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Sophomores Kendra Posch, left, and Jessica Higa, study outside the library on an 80-degree day in Southwest Florida. Photo by Brendan Weston



The doors to the Mother Teresa museum opened this spring. Pilgrims from around the world are expected to flock to the AMU campus to learn about this sainted woman’s journey through life. Meet some of the students who are on their way to become Mother Teresa Scholars.


Vocals, a violin solo and a serenade to a Naples legend took center stage at the Third Annual Scholarship Dinner. Take a look at the new performing arts center set to be built on campus.


Despite losing some seniors, the AMU women’s basketball team finished the 2013-14 season with a 24-12 overall record and added a Sun Conference tournament championship to their name.


The Mission-Driven Business Business Seminar drew 30 scholars to the AMU campus to discuss integrating the Catholic faith and intellectual tradition. The Ex Corde Ecclesiae Conference celebrated AMU’s 10th anniversary with top scholars sharing their thoughts “born from the heart of the Church.”



PRESIDENT JIM TOWEY THE AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE IS PRODUCED BY THE OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT KEVIN JOYCE, VICE PRESIDENT EDITOR BRIGID O’MALLEY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS CONTRIBUTORS ANNIE CLARK COLIN VOREIS PHOTOGRAPHY ERIK KELLAR PHOTOGRAPHY BRENDAN WESTON JEREMIAH RAPPLEY MARLEE KLOPFER DESIGN EDITION CUSTOM MEDIA 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.

SERVING UP Freshman tennis player Emily Buxton waits at net as junior teammate Gladys Chaparro prepares to serve in a home match against Savannah College of Art and Design. Photo by Brendan Weston


A message from President Towey


Trustee Chairman Michael Timmis, Founder Tom Monaghan, Oratory Pastor Corey Mayer , my wife Mary and others joined Myra and me at the Dedication.

magazine focuses on the Mother Teresa Project, which enjoys the generous support of a $2 million grant over the next four years. No other university in America has a service project in Mother’s name, with her Sisters’ permission. We are deeply honored. Mother Teresa may have been the most Mary-like person since Mary. She lived as a virgin and mother to the world. It is fitting in our 10th anniversary year that Ave Maria University is launching a project that honors Pope Francis’ call to be pro-life and pro-poor. The two are inseparable. Our university community is discovering at the dawn of its second decade its unique role in higher education as a mission of the Church, as Our Lady’s university.

I hope you enjoy reading about this project and more in this edition of our magazine, and thanks for making our 10th anniversary year triumphant.

Jim Towey Ave Maria Univerisity President

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t an admissions open house on our campus some time ago, I asked the crowded room of high school juniors and seniors a simple question: Who knows who Mother Teresa is? To my surprise, only a handful of students raised their hands. But why should I have been surprised? When Mother Teresa went home to God in 1997 and the world celebrated her life and mourned her passing, these students were in pre-school! This sobering experience led me to a conversation months later in Calcutta with Sister Prema, M.C., the superior of the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order of nuns that Mother Teresa founded. Ever since I met Mother Teresa in 1985, I’ve worked with these remarkable women who give their lives to God in service of the poorest of the poor. I asked Sister Prema if she would permit Ave Maria University to start a project that would create a new generation of men and women who love Mother Teresa as much as my generation does. Anyone who was of age in the 20th century remembers this beloved woman who, with her friend Pope John Paul II, brought the Church to new heights of love and compassion. Sister Prema very kindly granted us this permission, and now Ave students will be following in Mother’s footsteps. This issue of the Ave Maria University



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Librarian of Congress James Hadley Billington will be the commencement speaker this May at Ave Maria University. “This remarkable man is one of the nation’s pre-eminent scholars, and when you consider the fact that he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and has served for 26 years at the helm of the Library of

Congress, Billington’s ability to transcend the partisanship in Washington is simply amazing,” Towey said. The University’s 10th Commencement Exercises for an expected 199 undergraduate and graduate students of the Class of 2014 will be held on Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. in the Golisano Fieldhouse on campus. The University will confer an honor-

ary doctorate on Dr. Billington in recognition of his exemplary public service and lifetime achievements at home and abroad. Dr. Billington was sworn in as the Librarian of Congress on September 14, 1987 and is the 13th person to hold the position since the Library was first established in 1800. “Dr. Billington’s remarks will be an inspi-

ration to our students,” Towey said. “They will be meeting a singularly unique individual who is both octogenarian and humanitarian, and a genuine man of faith.” Billington joins other high-profile commencement speakers to recently address AMU graduates. In 2013, Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke to graduates and in 2012,

Florida’s 43rd governor and possible 2016 Presidential candidate Jeb Bush was the commencement speaker on campus. Last year, graduates were also inspired by Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, the founder and president emeritus of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He was honored with an honorary doctorate at graduation..

D I D Y O U K N O W ? A M U S T U D E N T S C O M E F R O M 4 9 S TAT E S A N D 1 8 C O U N T R I E S

Ave Maria University has added seven new majors, including Nursing and Biology. The five other new majors to be offered in the Fall of 2014 are bachelor of arts degrees in Finance, Health Science, Health Science Administration, Exercise Science and Environmental Science. The Nursing and Biology programs will be bachelor of science degrees. “We are very excited to give our students and our prospective students more options to explore,’’ Academic Dean Michael Dauphinais said. “Nursing,

especially, has been a popular degree program that many students have sought in the past.” The University Board of Trustees approved the new programs which have been approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the South. Approval by SACS and the Florida Board of Nursing is pending for the Nursing degree. With the addition of these new

majors, the University currently offers 30 majors and 19 minors. By providing degree programs in highgrowth, high-demand areas, the University broadens the options for students seeking an exceptional education in the tradition of Catholic thought. The additional courses in the health care fields and Finance not only make AMU more competitive with other colleges and universities, both regionally and nationally, but allow students to follow a path to a career where they can put their educations

to work. In a setting where smaller classroom sizes - AMU’s classrooms average 20 students - students can get the personalized attention they need to master the course material. Many opportunities exist in Florida in the health care field. Students pursing the Nursing degree will spend time in local hospitals or clinics in the Southwest Florida

community. For example, the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which is the preferred degree by most nursing leaders, is considered the entry point for professional nursing practice. The first two years of the program will be spent on core courses, such as biology, while the junior and senior years will involve more clinical settings. The Environmental Science degree is also ideal for AMU’s location on the fringe of the Florida Everglades and the Big Cypress National Preserve where hands-on experience and research possibilities abound. The Exercise Science degree can lead to careers in physical therapy or chiropractic medicine or be used in athletic programs. The Health Science degree can lead to careers in medicine and dentistry should students choose to pursue graduate school or physician’s assistant role. The Health Science Administration program is geared toward those interested in managing health care facilities.

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“I found that the interplay and conversation of the scholars greatly sparked my intellectual curiosity.’’

