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Tim McDonnell Awarded American Prize in Conducting

Friday, October 17, 2014

Timothy McDonnell won third place in the 2014 American Prize in Conducting College/University Chorus Division. The American Prize is an annual series of competitions that award and recognize the best in the performing arts in America. One of the judges this year described McDonnell’s conducting as “clear” and said that his “cues are given so that the orchestra and choir are comfortably together.”

McDonnell is Assistant Professor and Chair of Music at Ave Maria University. He is director of the Ave Maria University Combined Choirs and teaches music theory. Before coming to Ave Maria, he was Director of Liturgical Music and master of the Music Chapel at the Pontifical North American College. McDonnell was founding director of Schola Nova at the International Institute for Culture in Philadelphia. In 2011, he was appointed director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Chorus. Besides being an accomplished and prize-winning conductor, McDonnell is an active composer and arranger. 

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AMU Recommended in Popular Guide to Catholic Colleges

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ave Maria, Fla. – Ave Maria University is recommended in the 2015 edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, a resource published by The Cardinal Newman Society recommending 27 Catholic colleges, universities and higher education programs for their strong Catholic identity.

At TheNewmanGuide.com visitors can read the Guide for free, order a copy, view its companion magazine My Future, My Faith, or take advantage of “Recruit Me”—an innovative new opportunity for students to sign up to get recruited by the recommended Catholic colleges.

The Newman Guide says of AMU:

“When you take into account the unswerving promotion of Catholic values, the strong core curriculum, and the presence of an impressive and faithful faculty, Ave Maria stands as an exciting new option available to Catholics today.”

The new edition of the Guide highlights exciting changes at Ave Maria including the addition of new majors.

The Newman Guide’s new “Recruit Me” initiative flips around the typical college search process, with faithful Catholic institutions competing for prospective students. All students have to do is complete a short form at TheNewmanGuide.com, and colleges featured in The Newman Guide will go to work convincing the student why their program is the best fit for the student’s goals and abilities.

“Recruit Me is just another way that The Newman Guide makes it easy for Catholic families and students to explore a wide variety of options for faithful Catholic education, finding the institution that best suits their needs,” said managing editor Adam Wilson. “Every year, parents tell us how the Guide is setting students on a firm path for the future, whether it leads to religious vocations, marriages or professions.  We are thrilled to make this resource available to Catholic families for the eighth year!”

First published in 2007, The Newman Guide recommends 20 U.S. Catholic colleges and universities and seven international and online programs for their faithful Catholic identity. Its companion full-color magazine, My Future, My Faith, helps students navigate the transition from high school to college with advice on important topics like how to know which college is right for you, tips for getting accepted, writing the best application essay, keeping your faith in college and even rules for campus dating.

The book version of the Guide provides in-depth narratives exploring the uniqueness of each institution, questions and answers with the colleges, financial and career development information, and much more.  The free online version at TheNewmanGuide.com includes all the content from the book plus more than 400 pages of additional information, videos, social media links, photographs, news and more.

The online version also makes it easier than ever for families to compare and contrast the recommended colleges. A chart on the website gives readers a quick glance at crucial facts like percent of Catholic students, number of majors, availability of Confession, opposite sex visiting hours in dorms and other important information for each recommended institution. 

Founded in 1993, The Cardinal Newman Society is dedicated to promoting and defending faithful Catholic education. The Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. To become a member, visit online at http://CardinalNewmanSociety.org.

 

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Lou Holtz Announced as Keynote Speaker at 4th Annual Scholarship Dinner

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ave Maria University is pleased to announce that legendary football coach, motivational speaker and best-selling author, Lou Holtz, will be the keynote speaker at the University’s 4th Annual Scholarship Dinner taking place on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. This year’s theme is “Champions for Life.”

Holtz currently serves as a college football studio analyst on ESPN and is recognized as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Renowned for his success in the sports arena, Holtz will deliver a message that addresses the leadership role of student athletes both on and off the field.

