News Archives

News Archive

Dealing with the Hand God Gave Me

Remembering the words spoken by then five year-old Valeria Tkacik still gives her mother, Anne, goose bumps. "I turned around to look at her and she was looking at me and smiling and I'll never forget that day. She said Mommy, I was born to make people happy. I said to her I know you will. I truly believe she was getting a message from the angels right then. And from all her achievements, I know this to be true." These days, Valeria is a standout lacrosse player for Ave Maria University in Florida. By all accounts, she is a leader on and off the field. Tkacik was named to the National Women's Lacrosse League South Regional Team and is considered a talented athlete who loves playing lacrosse, basketball, golf, track, soccer and flag football. A good student in the classroom, Tkacik was also accepted as a Mother Teresa Scholar at Ave Maria. She has contributed service time for charity work, including a mission trip to Harlem, NY where she served the poor and homeless. Also, Tkacik recently got a haircut and donated 12 inches of her hair to Art of Wigs (Texas) to help cancer patients. As a freshman, she served as a representative on Ave Maria's Student Government. For her sophomore year, Tkacik will serve on the Student Activities Board and was selected for Ave Maria's Media Internship Program. And if those achievements aren't enough, Valeria is also a motivational speaker, helping patients who are struggling with the loss of limbs and providing them encouragement. The reason? Tkacik can relate to their story. Read more...



President and Mrs. Towey Meet Pope Francis in Philadelphia

Jim and Mary Towey greeted the Holy Father on Sunday after his departing remarks in a hangar at the Philadephia International Airport. President Towey told Pope Francis that Ave Maria University sent its love, and the Holy Father asked for our prayers.

Six Ave Maria University students, President Jim Towey, and Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Cosden were in Philadelphia for the Papal Events this past weekend. AMU's Director of Student Engagement and Operations, Martin Doman, and his band performed prior to Sunday's Mass with Pope Francis. Martin's band was selected as one of nine to perform on Sunday. The band includes two AMU alums, Ben Houde and Rich Dittus. 


Jim and Mary Towey greet the Holy Father.

(From L to R): VP for Student Affairs Julie Cosden, Rose Reed, Julian Sanderson, Laura Wittmann, Conner O’Brien, Corey Blanchard, and Chris DeCleene.

President Towey and VP for Student Affairs Julie Cosden with five of the six AMU students that traveled to Philadelphia. 

A glimpse of the Papal Motorcade driving through Philadelphia.

AMU's Director of Student Engagement and Operations, Martin Doman and his band performed prior to Sunday's Mass with Pope Francis.

Sunday's Mass in Philadelphia.

All photos by Chris DeCleene.



New Students Ready for Academic Year

On August 31, Ave Maria University welcomed its newest class of students, the class of 2019. This new class brings the University's total undergraduate enrollment to a record of nearly 1,100 students. The Naples Daily News featured an article highlighting AMU's continued growth. Click this link to read more.




University Announces Three New Music Department Hires


August 12, 2015 (Ave Maria, FL) Ave Maria University is pleased to announce the hiring of three faculty members for the music department this fall. This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the fine arts at Ave Maria University,said Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria University.

Dr. Helen Tintes-Schuermann arrives from the Konservatorium Wien University in Vienna, Austria, where she has taught classical voice. An American who performs internationally, she has extensive performance experience in opera, oratorio, lied and musical theater, all of which complement her pedagogical skills. Says Tintes-Schuermann, “I encourage my students to become disciplined, creative performers, critical thinkers and concerned world citizens.” Several of her students have gone on to graduate degree programs. Dr. Tintes-Schuermann herself possesses five degrees or diplomas with her terminal degree being Doctor of Music from Northwestern University.

Dr. Seunghee Lee will join Ave Maria University from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she has served as a piano lab instructor and a lecturer. A composer, educator, and pianist, she possesses four degrees with her terminal degree being a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory from Brandeis University. Born in South Korea, she has performed internationally including notable venues in Germany, Finland, Italy, South Korea, and across the United States. Dr. Lee shares, “It is my mission to develop well rounded and technically equipped musicians who have the tools to succeed in all aspects of the classical and non-classical music field.”

Dr. Taylor Ferranti served as an Associate Professor of Voice at Cedarville University for many years. He is an accomplished singer, conductor, pianist, and vocal coach. Possessing three degrees and the Certificate of Vocology, his terminal degree is the Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance and Voice Science from Louisiana State University where he was a student of renown pedagogue, Dr. Stephen F. Austin. “My goal as an educator is to be used by God to impact the lives of students I have the great privilege of teaching and mentoring,” said Dr. Ferranti.

Together with department chair, Dr. Susan Treacy, who offers to her students a love of sacred music and a deep appreciation of music history, the Music Department will instruct students interested in applied voice, piano, and organ performance.

Dr. Seana Sugrue, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, echoed Towey’s earlier sentiments. “I’m thrilled for our students who are going to benefit greatly from the substantial gifts of Ave Maria University’s dedicated artists and scholars.”

Press Release - PDF





Ave Maria University Receives Approval to Offer State Teaching Licenses

Ave Maria University has been awarded status as an “Initial Teacher Preparation Program” by the State of Florida’s Department of Education. This designation means that students who graduate with an Education Major from Ave Maria University automatically qualify for a Florida professional teaching license. AMU joins 48 other Florida colleges and universities authorized to provide initial teacher preparation in Florida. State approval required submission of an extensive report and artifacts documenting that AMU’s program presents required core content, prepares and tracks teacher-candidates in the required skills and dispositions expected of teachers, has an extensive program evaluation and continual improvement process in place, and has the ability to collect and document evidence for continued approval by the state. There are more than 700 program data points that the program must account for. A special database is used to track collect and evaluate artifacts as well as teacher-candidate performance on more than a hundred individual metrics.

“This was a huge process, taking many months of work” remarked education department chair Dr. Dan Guernsey, “I am grateful to the members of the department for their assistance as well as to Dr. Michael Dauphinais and President Towey for making sure we had the resources to move through this intense process at the greatest possible speed.”

The AMU Education Department has formed its core philosophy so as to be deeply in the Catholic tradition. While examining the field of education using methodologies and practices proper to the discipline, the program maintains a deliberate and explicit foundation in the philosophical and theological insights of the Catholic tradition, especially its understandings related to the nature and dignity of the human person, the nature of Truth, and the unity of all knowledge as ultimately rooted in the order of God and creation. Holding that education is more than simply preparing K-12 students for college and career, Ave Maria’s teacher candidates are formed to attend to authentic human liberation and orient their students to transcendental realities related to truth, beauty and goodness. The Ave Maria University Educational program provides a strong undergraduate preparation in the liberal arts and a strong Catholic worldview, providing for a powerful pedagogical punch. Our teacher candidates spend time thinking deeply about the liberal arts tradition in general and about the nature and purpose of Catholic education in particular.

The program anticipates continued growth now that teacher licensure is awarded upon graduation. Those who wish to return to a home state with a Florida license are usually able to transition to the new state’s license under reciprocity agreements between states. Formal entry into the major is only possible for rising juniors who have substantially completed their core liberal arts studies, maintained a sufficient GPA, passed the first of three required Florida Teacher Certification exams, and who have met other requirements typically begun in the spring of the sophomore year.



AMU Alumna Receives American Mathematical Society Scholarship

Elise McMahon (AMU Class of 2015) received a highly coveted scholarship from the American Mathematical Society to participate in the Math in Moscow program. The AMS awards only five scholarships given each semester; funding is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  

According to the AMS website, "the Math in Moscow program was created in 2001 to provide foreign students (primarily from the U.S., Canada and Europe) with a semester-long, mathematically intensive program of study in the Russian tradition. The main feature of the Russian tradition of teaching mathematics has always been the development of a creative approach to studying mathematics from the outset, the emphasis being on problem solving rather than memorizing theorems. Indeed, discovering mathematics under the guidance of an experienced teacher is a central principle of the program and so the Math in Moscow program emphasizes in-depth understanding of carefully selected material rather than broad surveys of large quantities of material."   

Elise, who won the AMU Mathematics Departmental Award at this year's commencement exercises, had spent her last two summers doing research at the University of Texas at Tyler and at California State University at San Bernardino. She also spent a semester in the Budapest Mathematics Institute. She will be studying at the Independent University of Moscow (IUM) this fall.

More information on the AMS Math in Moscow Scholarship program can be found here.




AMU Announces the Hiring of Two New Faculty Members

Ave Maria University is pleased to announce the appointments of two new faculty members, Dr. Helen Tintes-Schuermann, Visiting Associate Professor of Music, and Dr. Michael New, Visiting Associate Professor of Economics. Each will join the faculty this fall.

Dr. Seana Sugrue, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, articulated the significance of these new hires to Ave Maria’s intellectual and cultural life: “Dr. Helen Tintes-Schuermann and Dr. Michael New are going to provide our students with invaluable opportunities for growth and advancement.  Each pursues excellence to the highest degree. Their commitment to our mission and their superior credentials in their respective fields complement those of our existing faculty. We look forward to their arrivals with joyful anticipation.”

Tintes-Schuermann has vast experience in opera, oratorio, concert and musical theater.  A singer-actress with broad teaching experience in applied voice, she is featured frequently in concert and recital.  Among her many strengths are Spanish/Latin American music, German repertoire, and works by 21st century composers.  Tintes most recently held the position of professor of voice at the Konservatorium Wien Private University in Vienna, Austria.  Trilingual, she is fluent in German, Spanish, and English.  Tintes received her Doctor of Music from Northwestern University and the Lied Diplom from the Hochschule "Mozarteum" in Salzburg. She has given master classes and concerts in Finland, Estonia, China, the USA and Spain.

Dr. Michael New from the University of Michigan-Dearbon joins Ave Maria University as Visiting Associate Professor of Economics.  New is a prolific writer, whose research fields and interests include morality policy, fiscal policy, and direct democracy. His studies are utilized by pro-life groups to argue for the effectiveness of various types of state-level laws restricting abortion. New is also an Adjunct Scholar of the Cato Institute.  New received his B.A. from Dartmouth College with a degree both in Government and Economics, graduating Magna Cum Laude with High Honors.  Following graduation, he went on to study at Stanford, receiving his Ph.D. in Political Science.  He has taught previously at the University of Alabama and the Harvard-MIT Data Center.



President Jim Towey Makes Appearance on Nightly Business Report

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey appeared on the PBS program, Nightly Business Report (NBR), on June 18th. The topic of discussion was Pope Francis and his latest encyclical on the environment and climate change.

View President Towey's piece below, beginning at the 10:30 mark.



AMU Student Wins Second Place in National Organ Competition

Ave Maria University sophomore and music major, Mary Joy Silmaro, was awarded 2nd place in the Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition. Ms. Silmaro was selected by an international jury of high-profile performers: Dr. Frederick Swann, Dr. Christoph Bull, and Mr. Felix Hell.

For the final round, Mary Joy performed J.S. Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (BWV 542) and Allegro Vivace from Fifth Symphony by Charles-Marie Widor.