Dr. Michael Pakaluk teaches in a classroom on the AMU campus. Photo by Brendan Weston

Courage, Moderation in Nicomachean Ethics


most of the participants.” AMU students were grateful for the workshop and the knowledge it imparted.

er, scholars led discussions, and Aristotle’s

“I was fascinated by the arguments raised

ars from nine countries

text provided a single and shared focus

as well as the responses. The scholars

and three continents met

for discussion. Moreover, the discussions

spoke with such precision! It was enjoyable

at ave maria university

were seminar-style, rather than in a ques-

to hear them discussing the same issues

earlier this year to discuss

tion-and-answer type format. Thus, the

that were brought up in class,” said junior

a selected text from

workshop could provide and did provide an

Caitlin Tweedie. Senior Sophie Pakaluk

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Book iii,

unusual opportunity for collegiality, lively

agreed. “I found that the interplay and con-

chapters 6-12, on the virtues of courage

discussion and a shared search for truth.

versation of the scholars greatly sparked

AMU students who participated in

my intellectual curiosity. Their intensity,

the workshop were Peter Atkinson, Kyle

thoroughness, and precision in approach-

United States, Canada, Brazil, England,

Eads, Sr. Maria Veritas Marks, O.P., Sophie

ing the text firmly held my attention and

Norway, Greece, Belgium, Australia and

Pakaluk, Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, O.P.,

the questions they posed thrilled me.”

Germany. The scholars also represent-

and Caitlin Tweedie. Additionally, three

ed several distinguished universities,

Ave Maria professors participated through

Novak hopes the dialogue the workshop

including Princeton, Harvard, the University

chairing sessions: Dr. Andrew Dinan, Dr.

stimulated, continues.

of Chicago, the University of Toronto, the

Blanford Parker and Dr. Bradley Ritter.

The countries represented were: the

Catholic University of Louvain and the Luda v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2014

of the Everglades was likely a surprise to

eventeen leading schol-

and moderation.


young, Catholic university on the edge

“I think that these scholars grasped

Board of Trustees Emeritus Michael

“It was a dream of the founders of Ave Maria to create a University that is an inter-

wig Maximillian University of Munich. The

what continues to inspire so many of

national beacon of everything beautiful,

scholars were selected precisely because

us--that AMU is a place for serious

every truth, every good, every excellence.

of their expertise in the moral virtues and

scholarship in the liberal arts, not in spite

The most brilliant scholars in our time in

the moral psychology of Aristotle. Many

of, but precisely because it is a Catholic

the dialects of Ancient Greek met at Ave

had published books, and nearly all had

university founded Ex corde ecclesiae,”

and projected a touch of that dream on

published significant scholarly articles, in

said Dr. Michael Pakaluk, Chair of the AMU

the westward sky. It was a joy to observe

the area of the Workshop. The gathering

Department of Philosophy and organizer of

the joy of pure scholars at work -- for the

was unique.

the conference. “That serious Aristotelian

Greeks such work is the sweetest play of

scholarship should be fostered by a small,

all,” Novak said.

No scholar read a prepared paper. Rath-

FACULTY PROFILE Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary Graduate School of Psychology M.A., Psychology, Duquesne University M.A., Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary B.A., Psychology/Theology, Franciscan University

“LOVE TO LEARN, LEARN TO LOVE” Dr. Keith Houde Leads AMU Psychology Department By ANNIE CLARK


ossing aside his fly rod for luring trout in the cold waters of Maine in favor of a saltwater spinning rod for grouper in the warmer climes of Southwest Florida is one adaptation Dr. Keith Houde has easily made. But it was his son’s college visit to a new campus near one of the Gulf of Mexico’s best fishing spots that turned into a life-changer for Houde, too. Three years ago, Houde, who worked as a clinical psychologist, specializing in combat PTSD and health psychology for more than 20 years in his native Maine, made the move south. He came to campus to head the new Ave Maria University psychology department. “What I’ve always wanted to do is teach psychology from a clearly Catholic view PHOTOGR APH BY BRENDAN WES TON

of the human person,” he said. The firm foundation the department was being built on sealed his decision to come here. Dr. Keith Houde teaches his There was much work to be done in the psyFoundations of Psychology chology department’s first years, and Houde has class. Houde is the chair of the Psychology department. been responsible for designing nine academic courses from the ground up. He is also proud to have developed relationships with three internship sites so far, and is excited about the opportunities that these will present for his students. “The future of the psychology department at Ave Maria is bright, very bright,” he said, referring to the planned expansion of the department over the next few years. No student who has ever taken a class with Houde, who is a self-described student of Pope John Paul II, will be surprised to hear that he considers the previous pope his favorite psychological thinker and the person who inspired him most to become a psychologist himself. Houde is calm and composed as he articulates his educational philosophy, which he says can be summed up in one quote by John Paul II: “Education in love as self-giving.” His greatest hope for psychology graduates is “that they would understand who they are as persons, in the fullness of what that means, and that they would understand that the personhood they have been given is a gift to be lived and shared with others.” Current student and senior Cheryl Moleski enjoys Houde’s teaching style. “Being in Dr. Houde’s class, you can really tell that he loves God and loves psychology,’’ she said. “He is very caring, understanding, and always up for a cheesy pun.” Former student Janet Holtfreter also praises Dr. Houde. “When listening to Dr. Houde talk you can definitely tell that he is extremely passionate about the material he teaches, but that he is even more passionate about passing his love and desire for helping others on to everyone he encounters.” She said that he succeeds in  following his maxim “love to learn and learn to love.” Dr. Stefanie Badzinski joined Houde in the department last fall.  Serving under a strong and committed leader was important to Badzinski, and Houde’s role as such was instrumental in attracting her to the position and inspiring her as a colleague. “I am regularly impressed by his kindness, humility, and intelligence,” she said. Turning in his skis, snowshoes and mountain hiking boots for an interest in Florida wildlife and AMU athletics, Houde remains an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and photography. The Houde family, which includes his wife Mary and their five children, have learned to embrace change, even if it means no changing of seasons or chilly New England weather. “It has not taken me long to adapt to winter in Florida,” he said.

