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Chicago Fire Return to Ave Maria Friday

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Major League Soccer Chicago Fire will be back in Ave Maria beginning Friday, Jan. 20, for two weeks to start their spring training for the 2012 season. 

As was the case last year, when the Fire trained for the first time in Ave Maria, the team will have open practices daily and will play an exhibition game at North Park in Ave Maria. The exhibition game against FGCU Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m, is one of two exhibition matches on the Fire's schedule for their time in Southwest Florida. The other game, against the MLS D.C. United, is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. at FGCU. Left, last year's exhibition game at North Park against FGCU drew more than 1,000 people.

Practices will normally be open to the public. The Ave Herald will post the daily practice schedule as it is available. They also have a number of sessions scheduled with their local affiliate, the Chicago Fire Juniors.

The Fire will have a busy spring, traveling to New Orleans, Ventura, CA and Charleston, SC before opening their season March 17 in Montreal.

The official spring schedule released by The Chicago Fire:

January 20-February 3: First Team trains in Ave Maria, Fla.


Sunday, January 29 - Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United - 1:00 p.m. CT - Florida Gulf Coast University

Wednesday, February 1 - Chicago Fire vs. Florida Gulf Coast University - 6:00 p.m. CT - Ave Maria University

February 3-5: First Team trains in New Orleans, La.

Saturday, February 4 - Chicago Fire vs. Real C.D. Espana (HON) - 5:00 p.m. CT - Tad Gormley Stadium

February 5: First Team returns to Chicago

February 8-18: First Team trains in Ventura, Calif.

February 18: First Team returns to Chicago

February 21-March 5: First Team trains in Charleston, S.C. as part of 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup


Saturday, February 25 - Chicago Fire vs. DC United - 4:00 p.m. CT - Blackbaud Stadium

Wednesday, February 29 - Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew - 4:00 p.m. CT - Blackbaud Stadium

Saturday, March 3 - Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery (USL) - 6:15 p.m. CT - Blackbaud Stadium

March 5: First Team returns to Chicago



Reorganization Concluded

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mr. Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University, today announced a reorganization of the athletics and conferences program areas of the University. These changes conclude a nearly year-long review by the new president in his effort to streamline operations and move Ave Maria toward self-sufficiency. Towey announced the following personnel appointments and changes:

· Mr. Brian Scanlan, current athletic director of the University, is now an Associate Vice President and will assist Chief Financial Officer Eugene Munin and Comptroller Tony Beata in business operations, with an emphasis on the conferences and events activities of the University.

· Mr. Kevin Joyce, current Assistant to the President, is now Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. Joyce was an assistant football coach from 2001-2004 at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, and also coached at Marist High School before coming to Ave Maria in 2010 to work in the development office. Joyce played football and wrestled at John Carroll University where he earned his B.A. degree in Political Science.

· Mr. Barry Fagan is stepping down as Head Football Coach and is leaving the University.

· Mr. Forrest Wallace, current Director of Media Relations and Events, is now Director of Public Relations and will work with Mr. Dennis Grace, Vice-President for Enrollment and Marketing, in the marketing of the University, as well as handle media relations.

“The University is grateful for Coach Fagan’s service in getting our football program up and running and we wish him well as he continues his coaching career,” said Towey. “Ave Maria University is committed to having a successful, competitive intercollegiate athletics program. Wins and losses of course matter, but of greater importance is that our student athletes graduate with a first-class education. Kevin Joyce is the right man to move us in that direction.”

Mr. Joyce will assume his new responsibilities immediately and begin assembling next year’s team. “I appreciate the confidence that President Towey has in me and I can’t wait to meet with our football team and get to know all of our student athletes,” Joyce commented. “I know our coaches and they are a fantastic group and I look forward to working with them.”

Mr. Scanlan also is eager to take on his new responsibilities. “I’ve loved my work in athletics and I’m proud of what we accomplished in such a short time. I am an entrepreneur by nature and love business and so the challenge of attracting more conferences and events at Ave Maria is very attractive to me,” Scanlan said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to help the University where I am needed the most,” he added.

President Towey was announced as Ave Maria University’s new President on February 10, 2011, succeeding Chancellor and Founder Thomas S. Monaghan and President Nicholas Healy, and began his tenure on March 17, 2011. Since his appointment there has been a major transition in senior leadership underway at the University that included the appointment of new vice-presidents for academic affairs, institutional advancement, and enrollment, as well as a new chief financial officer and also head of information services. In May the University streamlined all areas of the University and cut the 2010-11 operating budget by $3.6 million, and reduced the number of full-time coaches in athletics from 15 to 5. Last fall Ave Maria had its largest entering class ever, and last month the University nearly doubled the number of majors and minors to be offered in August.