"It was such a friendly atmosphere and I even got to know the other competitors better and became friends with them. I thought it would be really nerve-wracking for me to perform in front of the other competitors, who certainly have had more experience in performance and competitions, and the many professional organists. Rather, I was very excited to walk onto that stage and just have fun with my pieces. I had so much fun throughout the whole performance - I wish I could do it again!

All the hard work I put towards this competition has certainly paid off. I was even personally invited by one of the judges, Dr. Christoph Bull, organ professor at UCLA, to come to UCLA for graduate studies! I don’t know what exactly the future holds for me, but this competition has certainly opened many opportunities and possibilities for me. I am truly grateful to Rodgers and the other competitors for making this a worthwhile experience, and to my parents and all the professors of Ave Maria University for all their support."

About Mary Joy Silmaro
Mary Joy Silmaro is a sophomore at Ave Maria University where she studies organ under Dr. Brice Gerlach. Mary Joy began her music training at age 5 with piano lessons from her homeschooling mother. She embarked on formal piano studies at age 7, violin at age 8, and voice at age 9. After her family moved to Newark, CA, she transitioned to studying organ and Gregorian chant with Sam Dorlaque, music director at St. Edward Catholic Church in Newark, CA. Mary Joy worked as organist and cantor in several churches in her teens, and currently serves at part-time organist at the Oratory in the town of Ave Maria, Florida.

About the Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition
The Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition has been revamped and focuses on young performers 14 to 22 years old.

Finalists performed in the Music Theater of the stunning Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. MIM is dedicated to offering a shared experience of the history of musical instruments throughout the world to visitors who tour its 200,000 square feet of exhibit space displaying instruments from 200 countries and regions.

Cash awards for competition winners are $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,500 for third. Winners of past competitions have gone on to appear as recitalists playing for audiences around the country.



Kimberly King Named AMU’s Director of Athletics

AVE MARIA, Fla. --- After completing a nationwide search in which over 300 applications were received, the University is pleased to announce Mrs. Kimberly King as Ave Maria's next Athletic Director. She will assume the duties as AMU's Athletic Director in early May.
"Kim will have a huge influence in shaping the experiences of hundreds of our students for years to come," stated President Jim Towey. "Her strong Catholic faith and administrative experience in athletics inspire all of us." 
Mrs. King brings with her over 20 years of athletic administration and coaching experience at the collegiate level. She concludes her tenure as Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership, Counseling and Life Skills at NCAA Division I State University of New York at Binghamton where she successfully helped them transition from NCAA Division III to Division I.
During her time at Binghamton, Kim held positions as Head Cross Country Coach, Assistant Track and Field Coach, Physical Education instructor, Assistant Athletic Director for Academic and Student Services, Assistant Athletic Director for CHAMPS Life Skills and Counseling, and Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator (SWA).

"I am humbled to be able to serve as Director of Athletics at Ave Maria University.  Working at AMU is an extraordinary opportunity to combine the love I have for both athletics and my Catholic faith.? C?ontributing to a University with such a strong mission and clear vision couldn't be more exciting for me," King said.
Mrs. King received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Richmond and later earned her Master of Arts in Counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
"This is an exciting time for the University and Athletics in particular, as the growth in both has demonstrated the need for a full-time Director of Athletics," said Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Cosden. "I'm excited for Kim to bring her extensive experience in intercollegiate athletics to AMU to continue to build and improve our Athletic Department for our student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and athletic support staff."
The Athletic Department at Ave Maria has grown from sponsoring six varsity level sports in 2008-09, to boasting 16 varsity-level programs for the 2014-15 season, with nearly 400 student athletes. The Athletic Department staff has grown to include six administrative and athletic support positions, 13 head coaches, and 17 assistant coaches. The athletics program had a budget this year of $1.8 million.
Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning devoted to Mary, the Mother of God, inspired by St. John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional disciples of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service.



USA Today features AMU as a top 10 Florida university

Ave Maria University was ranked ninth of 39 public and private universities in Florida by USA Today college partner The goal of the rankings is to measure the quality of education a student will receive at a specific college, relative to all the other colleges in the state of Florida. The rankings include factors such as student body caliber, a University's educational resources, degree completion, and post-graduate earnings.

AMU, the only Catholic University to make the top ten list, is now in the company of Florida's elite institutions. AMU is one of seven private colleges ranked in the top ten, and is the most affordable of them. Ave Maria is also ranked ahead other schools, such as FGCU, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, and University of South Florida.

Click here to view the top colleges in Florida.



Founder Tom Monaghan, President Jim Towey make Newsmax’s Top 100 Christian Leaders List

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey and Chancellor Tom Monaghan were listed as Top 100 Christian Leaders in America by Newsmax. The only Catholic University president to make the list, Towey made his debut at number 45 followed by Chancellor Monaghan at number 61.

“I’m honored to be in the company of great men of faith like Tom, Cardinals Wuerl and Dolan, and the many others,” said Towey. "This is the first time I have ranked ahead of Chuck Norris on any list.”

Newsmax covers the latest developments in politics, national and world news, health, faith, personal finance, and technology with a unique American perspective and topics that the major media often ignore. 



2015 President's Award Finalists Announced

The President’s Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating senior of Ave Maria University to recognize academic accomplishments, involvement in the life of the University, service to others, and exemplification of AMU’s highest Catholic ideals.  The finalists for the 2015 President’s Award are (listed in alphabetical order):

Peter Atkinson

Thomas Helms

Lucille Pilarski

Caleb Weston

Angela Winkels

The winner will be announced at the President’s Dinner on Friday, May 8th following the Baccalaureate Mass.



The Acton Institute names Dr. Catherine Pakaluk the 2015 Novak Award winner

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 16, 2015 – Esteemed educator and zealous researcher of multiple disciplines in the area of advanced social studies and social thought, Catherine Pakaluk has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Novak Award by the Acton Institute in recognition of her early promise as a scholar.

Catherine Ruth Pakaluk is Assistant Professor of Economics at Ave Maria University and Founder-Director of the Stein Center for Social Research at Ave Maria University. This center is an interdisciplinary institute for advanced studies in social science and social thought. She currently works in the areas of demography, family studies, the economics of education and religion, and the interpretation of Catholic social thought.

Pakaluk earned her doctorate in economics at Harvard University (2010), where her dissertation under Caroline Hoxby examined the relationship between religion and educational outcomes.  Her mentors have included F. Russell Hittinger, Michael Novak, and Steven A. Long.

Pakaluk is also a widely-admired writer and sought-after speaker on matters of culture, religion, gender, the social science of the family, the vocation of women, Catholic social thought, and the work of Edith Stein. She lives in Ave Maria, Florida with her husband Michael and seven children.

Named after distinguished American theologian and social philosopher Michael Novak, the Novak Award recognizes new outstanding research by scholars early in their academic careers who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing the understanding of theology's connection to human dignity, the importance of limited government, religious liberty, and economic freedom. Recipients of the Novak Award make a formal presentation on such questions at an annual public forum known as the Calihan Lecture. The Novak Award comes with a $10,000 prize.

The Novak Award forms part of a range of scholarships, travel grants, and awards available from the Acton Institute that support future religious and intellectual leaders who wish to study the essential relationship between theology, the free market, economic liberty, and the importance of the rule of law. Details of these scholarships may be found at



President Jim Towey interviewed on religious liberty by nationally-syndicated radio show host Laura Ingraham

AMU President Jim Towey was interviewed this morning by Laura Ingraham on religious liberty. Ingraham, a radio talk show host, best-selling author, and conservative political commentator, hosts a nationally syndicated talk show, The Laura Ingraham Show, which airs throughout the United States and online.

To listen to today's show, follow this link.



President Towey agrees to extend contract to 2020

Members of the Ave Maria University community:


I am pleased to announce that on Friday, February 20, 2015, at the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of Ave Maria University, we unanimously voted to extend President Jim Towey's contract through June 30, 2020.  President Towey has agreed to these terms and our founder, Tom Monaghan, is delighted that the work that he and the many of you began in 2003, will remain in good hands.

In less than four years and with the help of a team of distinguished faculty, talented administrators, and dedicated staff, President Towey has dramatically increased the University's enrollment, nearly tripled the number of majors offered, transitioned the University from dependence upon our founder's financial support for operations, raised tens of millions of dollars in donor support, refinanced the University's debt, closed the Nicaragua and IPT programs that had lost millions of dollars, and most important, shepherded Ave Maria's Catholic mission, identity and outreach, particularly through the Mother Teresa Project. 


There are many opportunities and challenges facing the University in the years ahead.  The Board of Trustees is confident in President Towey's leadership and committed to his success as your president.  Your support, trust, and prayers will help make these next years prosperous and filled with grace.

Please join me in congratulating President Towey on this important milestone in his career.




Michael T.O. Timmis

Chairman of the Board

Ave Maria University



AMU introduces sophomore success program: “Preparing Leaders for the Third Millennium”

Ave Maria University is introducing a newly developed Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “Sophomore Success: Preparing Leaders for the Third Millennium.” The Sophomore Success QEP forms an integral part of the University’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

The new sophomore-experience program focuses on the growth and formation of students during their sophomore year at college. The so-called “sophomore slump” is a well-documented phenomenon. During orientation, freshmen are equipped with the materials to begin their journey through college. Juniors and seniors are thinking hard about the future, focusing on excelling in their field of study, gaining experience and developing a strong resume. Sophomores have moved beyond the uncertainties of their first year in college, but they have yet to reach the goal-driven intensity of their junior and senior years. Sophomores sometimes find themselves, so to speak, in limbo.

The Sophomore Success plan is designed to help sophomores turn this “limbo” into a year of personal growth and flourishing. Sophomores at Ave Maria University will confidently commit themselves to their education and begin to transition from students to professionals and leaders in a wide range of fields.

The goals of the program are twofold: (i) enhanced student integration with the liberal arts tradition, and (ii) proactive career development facilitated by growth in self-knowledge.  Each of these goals can be broken down into two concrete outcomes.

First, students will understand and be able to articulate the nature and value of a liberal arts education within the Catholic intellectual tradition. How can a student be expected to commit to his or her studies without understanding the reasoning behind and the value of a liberal arts education? The Sophomore Success program proposes to help students embrace the value of their education, beginning with a specially devised sophomore orientation and followed by additional readings and discussions in Nature and Person (PHIL 205). With guidance from their professors, students will come to know the benefits of a liberal arts education within the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Second, sophomores will work on building oral skills, mastering the tools necessary for clear and effective communication. A study of great American political speeches will be integrated into the required sophomore year American Civilization course (POLT 203), culminating in a presentation that demonstrates a grasp of the conceptual and rhetorical elements of oral communication. Students completing their sophomore year at Ave Maria will be better prepared to articulate the understanding they’ve gained of and through their liberal arts education. Armed with the tools for effective communication, they will be ready to inspire others and be leaders in the 21st century.

A third outcome is that students will spend time identifying their talents and strengths. During sophomore orientation, students will become acquainted with the process of identifying their strengths and weaknesses through the Clifton StrengthsFinder questionnaire. Faculty members will be trained to mentor sophomores in light of the questionnaire, guiding students as they make choices about their course of study and future career. Dr. Keith Houde, Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the QEP Development Committee, said: “The Ave Maria University Quality Enhancement Plan reflects our ongoing commitment to improve the learning of our students.” Increased self-knowledge is a concrete way in which students at Ave Maria will be able to maximize the gains of their education.