For many years, Lou Holtz has been considered among the greatest speaking legends in America today. He speaks on overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting goals and working to achieve them. Over time Holtz has built a reputation as a motivator, a demanding disciplinarian, and someone who relishes challenges and hard work.

“Lou Holtz is and always has been a champion for life,” said AMU President Jim Towey. “His impact on the countless lives he has touched can never be measured appropriately. Our students and University community are grateful to join this list. We look forward to a beautiful evening.”

The previous three Annual Scholarship Dinners have raised more than $2 Million, with all profits going directly to students in need of financial aid.

Tickets for the 4th Annual Scholarship Dinner start at $350 per person. Sponsorship levels are available and include a VIP reception and photo opportunity with Lou Holtz. To purchase tickets or secure a sponsorship, please call Stacy Laffere, Director of Special Events and Advancement Relations at 239-280-1565.

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

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Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Roger Scruton, to offer lectures on campus

Friday, September 26, 2014

Roger Scruton will offer a three-part lecture series beginning Oct. 6. He is currently a visiting professor at Oxford University, where he is also a Fellow at Blackfriars Hall; visiting professor (part-time) in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland; and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His principal activity remains what it has been for the last 30 years, which is writing, and his books and articles cover a broad range of topics in several genres. See the flyer below for more information.

***PLEASE NOTE LECTURE TIME CHANGES***

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Fr. McTeigue to speak at Catholic Medical Association Conference

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ave Maria University’s Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., is speaking at the Catholic Medical Association’s 83rd annual conference this weekend. Fr. McTeigue, adjunct professor in philosophy at AMU, will lead the opening Evening of Reflection: “St. Ignatius Loyola, Our Comrade-in-Arms.” In addition, McTeigue will offer three morning reflections based on Ignatian Spirituality and tailored to the needs and unique calling of healthcare professionals. On Friday morning, he will speak on “Moral Courage in Medicine.”

The conference, founded to strengthen and support American physicians in their faith, is taking place September 24-27 at Universal Orlando’s Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel. Other conference speakers include: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, George Weigel, Austin Ruse, Mike Aquilina, and more.

When asked about the role he will play at this year’s conference, McTeigue said:

 “As a Jesuit priest and as a professor of philosophy, I will be delighted to be in the company of and at the service of good people who have a deep commitment to the Catholic faith as well as to the noble art and science of medicine.”

The Southwest Florida Catholic Medical Guild, for which McTeigue is the chaplain, has very generously given scholarships so that half of the AMU students from McTeigue’s medical ethics class are able to attend the conference.

The AMU Women’s Schola, led by Dr. Susan Treacy, have been invited to provide the music for the opening Mass of the conference, which will be celebrated by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.

Fr. Robert McTeigue received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America, and his M.Th. from Heythrop College at the University of London.

Susan Treacy received her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas, her M.Mus in opera from the Manhattan School of Music, and her B.Mus. in voice from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

Details about the CMA 2014 conference can be found here.

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Ave Maria University Observes Constitution Day

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

This Wednesday is Constitution Day. On September 17th, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, best summed up the significance of the day when he wrote in the first Federalist Paper, “It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, to decide by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

To mark Constitution Day a panel of Ave Maria faculty (Dr. Seana Sugrue, Politics; Dr. Michael Breidenbach, History; Dr. John Colman, Politics) will discuss the following question:

“The U.S. Constitution: Christian or Secular?”

The colloquium will discuss the nature of the U.S. Constitution as a Christian or secular document.  The framers of the Constitution were in many respects products of the Enlightenment and its complex understanding of religion.  In some ways the Constitution reflects that complexity as evidenced by the continuing debates over the First Amendment.  Some claim that the Constitution is based on Christian values while others suggest that it is a secular document aimed at reducing religion’s influence on political life.  Is the Constitution Christian or is it informed by a strictly secular understanding of government and society?  Can it be argued that the uniqueness of the Constitution is that it is both secular and Christian?  Is such a thing possible?