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Doctoral Dissertation: “The Christian Personality Theory of Paul Tournier”


Mother Teresa Project

MOTHER TERESA’S NEW HOME AT AVE Ave Maria University Opens Exhibition Hall for “Saint of the Gutters” By Brigid O’Malley

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Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity admire the Mother Teresa sculpture in the exhibition hall on Opening Day. Photo by Brendan Weston



other Teresa of Calcutta devoted her life to serving the poor and leading countless souls to God. Now she has found a permanent home at Ave Maria University through the recently-established Mother Teresa Project. With the official approval of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta and a $2 million, four-year grant from a generous donor, the Project is already transforming lives. “There is no campus in America that honors Mother Teresa’s legacy and invites students and visitors alike to follow in her footsteps,” said Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University. “We are so proud to have the trust and support of the Missionaries of Charity, and the funds to be able to touch many lives through this Project.” Towey was a personal friend of Mother Teresa and served as legal counsel to her for

Immokalee and throughout our region, the nation and the world. To respond to the call of Pope Francis to the laity to reach out with love to those who suffer and be part of the New Evangelization of the 21st century. To conduct an annual conference on marriage, family and the sanctity of life and advocate for these priorities as Mother Teresa did.


the last 12 years of her life. After the May commencement, Towey again will be accompanying 12 students on a trip to Calcutta to work in the missions of his friend and mentor. The goals of the Mother Teresa Project are: To educate students on the life and spirituality of Mother Teresa through a program of study that immerses them in her life and writings. To engage students in the service of neighboring farmworker community of

As part of the education aspect, the Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall opened this spring, just across the street from campus. From the dozens of storyboards and photos re-telling the stories of her life to the first-class relic of her hair to the crucifix from her personal rosary, the legendary nun seems to touch the lives of those who visit the hall. Wayne and Patricia Brown, part-time Naples residents, heard about the museum and decided to make the trip to the Town of Ave Maria to visit. “We actually had the chance to meet her once more than 20 years ago,’’ Patricia Brown explained. “It was an amazing ex-

perience. You could feel her love. Now this hall gives another generation the chance to learn about her and learn from her.” The museum, which opened to the public on April 2, the anniversary of the death of her close friend, Pope John Paull II, is designed for everyone, from pilgrims who come to honor Mother Teresa to those who are unfamiliar with her story and come to learn. The museum, in its bare simplicity, tells a story at every turn. A sculpture of Mother Teresa, created by Lado V. Goudjabize in 1989, greets visitors as they step inside. Made in a New York studio from clay and then cast out of bronze powder and fiberglass, with hand-painted bronze color, the sculpture was donated by AMU supporter and longtime close friend of Mother Teresa, Sandra McMurtrie. The door behind the sculpture is from Calcutta and dates back to the time she took religious vows in the 1930s. Throughout the museum, visitors can read the storyboards – from her youth to her beatification- and view the glass-encased memorabilia. Books about her life line the walls. One case contains handwritten letters, including one to Towey, in which she discusses opening homes in

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Sister Dorothy, M.C., a close friend of Mother Teresa’s and one of the first members of the Missionaries of Charity order, spent time with AMU students as part of the University’s 10th anniversary weekend. Photo by Erik Kellar Photography


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Mother Teresa Project


Cuba and Nicaragua. Jose and Madlyn Garcia and their 8-yearold daughter, Raquel, traveled from Miami to get a look inside the museum. They watched the video and were impressed with the hall’s contents. “You can tell this came here with much love,’’ Madlyn said. The atmosphere in the hall is quiet as visitors make their way through the displays. Myra Daniels, the nationally-renowned founder of the Naples Philharmonic Hall, and world-class architect Gene Aubry collaborated in the design of the hall to create a beautifully simple space. As word spreads about the hall, visitors and pilgrims from around the world are expected to make trips to Ave Maria. A visit from Sister Dorothy, M.C., last fall allowed the community to experience a personal recounting of life with Mother Teresa. It also introduced the Project to the world at the Dedication of the Mother Teresa Project. Sister Dorothy, the fifth woman to join Mother Teresa when she formed the Missionaries of Charity in 1949, first met Mother Teresa as a five-year-old schoolgirl and later in high school, Mother Teresa served as her principal. She was with Mother Teresa in her final days. “She showed us how poor people are living. She asked us, ‘When you grow big would you like to do something good to help them?’ We all said yes. But we really didn’t how we would do it. When I joined her I found a way to work for the poorest of the poor, to serve,” she said. Another friend of Mother Teresa’s, Father Brian Kolodiechuk, M.C., who started the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, visited the AMU campus earlier this year as part of the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal’s annual conference. He spoke about Mother Teresa and her spirituality. “Whether Mother was meeting with the Pope or people in the soup kitchen, she saw Jesus in them. Her attention and her love for Jesus in each particular person always shined through. She always saw the good in people,” he said.

Visitors to the Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall read the panels which tell the story of her life and service. The panels are in English and Spanish. Photo by Brendan Weston

Junior Leslie Delaney helps Immokalee school children with their homework. Photo by Erik Kellar Photography

SCHOLARS: FOLLOWING MOTHER TERESA’S EXAMPLE At Ave Maria University, students are given many chances to serve. And becoming a Mother Teresa Scholar, through service and education, is the perfect counterpart to their AMU liberal arts education, Towey explained. As part of the University’s service learning program, the students can travel 15 minutes to Immokalee and help children with their reading or work at a soup kitchen to feed the needy. They can also minister to the ill, disabled and dying in Mexico. Or they can travel halfway around the world to ease the suffering of sick children in India. The University received a generous

grant for the initial four years of the Project for transportation, outreach, spiritual formation, research and conferences, and stipends for student travel on mission trips. The University has programs where students can volunteer in Missionaries of Charity homes in places that include Calcutta, India; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Mexico City, Mexico and the Bronx and Harlem. The lessons these students learn on the crowded, poverty-stricken streets of Haiti or the dusty streets of Immokalee, will complement what they learn in their classrooms on campus. Leslie Delaney, a junior from Miami, was involved in service throughout high school when she attended LaSalle High School. But coming to AMU allowed her to spend even more time volunteering. Pursuing the Mother Teresa

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, recently paid a visit to the Mother Teresa museum.

“I’ve been reading and re-reading,’’ she said. “But sometimes we’ll get a question that I have to look something up.” She said the little gestures that Mother Teresa was so famous for is helping her with her service at AMU. “Happiness comes from helping,’’ she said. John Gargano, a freshman from Fort Myers, Fla., helps out at Immokalee Family Services. He plays games with the kids and helps them plant and harvest a community garden. He’s also focused on becoming a Mother Teresa Scholar. A graduate of Bishop Verot High School in Lee County, he’s been on mission trips to Panama and Camden, N.J., but he’s dreaming of the chance to go to Calcutta next year. “I have to go there after this,’’ he said, while working in the exhibition hall. It’s been a learning experience for him, too. “I knew who Mother Teresa was,’’ he said. “But I didn’t know how amazing she was. I didn’t realize the extent of her personal experience with God.” He said he often sees visitors to the hall crying while they watch the videos of her life story. “It’s just so moving,’’ he said. Gargano, who hopes to get his master’s degree in Theology from AMU, and perhaps return to teach at his high school, said the service part of his college life is very rewarding. “I love this university,’’ he said. “With


(During Academic Year) Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Noon to 4 p.m. 5060 Annunciation Circle, No. 105, Ave Maria, FL 34142 Call 239.280.2576 for tour information. Private tours are available. Admission: Free