The third outcome leads directly into the fourth and final outcome: Students will evaluate their goals, both academic and career-related, in light of their talents and strengths. Building on the knowledge gained in the discussions of the nature and benefits of a liberal arts education, the study of great speeches, the completion of the StrengthsFinder questionnaire, and in the meetings and discussions with faculty mentors, sophomores will begin looking towards the future. Working with Ave Maria’s Career Services, each sophomore will start to build a strong resume that reflects his or her unique strengths and moves the student forward on the path after college. As John Henry Newman writes, “[When] the Church founds a University, she is not cherishing talent, genius, or knowledge, for their own sake, but for the sake of her children, with a view to their spiritual welfare and their religious influence and usefulness, with the object of training them to fill their respective posts in life better, and of making them more intelligent, capable, active members of society” (Newman, Idea of a University, p. xxxix).

The goal of the Sophomore Success program, and ultimately, of a university education, is to form individuals ready to enter the world as responsible citizens and confident leaders. “Although it is focused on sophomores,” Houde remarked, “it is expected that the gains acquired during the sophomore year will be carried into the junior and senior years and beyond. We hope that the love of learning, eloquence in speaking, knowledge of self, and career preparation acquired here will translate into lives well-lived in the service of others.”



AMU student Mary Joy Silmaro named finalist in national classical organ competition

Ave Maria University sophomore and music major, Mary Joy Silmaro, is one of three finalists in the Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition. Ms. Silmaro was selected by an international jury of high-profile performers: Dr. Frederick Swann, Dr. Christoph Bull, and Mr. Felix Hell. In May, Mary Joy will travel to Phoenix to compete for the grand prize.

About the Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition
The Rodgers Instruments Corporation is pleased to announce that the Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition has been revamped and will have a new focus on young performers in 2015.

When the competition began in 2011, it was open to organists up to the age of 35. Now, with the spectacular performances that the judges have seen from younger musicians during the past several years, it will become an event exclusively for 14-to-22-year-olds.

Equally exciting is the change to a new venue for the competition. Finalists will perform in the Music Theater of the stunning Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. MIM is dedicated to offering a shared experience of the history of musical instruments throughout the world to visitors who tour its 200,000 square feet of exhibit space displaying instruments from 200 countries and regions.

Rodgers also announced the first place award in the competition will be named in honor of Frederick Swann. "Mr. Swann stands as an incredible example of lifelong dedication to excellence in artistry as well as organist education through his work with the AGO," said Rodgers President Duane Kuhn. "It's appropriate to recognize his vision and leadership by presenting the highest award in this competition in his honor."

Cash awards for competition winners are $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,500 for third. Winners of past competitions have gone on to appear as recitalists playing for audiences around the country.

About Mary Joy Silmaro
Mary Joy Silmaro is a Sophomore at Ave Maria University where she studies organ under Dr. Brice Gerlach. Mary Joy began her music training at age 5 with piano lessons from her homeschooling mother. She embarked on formal piano studies at age 7, violin at age 8, and voice at age 9. After her family moved to Newark, CA, she transitioned to studying organ and Gregorian chant with Sam Dorlaque, music director at St. Edward Catholic Church in Newark, CA. Mary Joy worked as organist and cantor in several churches in her teens, and currently serves at part-time organist at the Oratory in the town of Ave Maria, Florida.



AMU welcomes Professor Jenik Radon to campus for lecture on February 27

Ave Maria University's Political Economy and Government Program welcomes Professor Jenik Radon to campus for a lecture on February 27th at 5 p.m. in the Henkels Academic Building lecture hall. Professor Radon, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, is founder and director of the Eesti and Eurasian Public Service Fellowship, which has provided students from Columbia, Stanford and other institutions with the opportunity to intern in emerging nations. Radon participated in the constitutional peace process in Nepal and served as the drafter of the interim peace constitution. He has lectured in almost 40 nations.

We hope to see you on February 27!



Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Fr. Daniel Gallagher to present a lecture at AMU on February 18

Fr. Daniel Gallagher, a priest of the Diocese of Gaylord in Michigan, will hold a lecture on campus on Wednesday, February 18 at 5 pm. The lecture "Latin and the Work of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State," will be held in the Henkels Academic Building Lecture Hall.

Fr. Daniel Gallagher holds degrees from the University of Michigan (B.S. and M.A.), the Catholic University of America (M.A. in Philosophy), and the Pontifical Gregorian University (S.T.L.). From 1995 to 2000, he studied Latin under the instruction of Fr. Reginald Foster, O.C.D., whom he succeeded in the Office of Latin Letters at the Vatican Secretariat of State in 2009. Prior to this current assignment, he served as Assistant Professor of Latin and Philosophy at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. While working as a papal Latinist, Fr. Gallagher is also pursuing a doctorate in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University with a dissertation entitled The Justification of the Axiom Unreceived Act is Unlimited in Thomistic Metaphysics.



Dr. Arthur Brooks to be Honored by AMU, Address Class of 2015

Dr. Arthur Brooks will be the commencement speaker this spring at Ave Maria University’s 11th graduation ceremony, Jim Towey, the university’s president, announced today.

“Arthur Brooks will delight our graduates and their families. His friendships with billionaire CEO's, the “who's-who” of U.S. politicians, and spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama have not deterred him from advocating for the poor of the world and their quest for opportunity,” Towey said. “We are very fortunate to have him”.

The University’s 11th Commencement Exercises for an expected 206 undergraduate and graduate students of the Class of 2015 will be held on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m. in the Tom Golisano Fieldhouse on campus. The University will confer an honorary doctorate on Dr. Brooks in recognition of his exemplary achievements as a Catholic intellectual both within and without academia, as well as his contributions to public policy development.

Dr. Brooks currently serves as the president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a public policy think tank in Washington, DC., where he also holds an appointment as the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise. Immediately prior to joining AEI, he was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government at Syracuse University. He is also a monthly columnist for The New York Times.

Born in Seattle, Dr. Brooks pursued a nontraditional path to his current position. At the age of nineteen, he left college to become a professional musician, and spent several seasons with the City Orchestra of Barcelona, Spain. Deciding that he wanted more that the routine of life in a professional orchestra, he returned to college and studied economics, mathematics, and languages, ultimately earning BA and MA degrees in economics as well as MPhil and PhD degrees in public policy. Brooks then spent ten years as a university professor teaching economics and entrepreneurship, before coming to AEI.

Dr. Brooks has championed the role of free enterprise and “earned success” as a key to personal happiness and the prosperity of societies. He conducts research in the areas of social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and culture, politics, and economic life in America. He is the author of ten books, including the The New York Times best seller The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise (2012), The Battle (2010), Gross National Happiness (2008), Who Really Cares (2006) and the textbook Social Entrepreneurship (2008).

Dr. Brooks has been married for 23 years to his wife, Ester, and has three children. They live in Bethesda, Maryland and are members of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, Maryland.

Dr. Brooks’ remarks will be an inspiration to our students,” Towey said. “He is at his best when he is surrounded by young people like our Ave graduates who sincerely seek the truth and want to place their faith into the service of causes greater than themselves."

AMU Press Release



New scholarship opportunities available for New Orleans-area high school graduates

The Clarion Herald, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, recently highlighted the addition of two new scholarships offered by AMU to New Orleans-area high school graduates. "It’s the first scholarship that’s Louisiana-based for Louisiana kids," said AMU President Jim Towey. “This scholarship, we think, is going to build a nice path from the Big Easy to southwest Florida."

Two types of scholarships are offered: the Fantastic Four, four scholarships with full tuition and half room and board, valued at $23,974 annually or $95,896 for four years (leaving a student and his family responsible for only $5,118 a year); and one Brightest Light, a full scholarship with room and board, valued at $28,892 annually or $115,568 over four years.



AMU attends the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

More than 200 Ave Maria University students, faculty, and staff members traveled over 1,000 miles to attend the annual March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. on January 22. Every year, Ave Maria University joins over 650,000 others at the pro-life rally at our nation’s capitol to advocate for a renewed respect for life in policy and law making.

To follow Ave Maria’s journey at the March for Life, feel free to follow us on Twitter and on Facebook. See below for President Towey's blog and pictures from the trip.

President Towey's blog



AMU to host speakers in January

Late January will see two renowned scholars visit Ave Maria University to give guest lectures.

On Tuesday, January 27th, Dr. Luca Codignola will be speaking at 5 p.m. in the Demetree Auditorium in the Paul Henkels Academic Building. Dr. Codignola is head of the Research Institute of History of Mediterranean Europe, National Research Council (Italy), Professor of North American History at the University of Genoa (Italy), and Adjunct Professor at Saint Mary's University (Canada), and is an accomplished scholar of the Roman Catholic church as situated in the early modern era. Dr. Codignola, will be presenting a lecture on Roman Catholic Libertinism in a New North Atlanic World, 1769-1829: Spirit of Liberty or Freedom to Misbehave?

On Thursday, January 29th, Dr. Richard C. Taylor will be lecturing at 5 p.m. in the Demetree Auditorium in the Paul Henkels Academic Building. Dr. Taylor, who is the director of the Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group, specializes in studying medieval philosophy, specifically the relationship between western and Islamic thought. He will give a lecture entitled St. Thomas Aquinas and the Classical Philosophers of Islam on Ultimate Human Happiness.

See fliers for further details.




AMU Theology Professor Anthony Valle awarded Vatican Foundation academic fellowship

Mr. Anthony Valle, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University, has been awarded an academic fellowship by the Fondazione Vaticana Joseph Ratzinger Benedetto XVI. The Vatican Foundation was started by Pope Benedict XVI to promote the knowledge and study of theology, to organize and conduct conferences of high cultural and scientific value, and to award scholars who have distinguished themselves for outstanding achievements in theological research. 

Professor Valle, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A.), is a candidate for the S.T.D degree in dogmatic theology at the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome and his doctoral dissertation deals with Joseph Ratzinger’s Logos doctrine. His research interests include Christology-soteriology and ascetical-mystical theology.



President Towey's Keynote Address at Governor Scott's Inauguration Prayer Breakfast

At noon the Governor will place his hand on the Holy Bible and take his oath of office, and utter the words, “So help me God.” In doing so, he follows a tradition first established by George Washington himself. When Washington was sworn in at America’s first presidential inauguration in 1789, he actually bent over and kissed the Bible and added to the prepared oath his own words, “So help me God.”

His invocation of God’s aid had precedent. Two years earlier, 81 year old Benjamin Franklin, stood up and implored fellow delegates at the Constitutional Convention to pray daily for the help of God in drafting the Constitution. He told them that the Continental Congress, too, had prayed for divine help. He reminded them, “Our prayers were heard…and they were graciously answered. All of us…observed the frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favour…Have we forgotten that powerful Friend?”