“Ave Maria University continues to grow and move toward self-sufficiency and I am thrilled that we have had such a smooth transition of authority,” said Towey. “It is a tribute to the great men and women who have worked at – and are working at - Ave Maria.”

Next week classes resume on the campus that has an enrollment of 750 undergraduates and 113 graduate students.



Guest column by Pres. Towey: Expenses to be the key in the year ahead

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In a recent speech, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged colleges and universities to "think more creatively — and with much greater urgency — about how to contain the spiraling costs of college and reduce the burden of student debt on our nation's students."

Keeping academic standards high and the costs to students low will be the defining challenge in higher education in 2012.

If Duncan wants to see a model to accomplish these dual objectives, he should check out Ave Maria University.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, this year the average cost of tuition and fees at private colleges in America is $28,500, and yet Ave Maria charges just a little more than $20,000.

Because our mission urges us to keep the cost of attending college within the reach of as many families as possible, more than half of this cost at Ave Maria is covered by scholarships, thanks to the generosity of our founder, Tom Monaghan, and our many donors.

This means that the average student on our campus is paying less than $10,000 in tuition and fees annually. Students from Florida are paying even less because of state-supported scholarships (Bright Future and Florida Resident Access Grant). In fact, Florida residents attending Ave Maria have an out-of-pocket tuition cost comparable to the sticker price of the state's huge public universities.

That is good news for parents and their high school seniors who want a quality education without incurring a mountain of debt. With many private, liberal arts colleges now charging well over $40,000 per year in tuition, and with scholarship aid restricted to the privileged few (star students or athletes, for example), it is no wonder that there is widespread resentment in America over rising college costs.

So how does Ave Maria University keep its academic standards high and its costs low?

First, we attracted a first-class faculty without the trappings of tenure. Our professors hold degrees from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell and other prestigious institutions and could teach, research and get tenure anywhere. They chose Ave Maria because we value their scholarship and seek to provide the right environment for it.

Second, we have streamlined administration and kept the student-to-employee ratio high. Too many colleges and universities have bloated bureaucracies.

Third, we do not go overboard on athletics. A third of our students compete in 17 sports, guided by just a handful of full-time coaches. That model works for students and is affordable.

Last month the higher-education consulting group Hardwick Day released results from a survey conducted with 2,700 college graduates. The group asked the graduates how satisfied they were with their undergraduate experiences. Which colleges fared best? Private liberal arts colleges like Ave Maria. This is because students who learn how to think critically and write competently turn into graduates who can excel in the world.

That is good news, but it will be short-lived if their alma maters continue to price themselves out of reach.



NRO Editor-at-large interviewed

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"The gals at Ave Maria in Florida are just spectacular...", says Kathryn Jean Lopez, keynote speaker at the genuine.feminine conference on campus last March.



Start-Ups Drive Florida Job Creation, Report by AMU Professor Finds

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Assistant Professor of Economics, Dr. Joseph Burke, recently had an article published on Start-Up Companies as Florida’s Top Job Creators



A Presidential Reunion

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AMU President H. J. Towey Visits with President Bush in Texas

November 18, 2011 – Ave Maria University President H. James Towey poses for a picture with his friend and former employer, United States President George W. Bush, moments before the former President addressed a faith-based gathering in Dallas, Texas.  America’s 43rd president and Towey visited at the Bush’s Dallas home and later traveled together to the speech – although, as President Towey observed, “his motorcade is smaller and it stops at red lights.”  President Towey was grateful for the opportunity to share with the President all of the good news coming from Ave Maria.  “It was great to be with President Bush and it was just like old times, except that now he is a little more laid back and there isn’t the constant pressure.  He looked great and was getting ready to go on a family trip to Africa, and his speech to the folks supporting a local pregnancy center that helps moms choose life, was fascinating, and at times, hilarious.  He definitely is comfortable in his role away from the spotlight.”  At their meeting, President Bush told Towey that he would meet with a group of Ave Maria University supporters when he comes to Naples on February 3, 2012. 



Thomas S. Monaghan Honored for Catholic Leadership

Monday, December 5, 2011

Catholic Leadership Institute and over 600 individuals from around the country gathered to honor Sr. Pauline McShain, SHCJ, Thomas Monaghan, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM, Cap. and Terry Polakovic on Friday, November 11 at the 2011 Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership in Philadelphia, PA.  



Immokalee Parish benefits from SGA Breakfast with St. Nick!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Families enjoyed the annual Ave Maria University Breakfast with St. Nick Sunday morning, sponsored by the AMU student government and the Knights of Columbus. 



Marine Corp Ball Celebrated with Cake and Gyrene Burgers

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chancellor Monaghan honored at the Annual Marine Corp Birthday Ball. Gyrene Burgers served for the first time.  Gyrene Burger is a venture created by Chancellor Tom Monaghan to benefit scholarships for students of AMU.


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