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Scholar idea was an easy choice. “I really always did admire her,’’ she said. “I’m learning so much more about her now.” She said Mother Teresa’s simple message of helping everyone resonates with her. Delaney is involved in the Service Learning program at AMU and works at the exhibition hall. All of this service and learning is making a difference in her life. “It definitely has completely changed my life. It’s made me a better person,’’ she said. Delaney is studying Theology, with a minor in the classics and history. She works as a tutor at the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee, teaching young mothers how to speak English. She’s already been to Mexico on the spring break trip and is hoping to serve with the Missionaries of Charity in the Bronx this summer. Senior Carmela Al-Nagdawi also works at the exhibition hall. The California native is pursuing the Mother Teresa Scholar designation, too. She volunteers in Immokalee for the “School on Wheels” and is helping non-English speaking adults learn some basic conversation skills. “It’s not the title,’’ she said. “It really fills a void, a longing to help. To me, it just feels right.” Working in the museum allows her to learn more about Mother Teresa. She’d known about her when she was younger, but not as much as she does now as she is immersed in the nun’s life.

this service program, I love it so much more.” The Project hopes to generate hundreds of Mother Teresa Scholars. The University will confer this high honor in a special ceremony each year on Feb. 1, the anniversary of the day in 1965 when Mother Teresa first opened homes outside of India. “That will be a big day of celebration to thank God that Mother Teresa now has a home at Ave Maria,” said Towey. Any AMU student who is in good academic standing and who successfully completes the formation program and volunteers locally for 50 hours in approved programs and makes one mission trip either in the United States or abroad qualifies to be a Mother Teresa Scholar. “We have more students enrolled in this program than we can handle right now,” said Grace Cheffers, Director of the Mother Teresa Project. “We are excited about the enthusiasm and interest of our students and we expect to have hundreds engaged in the project next year. The more you know about Blessed Mother Teresa, the more you want to follow in her footsteps.”


TRANSFORMATIONAL TRIPS For AMU students, service, selfdiscovery happen at home and around the globe by Brigid O’Malley

IT’S THAT LITTLE BIT of confidence brought out in a young boy whose life is a daily struggle in Immokalee. Or it’s the touch of compassion shown that means so much to a dying man in Mexico. When students at Ave Maria University travel on their mission trips, there’s a special sense of purpose, a special sense of giving that surfaces. Whether that trip takes them less than a dozen miles away to neighboring Immokalee where they mentor kids, or halfway around the world to the streets of Calcutta where they minister to the poor, they are transforming lives – and transforming themselves. Nearly 250 students took part in the AMU Service Learning program during the fall 2013 semester. They logged 1,722 hours of service during that time. The spring 2014 semester has seen more of the same. Students built houses for Habitat for Humanity. They served at soup kitchens. They read with youngsters. But they also did more than volunteer. They learned. They discovered. Listen to their stories. Feel their emotion. Take away a les-

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son or two.


IMMOKALEE, FLORIDA Mike Reilly is a freshman on the AMU soccer team. Working with the Immokalee Soccer School, Reilly and several other soccer players, give a group of boys, ages 6 to 13, a chance to use soccer to find something to focus on outside of their family problems and tough neighborhoods. “A lot of them don’t see themselves going anywhere,’’ Mike said. “I think just seeing college kids like us helps them see there is a future for them.” On Saturdays, more than 60 youngsters

AMU students volunteer their time in Immokalee at soup kitchens and after-school mentoring programs.


The Immokalee kids grow attached to their soccer buddies. “Whenever we don’t show up, they say, ‘Where’s Mike? Where’s Mike?’’’ he said. “We’ll tell them Mike had to stay home and do homework. That’s how we teach them how important homework and studies are.” There’s hope to expand the program to a second day during the week. The soccer balls are old and torn up. But the new hope those few hours bring each Saturday makes the trip worthwhile. “I’m learning a lot from them,” he said. DESTIN, FLORIDA Destin, Florida, a Panhandle beach town, is the scene for these AMU students’ spring break. There, they’ll swing hammers, pound nails, frame roofs and build gardens. And they’ll help a 22-year-old woman named Cassie with four kids build a home to replace her single-wide trailer. This group of AMU students teamed up with students from the University of South Florida and a snowbird army of retirees. Their shared goal: building Habitat for Humanity homes, complete with landscaping. “We all really got to bond,’’ sophomore Kiersa Polley said, adding that the retirees thanked them for their work, pointing out that 187 spring breakers were arrested in the span of the 3 or 4 days that the students spent building the home. “You guys give us hope,’’ Kiersa re-

ABOVE: Freshmen Andre Antoine, left, and Troy Olmo along with their football teammates build a Habitat for Humanity house in Immokalee. BELOW: Sophomore Emma Martin helps at a Habitat for Humanity Project in Destin, Florida.

called the retirees saying. Cassie, a waitress at a local doughnut shop, and her children came to see the house as it was nearly finished. Their little faces were painted with excitement. “It was beautiful and sad at the same time,’’ Kiersa said. One child was enthralled about the idea of a window in a bedroom. “I was thinking to myself, ‘I helped frame that window. Now that’s what’s exciting.”’ No drama. All team work, the students agreed. Different backgrounds, different belief systems, but the same hardworking attitude existed. After a day’s work in the sun, the group took time to read about Mother Teresa

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show up to play soccer with the AMU volunteers. “It’s simple soccer,’’ he said. “It’s just to get them out of the house, to move around, spend some time outdoors.” They’ll play soccer until around 11:30 a.m. and then break for lunch. “Some of them need a lot of attention,’’ he said. Sometimes they will carve out 15 minutes or so to read together. They always start with a prayer. “I feel like I’m being their big brother just for those few moments,’’ he said, adding that because he’s fluent in Spanish he’s able to learn a little more from them and break down some barriers. He said he’s been playing soccer since he was 6 years old and enjoyed teaching his younger siblings how to play.


Transformational Trips CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

and hold discussions. Not everyone was Catholic in the group. There was an atheist and a Methodist student who one time asked if she could lead the prayer. “It was the most beautiful prayer,’’ said sophomore Erin Krajewski. “She said she didn’t know our prayers, the Hail Mary, the Our Father, but what she said was so moving and beautiful. It was the best prayer.”

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Senior Jesse Garcia helps a disabled woman in Kingston, Jamaica as part of a service trip.


“I washed their faces, their hands, their feet.”