Two hundred and twenty five years later, America stands as the world’s preeminent superpower. But this morning it is worth asking that same question: Have we forgotten our “powerful Friend”?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian novelist and Nobel winner, concluded that the principal trait of the entire 20th century, the explanation for two world wars, genocidal madness, the assault on the traditional family, and the abject poverty amidst material abundance, was evident. He said, “Men have forgotten God.”

This morning we gather to pray and remind ourselves of the presence of God, to recognize the divine dimension of life, the sacredness of each and every life; and to pray for our governor and his fellow leaders so that they receive the wisdom that is needed to govern the affairs of men.

This prayer breakfast honors democracy’s high ideal of self-governance. We place our hope in God, not government. The wisdom of our founders in crafting the delicately balanced First Amendment that prevents the establishment of religion and protects the free exercise of religion – this wisdom came from what Franklin called “superintending providence.” This balance allows people of diverse faiths or no faith at all to live in harmony, with mutual respect; and it allows the government to resist a drift toward either a theocracy or another form of state-imposed religion: a secularism which denies Divine Providence and moral truth.

We know that Thomas Jefferson, who many secularists claim as their father, did in fact invent the phrase “a wall of separation between church and state.”

But many may not know that two days after coining this phrase, Jefferson himself attended Sunday worship services in a government building with the Marine band playing the hymns, no less.

It has been said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and that is true. But what is the price for religious liberty? Are we willing to pay it? Today our hearts break as we ponder the plight of Christians in stretches of Syria and Iraq, and in many countries in Africa, where a state religion is ruthlessly imposed and religious liberty ritually extinguished.

But we also see in the West what happens when government neutrality toward religion stealthily becomes government hostility toward religion. Some don’t want freedom of religion. They want freedom from religion. They want to confine the practice of faith to only places of worship and keep faith-based organizations out of the public square. Without our vigilance and willingness to pay the price for religious liberty as Washington and our founders did, it is only a matter of time before our country, too, forgets our “powerful Friend,” and loses God’s “favour.”

That is why it is appropriate for people of diverse faiths to pray together and to implore God’s grace on this very morning when Governor Scott begins his second term. Leaders are led. He needs our prayers. If I may ask forbearance from my non-Christian friends, I want to read the words of Jesus from the Gospel of John, Chapter 15. “Live on in me, as I do in you. No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the tree can you bear fruit apart from me. I am the vine, you are the branches.”

So it is fair to ask, how will we know that we are connected to the vine, or more precisely, to the Divine? How can we best remember God?

Of course prayer is indispensable. Mother Teresa used to say that if you are too busy to pray, you are too busy.

When I worked at the White House I remember once going into the Oval Office before 7AM to see if President Bush needed anything for a morning event I was staffing, and I found him alone at his desk, reading Oswald Chambers daily devotional, “My Utmost for his Highest.” The President knew his need for God, as busy as he was. Do we? Are we too busy to pray?

And after we bow our heads and pray, what do we do for our neighbors in need? The prophet Ezekiel tells us of our responsibility as shepherds to strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the injured, and bring back the strayed and lost.

Jesus expanded upon the holy prophet’s words by saying that whatever we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do to God. Thankfully, in our midst in Florida are people who are following this command to love thy neighbor. My friend Dave Lawrence in Miami gives his life so that little children will be school-ready and have a fair chance in life. The folks at Aging with Dignity help our elders who are lonely and frightened by the complexity of their health care choices. Jean Vanier’s “The Ark” communities are celebrating 50 years of caring for the developmentally disabled all over the world, including in Jacksonville. There are so many fine people doing the humble works of compassion in Florida.

And thank God they do because the need for faith in action is great. Wherever you look, you see Floridians who are struggling, including countless families in search of stable employment and housing, and farmworkers seeking to maintain their God-given dignity in spite of back-breaking work.

And Florida also knows spiritual poverty which is every bit as debilitating, as seen in those hurting souls who are starving for the bread of company or thirsting for tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness.

So there is plenty of work to be done to honor Florida’s proud history and fulfill its destiny and our Governor can’t do it on his own. He needs the help of God and the prayers and efforts of each of us. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Governor, we are grateful for your faith in God, your leadership, and your good desires as you begin your second term today. We will pray for you and all of Florida’s leaders. We pledge that we will not forget God, and not forget you.

Related Links
VIDEO: Inaugural Prayer Breakfast (President Towey's address begins at 53:30)
President Towey's blog
Miami Herald
The Tallahassee Democrat



The Notre Dame Undertones to perform at AMU on Jan. 5

AMU welcomes The University of Notre Dame’s premier a capella group, the Undertones, for a performance on January 5 at 7:30 pm in the Bob Thomas Student Union Ballroom on campus. The Undertones visit AMU as part of their 2015 Winter Tour, which includes performances in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The group's most recent album, "Scenic Route," was released in 2013 and is available for purchase on iTunes

Admission to Monday's concert is free! See you there!




AMU Theology Professor Dr. Susan Waldstein makes guest appearance on EWTN

Ave Maria University theology professor, Dr. Susan Waldstein, was a guest speaker on the EWTN television program, “At Home with Jim and Joy” on December 18th. The show features the husband and wife team Jim and Joy Pinto as they discuss topics surrounding marriage, family and pro-life issues.

Along with her teaching responsibilities at AMU, Dr. Waldstein engages in a variety of research topics, many dealing with the investigation of the intersection of theology, philosophy, and natural science. Dr. Waldstein was a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, a member of the Vatican commission on Jewish-Christian dialogue about marriage. She has also given public lectures and retreats on marriage, family spirituality, and home education in the U.S., Austria, Slovakia, and the Vatican.

Dr. Waldstein’s appearance on “At Home with Jim and Joy” aired on EWTN on December 18th at 2 p.m. EST.




AMU Launches New Nursing Program with State Approval, $1 Million Gift

President Jim Towey announced that the Florida Board of Nursing has approved a new four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Ave Maria University.  A $1 million gift from an anonymous donor will fund the launching of this new major at the University.  This is the first four-year BSN program in Collier County.

“We are thrilled that the state of Florida has approved our new program and excited about what this will mean for our students, the future of Ave Maria, and the fulfillment of founder Tom Monaghan’s vision,” said Towey.  “America needs more caring, ethical and competent nurses as the ‘age wave’ envelops our Nation, and Ave Maria University will now be providing them.”

The first core nursing courses will be offered in the fall of 2015 and will help students meet the demands of a rapidly changing healthcare environment.  Infused throughout the curriculum will be the University’s commitment to its Catholic mission which instills in students an awareness of the importance of administering compassion for the sick and the suffering, and respecting for life, from conception to natural death.

The program will incorporate a “fundamentals and simulation lab” with state-of-the-art equipment and resources to facilitate student learning. A smaller faculty-to-student ratio will help enhance learning and students will be provided with clinical experiences in local healthcare organizations and agencies within the Southwest Florida community. A majority of the faculty teaching in the Nursing program hold doctoral degrees.

The program will operate under the direction of Dr. Denise McNulty, DNP, MSN, RN-BC, ARNP. Originally from Philadelphia, Dr. McNulty has resided in the Naples community for the past fourteen years. She is a graduate of Duquesne University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Holy Family University, a Post-Masters in Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania, a Post-Masters in Health Administration from St. Joseph’s University, and a Post-Masters in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing from Duquesne University. Dr. McNulty is a Florida licensed Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with more than twenty-five years of experience in various clinical, teaching, and administrative roles.

The University is recruiting existing and prospective students for the fall of 2015. 

Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Dauphinais said that the Nursing program brings to 30 the number of majors offered at Ave Maria, up from 11 in 2011.  “We have come a long way in a short time, thanks to our faculty and their extraordinary efforts,” he said.

Click here to download press release in PDF form.

Related Articles

Ave Maria Hits ‘Milestone’ in Creation of New Nursing Program (Cardinal Newman Society)

Another Milestone at Ave Maria University! (AMU President Jim Towey's blog)



Distinguished Visiting Scholar Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., to Offer Lecture at AMU

Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Distinguished Visiting Scholar at AMU, will offer a lecture, "The Heavens Proclaim: A Brief History of the Vatican Observatory" on December 8 at 5 p.m. in the Bob Thomas Student Union Ballroom.

Brother Consolmagno is curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo, one of the largest in the world. His research explores the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. In 1996, he spent six weeks collecting meteorites with an NSF-sponsored team on the blue ice of Antarctica, and in 2000 he was honored by the IAU for his contributions to the study of meteorites and asteroids with the naming of asteroid 4597 Consolmagno. On July 2, 2014, he was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public by the American Astronomical Society.

He obtained his Bachelor of Science in 1974 and Master of Science in 1975 in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978.

Br. Consolmagno has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society; the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) Division III, Planetary Systems Science (secretary, 2000 - present) and Commission 16, Moons and Planets (president, 2003-2006); and the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (chair, 2006-2007).

He has coauthored five astronomy books: “Turn Left at Orion” (with Dan M. Davis; Cambridge University Press, 1989); “Worlds Apart” (with Martha W. Schaefer; Prentice Hall, 1993); “The Way to the Dwelling of Light” (U of Notre Dame Press, 1998); “Brother Astronomer” (McGraw Hill, 2000); and “God's Mechanics” (Jossey-Bass, 2007). He also edited “The Heavens Proclaim” (Vatican Observatory Publications, 2009).



Another Milestone for Ave Maria University!

Ave Maria University’s new Nursing major is officially approved! 


Today we learned of this milestone achievement from the state of Florida Board of Nursing and so it won’t be long before we have our first Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate in the 2016-17 academic year! 


Classes will begin this fall for juniors interested in pursuing a nursing degree. This official permission allows us to immediately and aggressively recruit students to the Nursing major and I am sure many prospective students and their parents will be attracted to the formation in ethics our curriculum provides and the moral climate our campus offers.


Work already is underway on renovating space on the third floor of the Canizaro Library for a first-class nursing instructional laboratory with up to six beds, as well as office space for two full-time faculty.  We have agreements in place with ten local medical facilities that will allow our nursing students to receive their necessary clinical on-site instruction.


America needs Ave nurses! If done faithfully health care can be part of the healing work of the Holy Spirit in the world. Too often in American facilities patients are treated as if they simply are a slab of meat on a health care conveyor belt.  In reality patients hunger for more than just tests and tubes and treatments. They want compassion, love, and most of all, their God-given dignity to be preserved and protected. The spiritual and ethical formation which Nursing students at Ave Maria will get in the core courses will prepare them for the professional education necessary to qualify them for employment as nurses. Heart, soul and mind must be devoted to the service of the sick and dying. Our faculty members understand this well. If I may paraphrase Mother Teresa, Ave nursing students will be invited to encounter Jesus in the disguise of the patient seeking medical attention, whether in obstetrics, hospice, or elsewhere.


Today’s good news is another step forward in pursuit of our founder Tom Monaghan’s dream of transforming American culture and advancing the Church’s mission. Our graduates are invited to shake the world, not flee it. I am delighted that Ave Maria will be at the forefront of the battle to defend life, comfort the sick, care for the rejected, and promote the rights of patients and their families in the increasingly complex and uncaring environment of American health care.  

