball coach, so two days after leaving the monastery I hopped onto a plane to come out to Ave to interview for the position.”

Atlanta Ballet Principal Dancer, and Dance Instructor for Carnegie Mellon University Education – University of Georgia and DeKalb College

“I was truly called to be here, and am blessed by the AMU opportunity.”

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | F a l l 2017

Cross-Country Hosting Sun Conference Championship


Gabriel Hogan

Liz Feger, entering her fifth year as the AMU Men’s and Women’s Head Cross-Country Coach, will witness her first home meet on November 4th. Interestingly, the meet will also be the Sun Conference Championship. Feger explained that AMU would have been a less likely candidate to host the championship if not for its recent success. Five years ago, AMU hardly had enough runners to score (a team needs five runners). This year, AMU has a combined 35 runners, and both the Men’s and Women’s teams were predicted by Sun Conference coaches to finish 3rd in their respective fields. Feger said that this puts AMU in the “top tier” of Sun Conference schools. Gabriel Hogan is returning for his sophomore year as AMU’s top runner. He competed in the NAIA Cross-Country National Championship last year, marking a significant achievement for an emerging program. As for the future of the program, Feger says, “We need to compete at a national level on a team basis. Gabe was our first men’s qualifier, but our goal is to get a squad there.”

Ave Maria Student-Athletes Earn Scholar Athlete Recognition: A total of 42 student-athletes earned Sun Conference All-Academic Team recognition and 22 of them earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete honors.

Ave Maria Student-Athletes Earn All-Conference Recognition: A total of 20 student-athletes have received honors at the conference level for their contributions to their respective team, with three student-athletes receiving The Sun Conference Champions of Character award for their contributions to the community.

Softball Program Posts Best Season: The Lady Gyrenes tied their previous wins record with 30, which was also accomplished in 2014, and finished a program-best 14-games above .500. The previous mark was onegame over .500 set last season.

Sherman and Shadley named NAIA All-Americans: Katelyn Sherman (lacrosse) and Marinna Shadley (softball) became the 11th and 12th Ave Maria athletes to be recognized by the NAIA as All-Americans.

Colding and Shadley Named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans: Softball seniors Alyssa Colding and Marinna Shadley were each named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American Second Team (College Division), the organization announced in May.

Ringdahl Named to WBCA Allstate Good Works Team: Ave Maria women’s basketball sophomore Katie Ringdahl was one of 20 student-athletes named to the 2017 Allstate WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams® announced in February by Allstate Insurance Company, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Hogan takes on NAIA Cross-Country National Invitational: Ave Maria cross country freshman Gabriel Hogan competed in the NAIA CrossCountry National Championship on Nov. 19, finishing in 204th place individually against the top 331 runners in the NAIA.

Lacrosse Participates in NAIA National Tournament: The Ave Maria lacrosse team concluded a historic season that included their first appearance in the NAIA National Invitational on May 4. The Lady Gyrenes fell to two-seed Davenport 15-9 in the opening round of the eight-team invitational.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

Softball team wins first Champions of Charity Award: This season, the Ave Maria softball team completed many service projects including a year-long clothing drive in the dorms that has collected clothes for St. Matthew’s House in nearby Immokalee, FL, a Christmas Toy Drive for underprivileged youth, raised funds for an Easter Basket donation of nearly 50 gifts for both children and adults.

T OP T E N A M U S P ORT S A CCOM P L I S H M E N T S 201 6 -2017

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Student-athletes honored at annual awards banquet: The Men’s Tennis team took the GPA award.




Gabriela Luviano’s Unexpected Opportunities at Ave Maria

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | F a l l 2017

T 34

oday, Ave Maria is a thriving, authentically Catholic University on a beautiful campus in southwest Florida with 33 majors and approximately 1,100 students.The University has seen transformational growth from its early days on a temporary campus in Naples, when the pioneering members of its students, faculty and staff embraced Tom Monaghan’s vision to build a great Catholic University. Gabriela Luviano, who began as a student in 2004 and now works for the University, is one of those pioneers. Gabriela Luviano, originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, moved to America with her family when she was three years old. The Luviano family eventually settled in Immokalee, Florida, a neighboring town to Ave Maria. Gabriela and her two younger sisters attended Immokalee High School. Her goal was to become the first in her family to attend a University and receive a college degree. She was an excellent student during her high school years, but worried how she could afford college until something happened that many Ave students have experienced. “Ave chose me,” she said, smiling at the commonly heard, but accurate, saying. Contrary to her every expectation, Gabriela found out a month before she graduated from high school that she had been accepted to Ave Maria with a full scholarship. She was chosen as a recipient of The Immokalee Scholarship along with six high school classmates. The scholarship