KINGSTON, JAMAICA Sophomore Jessica Cocks said she always wondered why students who came back from mission trips were so happy. “They were always so joyful,’’ she said. “I was like, ‘What’s the deal?’’’ So Jessica packed up and along with her boyfriend, senior Jesse Garcia, and other students, headed to Kingston, Jamaica. Working with a group of Missionaries of the Poor brothers they saw the roughest neighborhoods on the island. “The city is so poor,’’ she said. “There are so many fences, so many high walls, you can’t even see the sky.” With a day that began at 5:15 a.m., the group worked with children, the HIV-infected, older women and men, about 500 people in five compounds. “I washed their faces, their hands, their feet,’’ she said. One boy named Bob stood out. He had no legs and only one arm. “But he had the brightest eyes,’’ Jessica said. An older man, Donovan, who was in a wheelchair, showed off his legendary domino-playing prowess to the visitors. “He was so good,’’ Jessica noted. “He beat everyone.” As she visited the sick and the elderly, one thought often surfaced. “It was so hard to move from one person to the next,’’ she said. “You were so connected in those moments.” There were light moments at times, from the domino games to the Bob Marley songs the group often heard. Jesse said he was reminded of the urgency of faith in the actions and lifestyles of the missionary brothers. “They were fully living it,’’ he said.

Senior Katherine Towery talks to a child during the mission trip to Mexico this spring. AMU students were able to minister to the disabled and handicapped during their service trip.

The brothers would unload a truck full of wood for three hours each day in a sweltering warehouse. “They do it out of joy,’’ he said. He said it was a good chance to think about his own life and consider what God is calling him to do. For Jessica, the trip answered her question. She returned to the AMU campus smiling.

“It opened my eyes as to what we really see,’’ she said. From Zimbabwe, she said she has experienced developing nations before, but even this was eye-opening. “Most of it is just poverty,’’ Tatenda said. The students stayed in a wealthy area at a hotel and could see the poverty from their windows. “Seeing that, seeing how close it was,’’ she said. “That was a very humbling experience for me.” God was literally everywhere in Haiti, she explained. From tattoos to songs to signs on the sides of vehicle, the themes were always God and Jesus and His love. “Here they were recovering from an earthquake, but they would always be saying, “Jesus Loves Me.”

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI In Haiti, the seven AMU students who accompanied fellow student Gaelle Lissade and her brother, Junior, to their homeland in Haiti, were startled by the extreme poverty contrasted with extreme wealth. “For the affluent population, the other side is not on their radar at all,’’ said senior Tatenda Mabikacheche The AMU students on spring break worked in the still earthquake-devastated city, some areas still full of tents.

MEXICO CITY Annie Hartney says her trip to Mexico City was necessary. Period. “It was what I needed for my senior year,’’ she said. The group that joined Mother Teresa Project Director Grace Cheffers and AMU First Lady Mary Towey over spring break was able to witness first-hand the difference in health care, when it’s government-run versus when it’s supported with love as the Missionaries of Charity order administers.

Annie saw it in the eyes of a woman named Andrea, an older woman who could not speak and couldn’t feed herself. “Her eyes were mesmerizing,’’ Annie said. “I can’t explain it. I’ll never forget her. She brought Christ home to me.” Seeing people, some of whom had no name because no one ever knew their names, was a difficult part of the trip, she said. “They had nothing, not even a name,’’ she said. Being around Mother Teresa’s nuns who give their lives to take care of the ill and elderly was a beautiful experience and one that she’ll remember forever regardless of what she does after college. The woman who couldn’t use words to speak communicated in ways a voice never could never portray. “She couldn’t say anything,’’ Annie said. “But the happiness on her face. I will always remember that.”

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AMU students spent time with some children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Many families were still recovering from the earthquake of 2010.


ABOVE: Naples philanthropist and performing arts leader Myra Daniels explains her plans for the new Performing Arts Center at AMU. Daniels is spearheading the efforts to build the center on campus. RIGHT: Freshman Michael Stewart serenades Myra Daniels.

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The Stage is Set



The evening started off with a nod to Irving Berlin, then took a wild detour to a juggling exhibition. Then the night smoothly made its way to a violin and a vocal performance that brought the crowd to its feet and transitioned triumphantly to a history-making announcement. And in between, a troupe of Shakespearean performers serenaded philanthropist and Naples performing arts legend Myra Janco Daniels with a fresh take on a One Direction song. That’s how Ave Maria University celebrated its Third Annual Scholarship Dinner in February at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples. The event is the University’s

New Performing Arts Center Grabs Spotlight At Scholarship Dinner

largest fundraiser and this year drew an audience of nearly 400 people to enjoy the 2014 theme, “AMU in Performance,” and revel in the buzz of the unveiling of the proposed $10 million performing arts center.

If the red carpet leading to the dining room didn’t tip off attendees, the Broadway lights and the piano on stage might have given them more clues. This was going to be a night like no other as AMU celebrated its 10th anniversary, “We want to showcase the talent of our students,’’ President Jim Towey told the crowd. The talent, the festivities, the humor and the pure joy of the night were marked by each of the acts, from the AMU Choir performing “Puttin’ on the Ritz” to senior Jensine Caranto playing the violin and singing. Towey’s speech was a blend of serious with a touch of mirth. He first conferred a surprise Honorary Doctorate on AMU PHOTOGR APH Y BY ERIK K ELL AR

RIGHT: Dean of Faculty Dr. Michael Dauphinais hoods AMU Founder Tom Monaghan after he was surprised with an honorary doctorate degree from President Towey. BELOW: Senior Chris Fahey gives his testimonial about his spiritual and educational growth at AMU.

founder Tom Monaghan – to the delight of his wife, Marge, standing at his side. Then, with the assistance of two jugglers, AMU senior Chris Audino and his brother, John, an AMU graduate, Towey gave a tongue-in-cheek description of his life as a college president, with the Audinos sailing pins by his head throughout.

After the meal was served, senior Chris Fahey and junior Annie Clark told the crowd how their AMU experience changed their lives, made them better people and allowed them to grow lifelong friendships. “The Ave Maria environment is like no other,” Clark told the crowd.

The news about the AMU plans for a new Performing Arts Center and the involvement of Naples Philharmonic Founder and longtime chief executive officer Daniels had been buzzing in the community for five days, but the dinner was the backdrop for the University’s long-anticipated announcement.

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LEFT: Senior Jensine Caranto performs at the Scholarship Dinner.



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It kicked off with a pop song, “What Makes You Beautiful,” a tribute to Daniels sung by the AMU Shakespeare troupe, featuring freshman Michael Stewart. “Everyone else in the room can see it, Everyone else, but you, Myra…,’’ they sang to a beaming Daniels, who smiled and blew kisses at the performers. The unveiling of the Performing Arts Center plans capped off the night. With a


1,250-seat theater with a thrust stage and additional classroom and practice space and plans to make it a destination for world-class performers, the crowd got an up-close look at the proposed center. The center will also be the permanent home of the Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall, which will house a collection of items, from handwritten letters and a first-class relic, to a display of photographs and story

boards which tell her life story. The Hall presently is in the town of Ave Maria and opened to the public in April. Attendees also got a personal message from Daniels who is spearheading the fundraising efforts for the Center. “We’re ready…It’s needed. It’s wanted. It will change the life of the community as much as it will the students’ lives,’’ she said.