-- From President Jim Towey's blog. Click here to visit President Towey's blog.



AMU Graduates & Professors Involved in Vatican Colloquium

Leaders and scholars from around the world are gathering in Vatican City this week for an international interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman. The purpose of the colloquium, according to its website, is “to examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between the man and the woman, in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society.”

Over the course of the week, a six-part documentary film series sponsored by the Marriage, Life and Leadership Council is being released. The Humanum Series explores themes drawn from the colloquium as lived out and experienced by men, women and children around the world.

Maria Fedoryka, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ave Maria University, is featured in the second Humanum film, entitled “The Cradle of Life and Love: A Mother & Father for the World’s Children.” 

“Motherhood,” Fedoryka begins, “has traditionally been seen as the nurturing genius where a space is created where a person is allowed to be. So much of the heart of the flourishing of the person is… to be accepted unconditionally and received as he or she is. So we often speak of the mother as the heart of the family.” Fedoryka goes on to explain and describe the masculine genius, how the father is “the solid structure in which a person can flourish,” like a secure “scaffolding” or “compass for the conscience of the child.” The film that features Maria Fedoryka, as well as other parts of the Humanum series, can be viewed here.

Catherine Pakaluk, Assistant Professor of Economics at Ave Maria University, was invited to attend the international colloquium and is currently in Rome.

More details about the event can be found at the Humanum website.



Becoming Europe: Dr. Samuel Gregg at AMU

The ISI Society at Ave Maria University invited Samuel Gregg to speak to students on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.

Dr. Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute and has written extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. His talk was entitled: “Becoming Europe: Cultural and Economic trends in the United States.” Gregg published the book Becoming Europe in January 2013.

Gregg began his lecture at AMU by speaking about what is happening in Europe today—why it is now the “sick man of the global economy.”  What we’re witnessing in Europe, he said, is not an ordinary recession, but “very much the crack-up of an entire way of organizing economic life.”

He went on to show, as his title would suggest, how some of the same trends in Europe have started to manifest themselves in the United States over the last six years. Increasingly like Europe, the U.S. is saddled with enormous debt, high unemployment rates, low economic growth, an overburdened welfare system, high taxation, government overreach, and so forth. Click Here to Read More



Distinguished Visiting Scholar Dr. Ronald Pestritto to offer lecture at AMU

Dr. Ronald J. Pestritto, Graduate Dean and Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, offered the lecture, "Government By Consent or By Regulation? How Today's Bureaucracy Threatens Our Constitution and Our Liberty" on Thursday, November 6 on AMU's campus.

Dr. Ronald J. Pestritto is Graduate Dean and Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches political philosophy, American political thought, and American politics, and holds the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution. Dr. Pestritto is the author of "Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism," the editor of "Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings," and the co-editor of "American Progressivism: A Reader." In addition to his academic work, has written widely in the public press on progressivism and the administrative state, including articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Claremont Review of Books and has appeared as a commentator on Fox News.



Cardinal Newman Society highlights AMU's federal court victory

The Cardinal Newman Society highlighted Ave Maria University's recent federal court victory on their website. On Oct. 29, a federal court granted injunctive relief to AMU following the University’s renewed lawsuit against the HHS mandate filed in August.

Click here to read the full article on the Cardinal Newman Society website. Ave Maria University is Ave Maria University is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.



Victory! Ave Maria University wins in federal court

From President Jim Towey's Blog:


I have wonderful news to share with you! Ave Maria University won in Federal Court on its motion for injunctive relief. This is a significant victory because it is the first Federal Court case since the United States Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case and the subsequent issuance of the so-called “augmented” regulations by the Obama administration.


While this victory is significant the battle is far from over. Judge Moody has stayed action on our case pending a resolution of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals case in the EWTN lawsuit. 


You can click here to see the judge’s order which I think you will find interesting.


Thank you for your prayers and please continue them.  Be assured that Ave Maria University will press on until our religious liberty rights are fully vindicated.



"Ave Maria Wins Relief from HHS Mandate, President Towey Says Battle Far from Over," Cardinal Newman Society

"Federal Court: New HHS mandate does not protect people of faith," The Becket Fund

"Ave Maria University v. Burwell," The Becket Fund

"Ave Maria granted injunction, no penalties for not providing contraception," Naples Daily News



Dr. McDonnell Awarded American Prize in Conducting

Dr. 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. 



AMU Recommended in Popular Guide to Catholic Colleges

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 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, 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 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




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

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.



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

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.




Fr. McTeigue to speak at Catholic Medical Association Conference

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.



Ave Maria University Observes Constitution Day

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:



Ave Maria University asks federal court for more time

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.



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

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

Survey can be found here.



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

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.



Dr. Timothy McDonnell named an American Prize choral conducting finalist

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



Ave Maria University Joins “Generation #Selfie” on Snapchat

Ave Maria University is now on Snapchat! On July 30th, Ave Maria sent its inaugural “snap”, introducing a brand new way of connecting current and prospective students and giving others an inside look into life at AMU. Snapchat, a social media platform that allows users to connect through sending pictures and videos, is one of the most popular ways in which high school and college-age students communicate with their friends. The premise of Snapchat is simple. Users send a picture or video to a select person or group which is viewed by the recipient for a few seconds before the “snap” disappears. 

Snapchat’s ease of use, massive user base, and private-feel makes it perfect for keeping in touch with friends. However, Snapchat is starting to be used by businesses to offer promotions and connect with their customer base on a more personable level. There is also a small group of colleges on Snapchat, using it as a means of connecting with their students and allowing for an intimate look at day-to-day life on campus.

Ave Maria University (avemariau on Snapchat) hopes to do just this. From setting up spontaneous contests and giveaways, to providing students a place to show their school pride, Snapchat will add a fresh and personally engaging part to being a student at Ave Maria. Snapchat is a very new way for us to help connect our current students, prospective students, and alumni. However, with hundreds of followers in just the first week, we are encouraged and excited about the social and creative possibilities that Snapchat offers! Please feel free to add us on Snapchat (avemariau) to see what we’re up to!



AMU in the News: Supreme Court Decision

For more than two years, AMU has been fighting the Federal Government for an exemption to the Affordable Care Act mandate that requires employers provide free birth control to employees. The Supreme Court's decision to rule in favor of Hobby Lobby should only help the University in its lawsuit going forward.

See the a just a few of the media outlets that highlighted AMU as part of the June 30th Supreme Court decision below.

Fox 4 News

Naples Daily News

Fort Myers News-Press

Cardinal Newman Society

The Ave Herald



Ave Maria University Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision Protecting Religious Liberty

The following is a statement from Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria University, and former Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of the White House Office of Faith- based and Community Initiatives, in response to today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Hobby Lobby case: 



AMU President Jim Towey warns about 'right to die' movement at Broward's annual Red Mass

AMU President Jim Towey served as the guest speaker at the reception that followed the 25th anniversary Red Mass of the St. Thomas More Society of South Florida. The Mass was celebrated June 4 at St. Anthony Church by Archbishop Thomas Wenski. Click here to read more.



President Jim Towey recognized by FSU's VIRES magazine

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey was recognized by the Florida State University Alumni Association's VIRES magazine for his work in bringing to life AMU's Mother Teresa Project and Exhibition Hall. "We think this museum will reintroduce [Mother Teresa] to people and also inspire a new generation to follow in her footsteps," said President Towey, who was recognized on the list of 100 Most Distinguished Graduates compiled by FSU's Alumni Association. Click here to read the full article.



AMU Students perform in Organ Festival at Artis-Naples

Each year the Philharmonic (Artis-Naples) hosts a festival of organ music. Two Ave Maria University students have been invited to perform in this year's festival. Mary Joy Silmaro and Jerome Cole performed on June 8 at 3 p.m. at Artis-Naples. Click here for the Artis-Naples website, and here for the program for the event.



Bolshoi Theatre Photographs on Display in Library

Stop by the Canizaro Library’s second floor gallery area to view amazing photographs by Marc Haegeman of performances at the Bolshoi Theatre. All photographs are housed in the library’s permanent collections.

Founded as a private institution in Moscow around 1776 by Prince Urusov and an Englishman called Michael Maddox, the Bolshoi Theatre gradually became a company of 155 dancers by 1850.  Although the Maryinsky Theatre was the site of most of the creative work produced in Russia during the 19th century, the Bolshoi did serve as debut theatre for  several important ballets: Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote (1869) and an early version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake choreographed by Julius Reisinger (1877).

In Marc Haegeman’s photos we view one art form through another: the art of ballet through the art of photography.  His photographs are not of poses but of real performance moments.  His challenge is to capture the technical precision, emotional power, and timeless grace of ballet without affecting the performance itself.  He aims to catch the dancers’ artistic and physical prowess in a way that is pleasing to the eye and causes an emotional impact. 

The Canizaro Library’s exhibit includes photos from Don Quixote, Giselle, La Sylphide, and Swan Lake.



Summit on Human Trafficking Held at AMU

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Ave Maria University welcomed an expert panel to discuss the impact of human trafficking on our state and community, followed by a Q&A with the public on Tuesday, May 13. Panelists included Marco Island Chief of Police Don Hunter, Doug Molloy, Attorney and Former Chief AUSA in Fort Myers, and Anna Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart addresses the crowd on Tuesday.


Panel members Doug Molloy (left) and Anna Rodriguez discuss the problem of Human Trafficking in Florida, the United States and abroad.




AMU to Livestream the 2014 Commencement Ceremony

A free livestream of the 2014 commencement ceremony will be available online. Click here to view the livestream. This year's commencement speaker is Librarian of Congress James Billington. Tune in at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10 to view the ceremony! 



AMU students and alums create new literary magazine, "Contraries"

“Contraries” is a creative journal created by students from Ave Maria University. The idea is to publish students’ creative work - both literary and artistic. “Contraries” is a means to an end. We want artistic creativity to be our habit at Ave Maria University, writes Peter Atkinson, the chief editor of “Contraries.” Artistic creativity does two things: it allows us to understand our own personal experience more deeply and to read other’s experience more completely, he writes. 

Click here to visit the official "Contraries" website.



Canizaro Library Unveils New Catalog System

Ave Maria University’s Canizaro Library staff members have been busy over the course of a year transitioning to a new library management system (OCLC WorldShare). 

The new system is a Web-based environment that streamlines work for library staff and provides effective and more efficient library services for the campus community.  The University had outgrown its old catalog. The new system includes a single interface for patrons to use to search multiple disciplines, direct access to electronic content, improved circulation activities and resource sharing as well as better visibility to the library’s unique collections. 

Searching for items owned by the Canizaro Library, articles in the collection’s databases, and items owned by other libraries worldwide is now available in one easy-to-use location:

Students, faculty, staff and members of the University community can use their cell phones or tablets to access these databases, another new part of the improved catalog.

The Canizaro Library, with its extensive philosophy and religion-based holdings, is one of the largest collections in the region.