was created by the Naples Founders Club to enable students from Immokalee to attend this new, local University. She enrolled in the fall of 2004 as the University moved into a temporary campus in Naples. At first, she struggled with the rigorous Catholic liberal arts education, but soon thrived because of the inspiring teaching of professors like Dr. Travis Curtright, Dr. Barry David and Dr. Gabriel Martinez. In the fall of 2007, Gabriela’s senior year, the first classes were held on the permanent campus in Ave Maria, Florida. In the spring of 2008, Gabriela was a member of the first class to graduate from Ave’s new campus. She received her bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in Philosophy. With all the excitement and expectation of a new graduate, Gabriela went out into the world to see how she could serve. The recession of 2008 presented an exceptionally difficult job market, however, and Gabriela had a challenging time finding a stable job within her field. While seeking a position in her industry, she was fortunate to be able to work at The Secret Ingredient, a boutique women’s clothing store in Ave Maria’s town center for two years. In 2010, she began working in logistics for Freight Forward, a shipping company providing services for Fortune 500 Companies. She excelled in the company and soon secured a transfer to a position in Rotterdam, Netherlands. This allowed

her the opportunity to travel in Europe frequently. All was well, until God saw fit to present her with another obstacle. In 2016, while visiting Medjugorje for an Ave Maria alumni wedding, Gabriela discovered that her employer, Freight Forward, was going under. Soon after, she started to look for new employment. Guided by Our Lady of Medjugorje, she had an instinct to go to Ave Maria University’s website and look for a job. She applied and shortly after, was hired by her Alma Mater to work in the Office of Advancement as a Research Analyst. Gabriela celebrated her one-year anniversary as an employee for Ave Maria University in September, and loves the work she is doing. “It is my chance to give back to the school that gave me so much as an Immokalee Scholar,” she says. Fueled by gratitude, Gabriela is working hard to give as many students today the opportunities she had as an Ave undergraduate.

Scholarships have given many other students the opportunity to attend and succeed at Ave Maria University. Like Gabriela, other scholarship recipients too cannot thank the donors enough who have made those scholarships possible through their selfless generosity. Scholarships are one of the biggest needs at Ave Maria University. If you would like to be a part of making an Ave education possible for deserving students like Gabriela, please contact the Advancement Office at (239) 280-2574 or You would be joining a group of incredibly dedicated donors who are passionate about educating students in an authentic Catholic tradition.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

Top: Immokalee Scholarship recipients for AMU’s Class of 2008 (L to R) Brenda Moreno, Gabriela Luviano, Jorge Acevado, Alejandra Camacho, and Andrea Rodriguez; Bottom: Gabriela Luviano


AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT UPCOMING EVENTS OCTOBER Pray to Love, Love to Pray Library Exhibition Lecture & Reception Open now through October 30 Canizaro Library, Ave Maria, FL

NOVEMBER Pro-Life Dinner Friday, November 10, 2017 AMU Ballroom, Ave Maria, FL

DECEMBER Lessons + Carols December 8, 2017 Ave Maria Parish Church, Ave Maria, FL

JANUARY 9th Annual Style Show January 24, 2018 AMU Ballroom, Ave Maria, FL 8th Annual Genuine Feminine Conference Saturday, January 13, 2018 Ave Maria, FL

FEBRUARY 7th Annual Scholarship Dinner Thursday February 15, 2018 Ritz Carlton, Naples

MARCH Phase I of New Building Completed March 1, 2018 a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | F a l l 2017

APRIL Festival of the Annunciation Saturday, April 7, 2018 Ave Maria, FL

MAY Commencement May 5, 2018 Ave Maria, FL


Festival of the Annunciation, 2017

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

Hurricane Irma brought more than tornados and high winds to AMU’s campus – it presented opportunities for students to not only help the University they love prepare for and recover from the storm, but also to reach out to the vulnerable farmworker community in nearby Immokalee. AMU students welcomed 450 area residents to the Golisano Field Houseturned-emergency shelter and entertained the children the day before the storm. Bands of students filled sand bags from the outdoor beach volleyball court, prepositioned bathroom, water and food supplies, and went into Immokalee to distribute relief supplies to trailer park residents coping with Irma’s devastating aftermath. They also prayed together at the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and at daily Mass in the cafeteria.


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

AMU Magazine Fall 2017