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER FACTS • 1,250-seat theater • 40-foot by 50-foot stage • Total Building Area: 68,000 square feet over 2 stories • First Floor Gallery Space: 7,500 square feet

• Adjacent Rehearsal Hall and Student Entertainment Venue: 2,900 square feet • Office and Meeting Space for Department of Music: 8,800 square feet • Practice Rooms: 1,300 square feet • 3,500 square foot Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall

LEFT: Junior Annie Clark spoke to the Scholarship Dinner crowd about how coming to Ave Maria University changed her life. ABOVE: Senior Hayley Wonka acted as emcee at the Dinner, and is joined by senior Paige Pilarski, Student Government President who led the Pledge of Allegiance. The AMU choir sings the National Anthem in the background.

The plans for the Performing Arts Center unfolded at the dinner. The University would be home to a first-class venue in Southwest Florida’s cultural world for internationally renowned groups of actors, dancers and singers to perform. Not only would they enjoy the new center’s ambience, but also experience the University campus. Commencement ceremonies, now held in a cramped gymnasium, would transition to the new building. A real stage in a real theater would allow graduates to accept their diplomas in style.

Distinguished speakers would be drawn to campus where the theater would hold the crowds who flock to guest lectures. “The performing arts center will build on the University’s longstanding commitment to the arts,’’ Towey said. “All that is missing is a first-class venue to showcase the talented AMU students and attract performers in theater, opera, ballet, orchestral music and more,” he said. Now the University has the plans for a venue like no other. Right on the AMU campus.

GET INVOLVED To learn more about helping Ave Maria University build the Performing Arts Center, contact Myra Daniels at 239-598-4047, or Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kevin Joyce at 239-280-1695 or email him at for more information.


Women’s Basketball: A Winning Season; Sun Conference Tourney Champs Senior forward Erin Murphy advances the ball during the first round of the 2014 NAIA National Tournament. Murphy netted her 1,000th point in the Sun Conference tournament championship against Webber International University in February.

by Colin Voreis

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he AMU women’s basketball team finished the 2013-14 season with a 24-12 overall record and a Sun Conference tournament championship to


their name. Despite losing four seniors to graduation in 2013, Head Coach Bob Batson and the team found a way to their fifth-straight winning season in their short history. “These women know how to work as a team,” said Batson, who is in his sixth year as the head coach. “We don’t have any stars on our team, just a cohesive group of student-athletes.” AMU was led by five seniors, all of whom spent four years at AMU and will graduate in May.  “These seniors, as well as the group that graduated in 2013 have paved the way for the future of women’s basketball at AMU,” said Batson. “They have set the bar high for the underclassmen, and along the way have guided and mentored them so in the future they may be successful.,’’ the coach said. The Lady Gyrenes finished the regular season with an 11-5 record in the conference and tied with Southeastern University for second place. AMU ousted Southeastern in the conference tournament

Senior guard Cassie Kreiger defends a Davenport player during AMU’s loss in the NAIA National Tournament.

semifinals to set the table for a rematch of the 2013 Sun Conference championship against Webber International University. The Warriors took the 2013 title on a last second score, but AMU had their number in 2014, and slipped past Webber for a 70-69 victory in the conference championship game to earn their second NAIA tournament berth in five years. “This conference championship is a testament to the determination of these women,” said Batson. “We are the team that everyone wants to beat.”


Women’s Basketball Awards Annie Artise First Team USCAA All-American, Sun Conference First-Team Tamica Mora USCAA Honorable Mention AllAmerican, USCAA AllAcademic Team Cassie Kreiger Sun Conference Second-Team Lauren Peters USCAA AllAcademic Team

“It was amazing to share a little of where we came from to various students.”


The women’s team spent an afternoon with Special Olympics Iowa athletes during the NAIA women’s national tournament in Sioux City in March.


Senior Lauren Peters and the women’s basketball team visited Sacred Heart School in Sioux City, Iowa, during their trip to the NAIA national tournament in March. 

Women’s basketball team serves others during tournament The Ave Maria University’s women’s basketball team not only got the chance to play in two national tournaments, but were also able to give back to the communities they visited.

thing we all enjoy doing is helping others,’’ said senior forward Erin Murphy. The first trip was to Uniontown, Pa., where team members participated in the USCAA national tournament. The team visited St. John

was Sioux City, Iowa where the women had the chance to spend a morning with the Special Olympics at the Tyson Center. “We shared our basketball skills with them as

the Evangelist Regional Catholic School.

they shared their laughter and smiles with us. Our

“When we entered the school we were treated with

and we had such a great time. Not only did we get to

doughnuts, muffins, orange juice, and any other breakfast sweet you could think of. The faculty and staff were so welcoming. We felt super comfortable,’’ she said. Then the team got ready to read to various grades

whole team was in such high spirits the whole morning play basketball with them, we also showed them some of our dance moves, but at the end of the day they stole the show with their dance moves. The Special Olympics honestly left such an imprint on all of our hearts,”

at the elementary school level. They read “Monty the

Murphy said.

Cat of Ave Maria” by Ave Maria resident Patricia Sette.

Before the first game in the NAIA national tournament,

They also visited with the seventh and eighth-graders to help prepare them for high school and discussed the advantages of being student-athletes. “It was amazing to share a little of where we came from to various students,’’ Murphy said. The next stop

the team visited Sacred Heart School near Sioux City. Team members encouraged all of them to continue their athletic careers in high school because it offers opportunities for leadership, teamwork and the potential to play collegiate athletics. 

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“Playing basketball is what we love doing, but another



Men’s Basketball: New Coach At Helm; Two Players Win Honors

Freshman Ralph Erickson drives by an FGCU defender in a November matchup with the Eagles.

Football: Undefeated At Home; Coach Quinn Takes Home Award After winning only one game in their first two seasons of play, the Ave Maria University football team finished the 2013 season on an eight-game winning streak. To go along with an 8-2 record, the Gyrenes coaching staff was presented the NAIA Independent Conference Championship trophy at the American Football Coaches Association National Convention in January. At the event, head coach Marty Quinn was also presented the NAIA Independent Conference Coach of the Year award. The Gyrenes finished the 2013 season with a 4-0 record against independent teams, Warner University (27-3), Webber International (28-13), Edward Waters (45-14), and Point University (56-19).

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The 2013 season was last one of independence for AMU football, as The Sun Conference will sponsor football beginning in the fall of 2014. The conference will be made up of six Universities, Edward Waters (Fla.), Point University (Ga.), Southeastern University (Fla.), Warner University (Fla.), Webber International University (Fla.) and the Gyrenes.






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Under first-year coach Ken Dagostino, the men’s basketball team finished the 2013-14 season by falling to NAIA Tournament Qualifier St. Thomas University 84-72 in the second round of The Sun Conference Tournament. The team, which lost four starters from the previous season, faced eight nationally ranked opponents throughout the season, two NCAA Division II Universities and an early season matchup with Florida Gulf Coast University in front of a sold out crowd at Alico Arena in Fort Myers. They finished the season with a 12-19 overall record. Senior Matt Chattin was named a USCAA All-American and Second-Team all Sun Conference. Sophomore Joe Guernsey was named to the USCAA National All-Academic team and The Sun Conference Academic All-Conference team.