Dr. Susan Waldstein's Personal Reflections on John Paul II

Personal Reflections on John Paul II: John Paul II, the Pope of the Family

Dr. Susan Waldstein, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University

John Paul II was elected pope in the same year that Michael and I were married. We watched a TV interview with an American Jesuit shortly after the election. The liberal Jesuit expressed his disappointment with the election of a Polish Cardinal who would not be able to understand American problems like sexuality! We had to laugh at such absurdity, but we little knew how very wrong this judgment would turn out to be or how much our lives would be intertwined with his work for the family.  John Paul II became the Pope for marriage, sexuality and the family. He gave his famous Wednesday addresses on Genesis for three years which were collected in the book, The Theology of the Body. Even as I write this article, Michael is downstairs working on a new English translation with commentary of the Theology of the Body. He also founded graduate schools for theological studies in marriage and the family all around the world.  Michael was invited to be founding president of the session in Austria, the International Theological Institute for Marriage in the Family.  After earning a Masters and Licentiate degree at the Institute (very slowly along side of home-schooling our eight children), I am now also teaching at the Institute. John Paul II wrote two marvelous documents on the family, Familiaris Consortio and Letter to the Family, which are included in our curriculum.

A sign of John Paul’s love for the family was his “preferential option” for babies and newlyweds at his general audiences. Michael and I had the privilege to “meet” John Paul II seven times at audiences.  Several times we were at general audiences with thousands of other pilgrims but we managed to make our way to a barrier and when our late Holy Father saw a baby in my arms, he made a bee-line for us and kissed and blessed our children. I was so overwhelmed the first time it happened with Maria-Theresia, a two-month old baby in my arms and Johannes not quite two, that I couldn’t even answer him when he spoke to me. “You are a very young mother,” he said. The next time, however, we were prepared. We had to bring our newborn Thomas to be blessed, impossible though it seemed, in St. Peter’s Square with ten thousand other pilgrims. We prayed for the miracle and were ready with our message.  We pleaded and pushed our way to a barrier, where the Holy Father did indeed stop and kiss and bless Thomas. We were able to blurt out, “We love you very much, Holy Father, and pray for you every day.”  We were able to attend a private Mass and audience with the first graduates of the ITI and there our next three children were blessed. When our seventh child , Andreas, was born, John Paul II made a trip to Austria and said an open-air Mass in St. Polten, on the hottest day of June. As president of the ITI, Michael got tickets in the front section for us and Tom and Terry Dillon, who were visiting. In his homily John Paul commended the institute and prayed for it to thrive. Although we were not among the faithful invited to go up to the Holy Father after Mass, we decided to try. Michael was on crutches because he had broken his leg into thirteen pieces in a skiing accident. I was dripping with sweat and carrying six-month-old Andreas in my arms, who was clad only in an undershirt. Six enormous bodyguards walked towards us in a very threatening way shaking their finger “No, go back.”  We started to turn around when the bishop signaled to us to come up. He explained who we were and the Holy Father greeted us very kindly and blessed Andreas. We were so happy that he had mentioned the Institute in his homily and blessed us and our work.

We are also members of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which meets once a year and always ends with an audience with the Holy Father. At the last meeting in the fall of 2004, he was pushed in and an assistant had to read his speech for him, he could only speak a few words and then blessed us. Then we could each go up and kiss his hand. We cheered and cheered him and almost the whole council was in tears as he was pushed out because he was so weak but still made the effort to see us and radiate his love to us. That was the last time we saw him alive, but Michael was determined to pay him homage at the funeral.  He called up many contacts in Rome for tickets to the funeral.  Finally an archbishop, who will remain unnamed, said he might be able to get them. Michael flew to Rome, but the archbishop said that he hadn’t been able to get any tickets. Michael pleaded and the archbishop said to call again.  Finally the archbishop said he had two tickets for Michel and a friend but that he had to use very tricky means to get them!  Michael picked up the two tickets and one of them was only printed on one side.  Were they from the trash? They got up early and took a taxi as far as it could go towards St. Peter’s and then got out and walked. They were stopped and displayed the tickets seven times to police, each time carefully showing the tickets together so that the unprinted side didn’t show.  When they got to the square, a huge policeman looked at the tickets carefully and saw the unprinted side. “They are fakes!’ he declared and would not give them back.  Were they fakes? We do not want to know. No amount of pleading would change the guard’s mind, so instead of sitting up above with the press in the logia by the statues they remained below.  But by means of the tickets they had made it into the square and were even fairly close to that plain wooden coffin.   Michael stood for seven hours without noticing any tiredness. The atmosphere of love and faith and the unity of the Church were so strong they were tangible. We were all so grateful that he could be our representative to bid farewell to John Paul the Great.



AMU's Chamber Choir receives favorable reviews after performance at Artis-Naples

The Ave Maria University Chamber Choir performed Beethoven's Ninth alongside the Naples Philharmonic and the Naples Philharmonic Chorus at Artis-Naples this weekend. The Naples Daily News article can be seen by following this link to the Naples Daily News' website, or viewing the image below. 



Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall at Ave Maria University will open to the public on April 2

AVE MARIA, FL (March 17, 2014) – The Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall at Ave Maria University will open to the public on Wednesday, April 2.

At that time, the exhibits for the museum will be finalized and ready for public viewing.

The April 2 date of the opening is significant because it marks the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa’s dear friend, Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Hours for the Exhibition Hall, which is located at 5060 Annunciation Circle, #105, are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., during the AMU academic year. For more information, please call 239.280.2576.

At the Exhibition Hall, the University offers students, tourists, pilgrims and area residents the opportunity to learn more about “the saint of the gutters” in a 3,000 square foot space showcasing displays of her life and memorabilia. More than 30 panels that tell the story (in English and Spanish) of Mother Teresa’s life are featured. These panels are identical to those used by the Missionaries of Charity in their exhibit in Calcutta.

Items for public viewing also include handwritten letters by Mother Teresa, a crucifix from her own rosary, a first-class relic, stunningly beautiful photographs, original publications from her State funeral in India and Beatification ceremony at the Vatican, and other items.

Myra Janco Daniels, nationally-renowned founder of the Naples Philharmonic Hall, and world- class architect Gene Aubry collaborated in the design of the Exhibition Hall to create a space that is simple – and simply beautiful. The state-of-the- art technology of the museum provides visitors the opportunity to view actual footage of Mother Teresa and hear stories about her from some of her closest friends. Oral histories like these make Mother Teresa present to Exhibition Hall guests in a very special way.

Visit the Mother Teresa Project at Ave Maria University's website here.



Ave Maria alums to make first full-length film

Ave Maria University alums Conor Hennelly ('11), John Broadhead ('11) and Joe Donovan ('13) are currently working to raise money for their first full-length film, Fire Drill. Find out more about the film by visiting Reflection Films' website.



Librarian of Congress James Billington to be Honored by AMU, Address Class of 2014

Commencement Will Be Held May 10

(March 6, 2014, AVE MARIA, FL) ---Librarian of Congress James Hadley Billington will be the commencement speaker this spring at Ave Maria University, Jim Towey, the university’s president, announced today.

“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, his ability to transcend the partisanship in Washington is simply amazing,” Towey said.

The University’s 10th Commencement Exercises for an expected 198 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 honorary 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.

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., Dr. Billington was educated in the public schools of the Philadelphia area. He was class valedictorian at both Lower Merion High School and Princeton University, where he graduated with highest honors in 1950. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College. Following service with the U. S. Army, he taught history at Harvard University from 1957 to 1962, and then moved to the faculty of Princeton University, where he was professor of history from 1964 to 1974. Between 1973 and 1987, Dr. Billington was director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the nation’s official memorial in Washington to America’s 28th president.

Dr. Billington is highly respected for preserving sacred history, particularly in the Middle East where religious rivalries can lead to the destruction of documents and other artifacts of faith.  In October 2004, as Librarian of Congress, Dr. Billington led a delegation to Tehran, Iran, that expanded exchanges between the Library of Congress and the National Library of Iran.  He was the most senior U.S. government official to openly visit Iran in 25 years.

Dr. Billington has received more than 40 honorary doctorates and in 2008 was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by U.S. President George W. Bush 

Dr. Billington was a longtime member of the editorial advisory boards of Foreign Affairs and Theology Today. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is on the Board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dr. Billington has championed the Library of Congress’s National Digital Library program which makes available online millions of American historical and cultural documents.

He is married to the former Marjorie Anne Brennan.  They have four children.  Dr. Billington and his daughter Susan are the first father and daughter to both be awarded Rhodes Scholarships and use them to earn doctorates at Oxford University.

“Dr. Billington’s remarks will be an inspiration 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.”



Ave Maria University to Host Workshop on Aristotle

A two-day Aristotle workshop will be held at Ave Maria University this weekend. Called the “Aristotle Workshop: Courage and Moderation in the Nicomachean Ethics” is sponsored by the AMU Philosophy Department and its chair, Dr. Michael Pakaluk. It begins Friday with “The Virtue of Courage in the Nicomachean Ethics.” On Saturday, “The Virtue of Moderation in the Nicomachean Ethics,” will be presented. The event is an international conference composed of leading scholars. 



Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall Opens March 19

The Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall, the only public display in the United States of Mother Teresa’s life story and artifacts will open its doors March 19. During the academic year at Ave Maria University, the hours will be Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m.

Visit for more information.



Ave Maria University to Build Performing Arts Center

Longtime Naples Phil CEO Myra Daniels to Chair Campaign

AVE MARIA, FL (February 17, 2014) – Ave Maria University is proud to announce that it will build a 1,250-seat performing arts center on its campus, an addition that will give students a much-needed venue to practice and master their talents and further study the arts.

Myra Janco Daniels, founder and longtime CEO of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts (now Artis-Naples) and the Naples Museum of Art will chair the project.

The $10 million performing arts center will feature a thrust stage extending into the audience and also house classrooms, a multi-media studio, office space, practice rooms and an art gallery. Its location will give AMU students the opportunity to experience the arts within a short walk on campus. In addition, the University will now have a first-class venue to host both internal and external events such as graduation and conferences.

“We have started a new era,” said AMU President Jim Towey. “Our founder, Tom Monaghan, had a great interest in the arts and planted the seeds. More and more of our students, coming from all over the world, are interested in the arts and this new performing arts center will fill that need.”

Not only does AMU expect the new center to draw students from around the world who are interested in the arts, but also to attract top-flight faculty members to teach at the University.

The University is raising money now for the building of the center, which is expected to be completed in 2016.

Renowned architect Gene Aubrey, whose work includes the Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex in Naples as well as the Wortham Theater Center and the Rothko Chapel, both in Houston, Texas, will design the center.

Detailed plans for the center will be released at the AMU Third Annual Scholarship Dinner on Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples. Media availability with President Towey and Myra Daniels will be at 6:15 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton.For more information on the Dinner, please call Brigid O’Malley, Director of Communications at 239-304-7009.

Download Performing Arts Renderings



"Affordable Care Act Is A Violation Of Religious Liberty" by President Jim Towey

The White House is granting yet another reprieve for employers who might otherwise be subject to fines for failing to comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Now, in addition to small employers and those whose plans are "grandfathered" (which number in the thousands), medium-size businesses have more time to apply the new health insurance regulations to their operations.