The Colloquium will be held in the Demetree Auditorium in the Henkels Academic Building at 5 p.m.

Suggested Readings:

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Ave Maria University asks federal court for more time

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ave Maria University continues its fight for religious liberty. AMU filed a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of a federal requirement to provide contraceptive coverage to employees beginning Nov. 1. The Fort Myers News-Press covered the re-opening of AMU's lawsuit. View the full article here.

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Build the AMU Alumni Association through the “Drive for Five”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ave Maria University is beginning a new chapter in its alumni outreach by kicking off the “Drive for Five” initiative. Graduates of Ave Maria are invited to update their records with the Office of Alumni Relations through a brief online survey. Those who complete the survey by the deadline will have a chance to win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards.

Watch as Zachary Crockett, Coordinator of Career Services and Alumni Relations, highlights the purpose of the initiative, and learn about how you can contribute to the growth of the alumni association! Find out more by messaging alumni@avemaria.edu.

Survey can be found here.

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President Towey blogs, "Archbishop Lori Praises University Efforts in Religious Freedom Battle"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Archbishop William Lori’s ringing defense of the right of religious liberty which he delivered in his Convocation address to a rapt Ave Maria University community gathered in a jam-packed ballroom this afternoon, capped a remarkable week of activities to start the new academic year.

What an honor to have him on our campus and with our students! And his timing could not have been more providential as Ave Maria is in discussions with our lawyers regarding our continued fight against the Obamacare mandate. Archbishop Lori praised our University’s efforts and pointed out what was at stake for the Church in this battle with the federal government. He warned of the dangers facing those in any Catholic organization who formally cooperate with a mandate so immoral, mean-spirited, and hostile to religious autonomy and Church teaching.

After his talk he met with honors students at a reception. His morning began with - you guessed it - Ave students.

He capped off his visit to Ave Maria University with a tour of the Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall , accompanying the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael Timmis, and me.

His visit came on a day special to him and special to us. Mother Teresa of Calcutta went home to God on this day in 1997, when our freshmen were learning how to walk (as they are now!). Today is a First Friday, just like then.

And now the Archbishop knows just how true it is that Ave Maria University’s devotion to, and identification with, this saintly woman are unmatched in academia.

There simply is no campus that honors her the way Ave Maria does, and when Archbishop Lori celebrated Mass at noon today to over 500 attendees, he had his dear friend in mind. In his capacity as secretary to James Cardinal Hickey in Washington, D.C. in the 1980’s, and as a young monsignor, he worked closely with Mother and her nuns as they opened numerous homes in the area, including a home for people with AIDS.

He told me this morning that when he and Mother were looking for such a home, he drove by one of the Archdiocesan properties that housed their Catholic Charities offices and some day care programming. The building had previously been used as an orphanage. The Archbishop recalled that Mother looked at the building, prayed, and then placed a blessed medal on the wall, and how he instantly realized that the Archdiocese wasn’t going to own that property for much longer!

What a joy to have Archbishop Lori with us and what a great way to start the academic year! Ave has its largest entering class ever – just under 400. The total enrollment of undergraduate students on our campus now exceeds 1,000 – also a milestone. The academic excellence of our new students continues to improve, too.

It is going to be another great year at Ave Maria University. I’ll try to post as regularly as I can.

Have a great weekend!

Blessed Mother Teresa - pray for us!

- President Jim Towey

Click here to view an archive of President Towey's blog posts.

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Dr. Timothy McDonnell named an American Prize choral conducting finalist

Monday, August 11, 2014

The AMU Chamber Choir performs at the University's 2014 Scholarship DinnerDr. Timothy McDonnell, Assistant Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at AMU has been named an American Prize choral conducting finalist for his work with Ave Maria University's choirs. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Please follow this link for the full release and to view all finalists.

The American Prize Facebook page

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