Lacrosse Launches in 2015 Women’s lacrosse is coming to AMU and new coach Kelly Buikus isn’t a novice when it comes to building a lacrosse program from the ground up. Buikus took on the challenge before. Before coming to the AMU campus, she was the head lacrosse coach in the inaugural season for Bristol Eastern/ Central High School and was involved in the planning and growing of the Bristol youth lacrosse program. The Gyrenes will begin their inaugural season in the spring of 2015. Although the NAIA does not officially sponsor a women’s lacrosse championship, the team will compete in the National Women’s Lacrosse League (NWLL), which includes 17 universities, as far away as Oklahoma, Michigan and North Carolina. Buikus is excited about the opportunity to build a program from scratch at AMU, citing the recent successes of AMU startup athletics teams, which are all less than 10 years old. “We can grow quickly, especially here in Southwest Florida,” said Buikus.


Tennis: New Tennis Center Opens On Campus The men’s and women’s tennis teams opened their first year of play on Ave Maria University’s new tennis facility in February. The women’s team notched a big conference win against Webber International. Eileen Lee and Jessica Cocks won their singles and doubles matches to propel the Lady Gyrenes to a 4-3 win. The men picked up a big conference win against Southeastern University on their home court, winning 6-3. Top performers for the men were Daniel Spurny, Cedric Duval, Theodore Pince and Daniel Pardo, each bringing home a win in singles play.

Students witness the first tennis match played on campus as Junior Eric Peterson returns a serve against Palm Beach Atlantic University on Feb. 2.

Golf: Desanges Leads The Way

AMU Junior Sean Miller lines up a putt at the Warner Invitational in March.

Baseball: Strong Start On Diamond The Ave Maria University baseball team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 win against Calumet College of St. Joseph in Lakeland, Fla. The team has played numerous NCAA teams, including Division II Eckerd College and Palm Beach Atlantic University. Over spring break, they lost a close battle with NCAA Division I Yale University, 3-1. Aaron Pigna is leading the team with a batting average of .367, while Senior Ethan Striz leads pitchers with an ERA of 2.73.

Softball: Top 10 Numbers In NAIA The softball team began their season with a 2-1 win against NCAA Division II Nova Southeastern University. The team travelled to Clermont, Fla., during spring break for a 10 game stretch, going 6-4, with a big win over NAIA #5 ranked Saint Xavier University from Illinois. Midway through the season, they rank in the top 10 in the NAIA in total hits, stolen bases and putouts.

The men’s golf team finished their regular season play in Daytona Beach with a 19th place finish at the 25th Annual Eagle Invitational at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in March. James Desanges, a freshman from Surrey, England led the Gyrenes with back-to-back rounds of 76 to finish with a 152 total in the final tournament of the regular season.  James Chillemi and Rhys Tosczak carded two round totals of 161 and 162 respectively for the Gyrenes.  The women’s team highlighted their season at the 20th Annual Webber Intercollegiate Tournament in Lake Wales, Florida.  Senior Tatenda Mabikacheche finished finished in 27th place, posting a 36-hole total of 187 in the tournament.


OR FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter - @Gyrenes Instagram - @Gyrenes

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Senior Ethan Striz pitches in a 5-4 win against Warner University in February.



WEARIN’ THE GREEN, SHOWIN’ AMU PRIDE Downtown Parade, Open House And a Broadway Visitor

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1. AMU students participate in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Naples. The AMU float and dozens of students turned out to march in the parade, which draws nearly 30,000 people to downtown Naples. 2. Gunny, the AMU mascot, wore his Gyrene gear to greet prospective students at the Open House. 3. It was standing room only at a January Open House at AMU. Prospective students and their families learned all about the University from current students, admissions counselors and President Towey. 4. Broadway Star Frank D’Ambrosio shared words of wisdom with AMU students during a recent campus visit. D’Ambrosio, a singer and actor starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. He also played the adult Anthony Vito Corleone inThe Godfather Part III.



10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Pep Rally, First Football Game on Campus, Memories of Mother Teresa


1 1. Sister Dorothy, M.C., the fifth woman to join the Missionaries of Charity, spoke about her memories of Mother Teresa at the Dedication of the Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall during the 10th anniversary weekend. Photo by Erik Kellar Photography 2. Fans pack the stands

and cheer on their Gyrenes at the new AMU football field for the team’s first official home game. The Gyrenes remain unbeaten at home going into next season.


4. Members of the AMU women’s soccer team attend the 10th anniversary pep rally.



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3. Students enjoyed a bonfire and some cool October weather as part of the 10th anniversary weekend celebration.



AMU SINGS, DANCES AND MARCHES FOR LIFE From Campus to D.C., School Spirit is Alive





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1. 200: Anthony D’Ambrosio, the twin brother of Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Class of 2011 played as part of Alumni Weekend. Their band, Light the Skies, performed at the weekend concert. 2. Sam Hughes, Class of 2017, takes on the challenge from competitors at this

year’s Dorm Wars, an afternoon of one of the most popular events on campus.

3. Hannah Harned, Class of 2016, center, performs at Ave Idol. 4. Runners take off at the start of the AMU Runners for Life 5K in March. Proceeds benefitted the Immokalee Pregnancy Center. 5. Students take part in Ave Idol, a contest that brought out the talented, the wacky and the fun. 6

6. Dozens of AMU students made the trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the March for Life.




Women in Politics was the featured topic at this year’s Genuine Feminine Conference at Ave Maria University. Genuine.Feminine is an annual conference organized and hosted by a group of students at Ave Maria University who are interested in exploring the essence of femininity and the practical implications

of being a woman in modern society. The conference keynote speaker, Dr. Pia de Solenni, spoke about the importance of women adding their voices to political discourse. She pointed out that many of the major decisions concerning womens’ health were made by male politicians. If women do not speak for themselves, especially about issues that affect them most personally, such as health, reproduction and family policies, then they are letting others, even those who have opposing values, determine what policies are made to “speak” for them. Dr. Seana Sugrue, associate professor of Politics at AMU, spoke on “Strong, Powerful Women: Ethical and Practical Challenges Faced by Women in Politics.” She cited statistics of the participation of women

in politics to point out that the number of women in politics is relatively small. Sugrue examined what are considered to be woman’s “weaknesses” (passivity, emotionality, sensitivity), and illustrated how the inverses of these qualities (the ability to channel the strength of others, sympathy, intuition) could enable a woman to be a very strong and effective leader. Peggy Stanton, ABC News’ first female news correspondent, spoke on “Why Settle for Less than the Best?” She revealed that her own life took a turn after a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. She asked the crowd to consider the realities that dwarf worldly power and influence. Saints such as Mother Teresa, had more influence on the world than scores of powerful women in politics, she said.