But the owners of the Hobby Lobby retail chain, David and Barbara Green, get no such relief. While the Obama administration has exempted multitudes of employers from the new regulations for administrative reasons, it has refused to acknowledge the deeply held religious convictions that bar the Greens from complying with one of the bill's mandates — the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate...Read More



Ex Corde Ecclesiae Conference at AMU

Ex Corde Ecclesiae Conference

Ave Maria University

February 6-7, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 5:00 PM

Prof. Russell Hittinger:

“Catholic Discourses and Natural Law:

the Legacy of Joseph Ratzinger”


Friday, February 7, 12:00 PM

Prof. Stephen Barr

“Natural Science and Catholicism”


Friday, February 7, 5:00 PM

Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC:

This Conference celebrates the tenth anniversary of Ave Maria University in Florida, founded in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.  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 is by 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 is on “Catholic Discourses and Natural Law: The Legacy of Joseph Ratzinger.”  

Another theme of the Apostolic Constitution is the importance of doing the sciences in accord with the common good (# 7, 16-18, 29-31, etc.).  Thus the second lecture is by Stephen Barr, the Professor of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware.  He will lecture on “Natural Science and Catholicism”.  

A Catholic University should also encourage learning to promote social justice and service “especially to the poor" (# 34, 4, 32, 40, Norm 7, 2).  The third lecture is by Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C., the promoter of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s canonization, who will speak on “Mother Teresa: A Rich Resource for Contemporary Theology.”  



Aquinas Lecture Set for Friday at Ave Maria University

The annual Aquinas Lecture will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 in the Demetree Auditorium on the campus of Ave Maria University. 

Professor Ed Feser of Pasadena City College will speak on "The Scholastic Principle of Causality and the Rationalist Principle of Sufficient Reason.”

The lecture is free and open to the public.



President Towey Live-Blogs at 2014 March for Life

AMU President Jim Towey live-tweeted and blogged at the 2014 March for Life. He marched along side nearly 100 AMU students, staff, and alumni. President Towey's updates can be found on his blog or on AMU's Twitter account.



“Faith, the White House, and the Public Square,” Featuring AMU President Jim Towey

Every director of the White House Faith-Based Offices since President Bush created the office in 2001, including AMU's President Jim Towey appeared together in the Fall of 2013. They spoke in order of their service about the work of the White House on faith and the public square. Then they held a panel discussion and responded to questions from members of the audience. 

“Faith, the White House, and the Public Square” was held in the McCord Auditorium of Southern Methodist University.



AMU Conference examines Business Education and Catholic social teaching

During January 2-4, more than 30 scholars from 14 universities came to Ave Maria 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.  Michael Naughton (of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas), Gabriel Martinez (Chair of the Business Department at Ave Maria University), and 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, lasted two and a half days, with formal presentations and informal discussions.  In their presentations, the participants laid out their 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.  Other scholars responded by highlighting what they thought was most relevant, thus starting a discussion among the whole group.

All participants wrote background papers on their ideas of the integration of Catholic teaching with their disciplines.  They also provided specific teaching notes and syllabi, which will be made publicly available to the worldwide academic community, with the aim of helping business professors in any university who want to bring the Catholic intellectual tradition to their own students.

Together with a very favorable impression of Ave Maria, the participants (from Notre Dame, Pepperdine, St. Thomas, Seton Hall, St. Joseph’s, St. John’s, Dayton, Catholic University of America, Loras, St. Norbert’s, Lexington, Le Moyne, St. Francis, and Ave Maria) left with strong bonds and with plans for future collaboration and extensions of their work into the world of business.



"What the Pope meant to say," by William McGurn, AMU Trustee

By William McGurn

January 3, 2014

‘It’s official: Pope has not abolished sin, says Vatican.”

Well thank you, Reuters.

The wire-service scoop on sin comes on the heels of other news flashes about Pope Francis. For example, when Time named the pope a contender for “Person of the Year,” it said it did so because of his “rejection of church dogma.”

In a similar manner The Daily Mail, under an AP byline, hailed Pope Francis’ pro-life plea to Catholic doctors as a “bizarre U-turn” in his position on abortion.

And The New York Times summed up an interview of Pope Francis with the headline, “Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ with Gays, Abortion, and Birth Control.”

Oops. The pope did say that last one. Or at least something close.




NY Times spotlights Ave Maria University's tuition reduction move

Getting Out of Discount Game, Small Colleges Lower the Price

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A higher education riddle: When can a college slash tuition by almost half, without losing revenues? Answer: When nobody much pays full tuition anyway.

When Converse College, a tiny women’s college here, announced that it was “resetting” next year’s tuition at $16,500, down 43 percent from the current year’s published price of $29,000, the talk was about affordability, transparency and a better deal for struggling families.

But of Converse’s 700 undergraduates, only a small number — in the single digits, its president said, paid the full sticker price in recent years. Almost everyone received a tuition discount from the college, along with, in many cases, financial aid from the state and federal governments.

Now, like some other small private colleges, Converse is cutting tuition and reducing discounts. Betsy Fleming, Converse’s president, said the tuition discount rate would drop to 25 percent, well below the national average, from the current 56 percent. The college will still offer aid to talented students, but only to the extent covered by its $39 million endowed scholarship funds.

While Converse’s reset was the most drastic, others including Concordia University, St Paul, in Minnesota, Ashland University in Ohio, Ave Maria University in Florida, Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, have also recently announced tuition cuts. Read more...



President Jim Towey and AMU Featured on EWTN News Nightly

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey was a guest on EWTN News Nightly with Colleen Carroll Campbell on Wednesday, December 18.

Click here to view President Towey's segment.



AMU Board Member William McGurn on Obama's Contraceptive Mandate

Ave Maria University Board Member William McGurn wrote a piece in the New York Post on the recent news of Obama's contraceptive mandate heading to the Supreme Court. Click here to read the article on the NY Post website.



Ave Maria University Applauds Decision for Supreme Court to Hear Obamacare Challenge

The following is a statement from Ave Maria University President Jim Towey:


“Great news today from the U.S. Supreme Court:  The Obamacare regulations which Ave Maria University has fought in Federal Court since 2012 because they violate religious freedom will be decided by the nine justices sometime in June 2014. 


People can disagree about the morality of contraception, and the government can fund these services to whatever extent it wishes, but faith-based organizations, whether non-profit or private, should not be compelled to violate conscience to carry out such a mandate.  The Obama administration could have expanded access to contraception through any number of methods – using its vast array of community health center and state public health clinics, but instead it chose the most offensive way possible:  it chose to force faith-based groups to be the foot soldiers in their armies of contraception.  Now our nation’s highest court will look at the First Amendment case law and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and decide whether such efforts by Secretary Sebelius and her zealots at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were lawful or not. 


I am confident that our cause has been a just one – and I predict a near-unanimous decision in our favor.  We’re proud to have led the fight on this and we’ll pray that our lawyers at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty prevail.”


Ave Maria University, which led the fight against the Obamacare regulations, has again filed suit against the federal government, renewing the University’s efforts to fight the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. In March, the U.S. District Court granted the motion by defendants (Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al) to dismiss AMU’s lawsuit. At that time, the dismissal was made because the regulations were not in final form. But since the regulations were finalized, AMU again filed suit. The AMU lawsuit remains in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida.



C.S. Lewis, Catholic Gateway Drug

Michael Dauphinais, Dean of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Theology at AMU contributed in a recent Aleteia article on C.S. Lewis. November 22, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, whose writings have been incredibly effective for helping others do what he never did: join the Catholic Church.

Read the full article here.



International Scholar Lectures on Theology of Creation

What did major twentieth-century theologians have to say about the theology of creation? This semester the Patrick F. Taylor Graduate Programs in Theology at Ave Maria University are hosting a series of lectures by an international scholar who is an expert on this subject.


Fr. Santiago Sanz Sánchez, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, will give a series of four lectures on “Major Themes in Contemporary Creation Theology.” These lectures will take place on each Tuesday in November, at 7:00 p.m. in the William C. Demetree Auditorium.


Born in Talavera de la Reina, Spain, in 1972, Fr. Sanz was ordained to the priesthood in 2000 and incardinated into the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of Navarre and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He is the author of five scholarly monographs and a dozen scholarly articles.


Fr. Sanz, who is making is making a mini-sabbatical here in Ave Maria, looks forward to discussing theology with our graduate students and faculty. The topics of his lectures are as follows:


Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m.: “Creation and Covenant”

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 7:00 p.m.: “Creation in Christ”

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7:00 p.m.: “Trinity and Creation”

Tuesday, Nov. 26, 7:00 p.m.: “Ratzinger and the Doctrine of Creation”



AMU Featured in PBS Piece on Catholic College Identity

What does it mean for a school to be Catholic? “This is a university that’s founded on biblical truth, on scripture, and on the sacramental richness of the Catholic Church,” says Ave Maria University President Jim Towey. But according to Rev. Kevin O’Brien, vice president for ministry and mission at Georgetown University, “What we did 50 years ago to promote our identity does not suffice today because the world is different and our students and faculty are different.”

Click here to see President Jim Towey and AMU students explain their view of a Catholic university.



Ave Maria University to Host Annual FOCUS Training Next Spring

Ave Maria University is proud to announce that the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) will hold its annual training on campus next summer.

The FOCUS training, which draws 500 young missionaries to the AMU campus, will be held from May 27 through July 6, 2014. About 40 of the young men and women may choose to remain on campus for a silent retreat that runs through July 13. AMU first partnered with FOCUS for their annual training earlier this summer.

Full Article



Naples Daily News editorial praises AMU Mother Teresa Project

The Naples Daily News praised Ave Maria University's Mother Teresa Project in their October 15th editorial. Follow the link below to view the article.

NDN editorial, Oct. 15.



Ave Maria University to Become Home of Mother Teresa Project, Museum



"Ave Maria University Reduces Tuition to Ease Burden on Families"

Catholic News Agency, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world, released an article on AMU's recent tuition reduction announcement. Please follow the link below to access the article.


Ave Maria University reduces tuition to ease burden on families



President Towey a Panelist in Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Discussion in Dallas

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey will be one of the panelists in a discussion Thursday in Dallas about the importance of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and its implications for church-state relations.
The Southern Methodist University Center for Presidential History will present a conversation with every director of that office. President Towey worked in the George W. Bush administration. Other speakers include other former directors John DiIulio, Joshua DuBois, Jay Hein and Melissa Rogers.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in McCord Auditorium of Dallas Hall on the SMU Campus.
In 2001, President George W. Bush established the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives. He tasked it with helping the federal government coordinate a national effort to equip and expand the work of faith-based and community organizations to better meet the social needs of America's communities. This office, now known as the Office of Faith based and Neighborhood Partnerships, has continued under the executive leadership of President Obama. This symposium will explore the importance of this Office as part of the 21st century presidency and its implications for church-state relations.



President Towey Talks Obamacare Lawsuit, Pope Francis and More with Drew Steele

President Jim Towey was featured on the Daybreak with Drew Steele Podcast on Sept. 24. President Towey spoke about the recent Obamacare Lawsuit, Pope Francis, and Ave Maria University's Tuition Reduction Plan for 2014-15. Follow the link below to listen to the Podcast.