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Ashley Crouch of Verily Magazine appeared at the 2014 Genuine Feminine Conference at AMU in January. This year’s theme was Women in Politics. Photo by Marlee Klopfer



More than 30 scholars from 14 universities from around the world came to the AMU campus for the Mission-Driven seminar.

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In January, more than 30 scholars from 14 universities came to Ave Maria University for the “Mission-Driven Business Education” seminar to talk about integrating the Catholic faith and the Catholic intellectual tradition into the teaching of marketing, management, accounting, finance, economics, and business ethics. Dr. Gabriel Martinez, Chair of the Business department at AMU, Dr. Michael Naughton of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas and Dr. Henry Amoroso of the Micah Center at Seton Hall University were the seminar organizers. “Through the questions we raise,

through the topics we choose, through the answers we give, we can give our students and our colleagues a sense of the meaning and fulfillment we have found as Christians and as Catholics,” said Dr. Martinez. “The Catholic tradition gives us a different perspective and a unique impetus to study finance, economics, marketing, accounting, management, and business ethics, which makes our classroom and research occasions for – appropriate, respectful, opportune – evangelization.” The seminar, which focused on the uniquely Catholic dimensions of business education featured formal presentations and informal discussions.  In their presentations, the participants laid out their

AMU’s Dr. Gabriel Martinez talks with Dr. Charles Clark of St. John’s University (right) and Dr. Michael Naughton (left) of the University of St. Thomas during the MissionDriven Business Education seminar at AMU.

understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition and of Catholic social teaching.  Then they connected these ideas with the specific pedagogical strategies that they use to help students make relevant connections.   All participants wrote background papers on their ideas of the integration of Catholic teaching with their disciplines and gave specific teaching notes and syllabi, which will be made public to the worldwide academic community.


Left to right, AMU Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Dauphinais, Dr. Russ Hittinger of the University of Tulsa, Dr. Steven Long, Father Matthew Lamb and Dr. Roger Nutt participated in the Ex Corde Ecclesiae Conference in February. Photo by Marlee Klopfer


this year celebrated the 10th anniversary of Ave Maria University. The seal of the University is inscribed with this title of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution.  It begins: “Born from the heart of the Church, a Catholic University is within a tradition traced back to the very origin of the University as an institution.” He then quotes Pope Alexander IV’s letter to the University of Paris in April of 1255, exhorting them to a common love of

learning and joy in the truth. The first lecture was presented by Dr. Russell Hittinger, the William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa. Ex Corde Ecclesiae repeatedly calls for the development of sound moral judgments and actions by all involved in a Catholic University (#5, 7, 18, 20, etc). Fundamental to such moral education is the Catholic tradition of the natural law. Therefore the opening lecture of the Conference was on “Catholic Discourses and Natural Law: The Legacy of Joseph Ratzinger.”   Another theme of the Apostolic Constitution was the importance of doing the

sciences in accord with the common good (# 7, 16-18, 29-31, etc.). Dr. Stephen Barr, the Professor of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware, lectured on “Natural Science and Catholicism.” Finally, a Catholic university should also encourage learning to promote social justice and service “especially to the poor” (# 34, 4, 32, 40, Norm 7, 2). Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C., the promoter of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s canonization and one of the men to found the order, spoke on “Mother Teresa: A Rich Resource for Contemporary Theology.”

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The Ex Corde Ecclesiae Conference

Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C. is presented with the Ex Corde Ecclesiae Medal by Dr. Roger Nutt and President Jim Towey of AMU. Fr. Brian, the postulator of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and director of the Mother Teresa Center spoke to faculty and students.



VOCATIONS VISITORS Father Robert Garrity, the head of AMU’s Campus Ministry, and Aramis Vicente, center, and Alvaro Davila attend the Vocations Fest on campus. AMU students and community members had the chance to learn about religious vocations and meet with members of dozens of religious orders. Photo by Marlee Klopfer

Father Rich Pagano, Class of 2007, talks to students at Theology on Tap during Alumni Weekend. Pagano was ordained a priest by the Diocese of St. Augustine last year. Photo by Marlee Klopfer

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Jack and Rhodora Donahue and their grandchildren take a closer look at the monument placed outside the Oratory. The ground the Oratory sits upon is now called the Jack and Rhodora Donahue Plaza. The Donahues of Naples are major donors to Ave Maria University, Catholic education and the Ave Maria community. Photo by Erik Kellar Photography

AMU President Jim Towey and members of the Missionaries of Charity met up with AMU students who were studying abroad in Rome.

AMU Founder Tom Monaghan celebrated his 77th birthday on campus on March 25 during the Feast of the Annunciation. The whole AMU community got in on the party during the festivities. Photo by Brendan Weston

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A group of pilgrims from Ave Maria University traveled to Rome this spring. The group, made up of AMU administrators, board members, donors, an alumnus and their families spent a week touring the city.


HOW TO SUPPORT AMU Connect | Recruit | Give

Connect Come tour our Southwest Florida campus and bring your friends and family. Visit our web site at and take a look at our upcoming events at Follow us on Facebook at and Twitter (@avemariauniv) and browse our blogs from President Jim Towey, our faculty and students at Host a gathering of friends to hear from students, faculty and administrators. Contact Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kevin Joyce at 239.280.1695 for more information.

Recruit You are the University’s best recruiter. We need your referrals, recommendations and personal testimonials. Your opinion means a great deal to AMU and to the young people in your life. Help us connect AMU with young men and women interested in an authentic Catholic liberal arts education and help us grow the University. You know students who are ready to change the world and join us at AMU so please help us connect so they can discover the University. Please contact Admissions at 239.280.2556 or

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Throughout this AMU Magazine, you’ve read about students who are determined to make a real difference in the world. With the financial support of many, an AMU education empowers the next generation to be strong moral leaders who live meaningful lives. Please partner with us in transforming the lives of AMU students. Every gift invests in AMU’s students and is immeasurable since it improves our society and allows opportunities for deserving students. Visit the Giving page at to find out how to support our students’ education. Contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 239.280.1678 for ways to support the University.


More than 1,300 students, faculty, staff and community members participated in the Annunciation Feast Day celebration on the AMU campus on March 25. More than 1,350 steaks were barbecued as the University community and its supporters descended on campus to enjoy the day. The crowd was the largest ever gathered on the AMU campus. Photo by Brendan Weston

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

SCHOOLED IN SOCCER AMU freshman Mike Reilly and his young soccer buddies from Immokalee relax after a busy Saturday at Soccer School. Reilly and other students volunteer to spend time with the youngsters and to help the boys learn some soccer moves. P HOTO B Y BR E N DA N W ESTON

AMU Magazine Spring 2014  
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