Daybreak with Drew Steele - Fox News 92.5



Ave Maria University Featured in Cardinal Newman Society Article

The news of Ave Maria University's new tuition plan for 2014-15 was published on The Cardinal Newman Society website on Sept. 20. Follow the link below to access the article.


Ave Maria University Slashes Price by 22 Percent by Kelly Conroy, The Cardinal Newman Society



George Weigel to Speak at Ave Maria University

George Weigel will speak at Ave Maria University on Sept. 20 in honor of Michael Novak's 80th birthday. Weigel recently published "The Christ-Centered Pope" to the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) website. The link to the article is below.


"The Christ-Centered Pope" by George Weigel



Ave Maria University's Tuition Reduction Plan News Articles

The 2014-15 Tuition Reduction Plan announced by AMU President Jim Towey on Thursday, Sept. 19 was featured by multiple news outlets. Please follow the links below to access the articles.


Ave Maria University announces dramatic cut in tuition for 2014 school year (Naples Daily News)

Ave Maria University to reduce tuition by 22 percent (Fort Myers News-Press)

Ave Maria University Slashes Price by 22 Percent (The Cardinal Newman Society)



2014-15 Tuition Reduction Plan

President Jim Towey today announced that Ave Maria University is reducing its tuition and fees by 22 percent, a move that will not result in any cuts to academic or student life.

Instead the reduction will maintain affordability, increase accessibility and uphold the 10-year-old University’s commitment to excellence, Towey said.

Tuition starting in the Fall of 2014 will be reduced to $17,940, which is a $5,060 decrease from this academic year’s tuition. Currently, students pay $23,000 in tuition and fees. Returning students next fall will enjoy a “tuition and fees freeze” for 2014-15 and pay the same amount, after AMU scholarships, that they are paying this year.

“I don’t believe any college or university in Florida provides the excellence and value we provide, nor is there a campus culture anywhere more suited to the spiritual and moral development of its students,’’ Towey said.

Class sizes and student-faculty ratios will remain small. More than 85 percent of the University’s classroom instruction is by professors with a Ph.D. or other terminal degree, not by graduate assistants and adjuncts, which is common throughout academia. Small class sizes and top-flight faculty will remain hallmarks of the University.

The average student at AMU pays less than an attendee at nearly all private colleges and universities in Florida and at Catholic universities nationwide.

“From its founding in 2003, Ave Maria University has sought to provide an excellent Catholic liberal arts education at a cost within the reach of as many families as possible,’’ Towey said. “Our students also graduate with a lower average debt burden than their peers.”

During the last 25 years, there has been an “affordability crisis” brewing in higher education. Tuition costs at American universities have spiraled out of control, increasing at more than four times the rate of inflation. The AMU tuition reduction will help families no longer willing to mire themselves in debt to pay exorbitant tuition costs or jump through complex and confusing financial aid hoops. This AMU plan will help decrease that debt and increase transparency in the financial aid system.

Towey said AMU can reduce its tuition and fees by $5,000 for two main reasons.

First, AMU’s budgetary cost controls are firmly in place and the streamlined administrative structure allows the University to operate in a cost-effective manner. Second, the reduction will be cost neutral for the budget because AMU expects to increase enrollment and thanks to Founder Tom Monaghan and other generous donors, the $250 million infrastructure in place is ready to accommodate this growth. With nearly 1,000 students from 48 states and 18 countries, AMU is ready for the student body to reach 1,500 by the fall of 2016.

“Ave Maria is fully prepared for the challenges which the “affordability crisis” presents to our nation,” Towey said. “We are ready for this next bold step. Our students and their families deserve nothing less.”

Follow this link to the Tuition Reduction Plan Flyer.



Observance of Constitution Day

The Department of Economics at Ave Maria University presents the following lecture in observance of Constitution Day, Tuesday, September 17, 2013. 
Tarren Bragdon, "The Constitution and Individual Liberty,”  5pm, Demetree Lecture Hall, Henkels Academic Building.  Free copies of the Constitution will be distributed to a selected number of attendees.
Tarren Bragdon is president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for Government Accountability.  Tarren is a nationally recognized expert on health and welfare issues.  He has testified before committees of the U.S. House and Senate and before seven state legislative committees.  In 1996, he became the youngest person ever elected to the Maine House of Representatives.
Ave Maria University is pleased to honor and observe Constitution Day, September 17, 2013, the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by the Constitutional Convention.



New Dean of Students Named

Vice President for Student Affairs and General Counsel William Kirk announced today that Julie Cosden has been promoted to the role of Dean of Students within Ave Maria University’s Division of Student Affairs. 

For the last five years, Cosden has served Ave Maria as Director of Student Life, responsible for the administration and oversight of virtually all student events and activities on campus, including various campus-wide concerts, lectures, weekly series and programming, and other social events.  Her responsibilities have included the management of more than fifty student organizations on campus, including the Student Government Association and the Student Activities Board.  While retaining her current responsibilities as Director of Student Life, in her role as Dean of Students, Julie will now manage several of the administrative facets of Campus Ministry, Intramural Athletics, the Rome Study Abroad Program, and Counseling Services.  As Dean of Students, Julie will be primarily responsible for meeting and responding to student needs outside the classroom and will also assist the Office of Residence Life and Housing in the administration of the student disciplinary processes.


Cosden came to Ave Maria in the summer of 2005, when she began working as a Residence Hall Director at the Interim Campus in Naples.  After working in Residence Life for two years, Julie worked for Admissions before moving back to the Division of Student Affairs as the Director of Student Life in 2008.  Last year, in addition to her role as Director of Student Life, Julie assumed the responsibilities of the Interim Director of Housing and Residence Life.  Originally from Philadelphia, Julie received her Bachelor of Science in Finance from The Catholic University of America in 2003 and has completed all of her required coursework for a Master’s Degree in Systematic Theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, with hopes to graduate in May 2014.



The Enduring Legacy of Michael Novak

At Ave Maria University, among friends, in celebration of his 80th birthday.



Ave Maria University Files Lawsuit Over Controversial Obamacare Mandate

Ave Maria University will file suit against the federal government, renewing the University’s efforts to fight the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. 

“The Obama administration’s mandate that seeks to coerce Ave Maria University to cooperate with its scheme to make abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and other contraceptive services available to employees under our employer-provided health plan, is unconstitutional and a violation of Federal law, and today we are suing to prevent its enforcement,” University President Jim Towey said Thursday.

In March, the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, granted the motion by the Defendants (Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al) to dismiss Ave Maria University’s lawsuit. At that time, the dismissal was made on technical legal grounds - so-called “ripeness” – because the federal regulations in question are not in final form. 

Now that the regulations have been finalized, President Towey says he believes this lawsuit is a logical next step, and perhaps the only way, to preserve the rights of religious groups.

“The Obama administration seems hell-bent on denying faith-based organizations their rights of conscience and religious freedom,” he said. 

On January 1, 2014, the so-called “safe harbor” protection the University now enjoys will no longer exist, and the Obama administration’s contraception mandate will be in full force. 

 “..the fines with which the Obama administration threatens to compel Ave Maria’s compliance – $100 per day, per beneficiary, totally as much as $7 million in fines annually – seem to have the intended effect of forcing us to choose to either violate our religious beliefs or face bankruptcy,” President Towey said.  “Ave Maria University will not violate its core religious beliefs, wash our hands like Pontius Pilate, and surrender to the Obama administration’s coercive mandate.” 


Click here for AMU Pres. Jim Towey's Statement.

Click here for PDF version.



Save the Date!

Open House – Saturday, September 21, 2013

Noon to 3:00 p.m.


Take a Campus Tour!


Meet AMU President H. James Towey, former senior advisor to the President of the United States, and a friend and legal counsel for 12 years to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.


Speak with representatives from the Offices of Student Life, Financial Aid, Athletics.


Please register online or call 239-280-2556



A Latin American Pope Goes to Rio

New York Post editorial-page editor and AMU Board of Trustees member William McGurn considers the enduring appeal of World Youth Day, celebrated most recently in Rio de Janeiro, when Pope Francis welcomed an enthusiastic crowd estimated at 3 million.



Gyrenes Represented in the NYCBL All Star Game

Two Ave Maria University baseball players, infielder Aaron Pigna (Jr., Miami, FL) and pitcher Austin Munn (So., Lafayette, IN), have been selected to participate in the NYCBL (New York Collegiate Baseball League) All-Star game, to be held in Geneva, NY on July 9th.



Jim Towey on the Supreme Court’s “Quiet Hit on Obamacare”

This week’s Supreme Court rulings on issues from same-sex marriage to racial quotas to the Voting Rights Act are dominating headlines. But its decision last Thursday limiting the conditions the government can attach to federal grants may be a sleeper in terms of its impact. 



AMU Instructor of Literature and Italian, Dr. Deana Basile Kelly, wrote this travel piece on Siena, Italy for the NCR

A medieval city that buzzes with 21st-century living, Siena has pulled me back time and again into its orbit of medieval traditions, civic pride and religious devotion.



Day Nine ROMA 2013

We left Santa Maria alle Fornaci by train for Ostiense where we took the metro for the Colosseum. This is the fastest way to reach San Clemente, a church of unbelievable historical richness that is located only a couple blocks from the Flavian Amphitheater. 



Jim Towey Appears on Jeff Lytle Show

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey discussed the school’s year in review, tackled the comments about Catholics from Ohio State University’s president, and chatted about the name change at the The Phil on Sunday’s edition of “Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle.”


Join President Towey talked about the successes and challenges at AMU, the jabs about Catholics from the now-retiring Gordon Gee of Ohio State, and the controversy surrounding the changing of the name of Naples’ largest performing arts venue.



Day Eight ROMA 2013

We have found many wonderful places to read while in Rome. Our hope each day is to read something in Latin that pertains to a monument or a place that we can visit. Sometimes we can even read these passages in the presence of the monument itself.



Day Seven ROMA 2013

This morning saw our group at various places in the city: some sought the ancient edifice of the Pantheon where the Novus Ordo of Paul VI was said; others sought Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini where a solemn high Mass was offered according to the extraordinary form.



Day Four ROMA 2013

Dazzling displays of the Latin language, visits at two churches and dinner outside the Colosseum marked Day 4 of ROMA 2013. A band of Ave Maria University students and their professors made their way to the Universita Pontifica Salesiana, the Sant’Agnese fuori le mura, where they also found the mausoleum of Constantia, the daughter of the Constantine the Great. Read more here:



Day Three of ROMA 2013

Highs and lows, with Italy in between it all marked Day 3 in Rome for the Ave Maria University students studying the classics.



Day Two of ROMA 2013

Dodging raindrops and seeing and experiencing the rich history where it was made, Ave Maria University students are enjoying their reality classroom in Italy.



AMU Students Give Personal Testimonies on Mission Trip to Calcutta

AMU students recently accompanied President Jim Towey on a six-day mission trip to Calcutta, India, "following in the very steps of Mother Teresa," the University reported.



ROMA Summer 2013

A group of Ave Maria University students left on Sunday for Rome to uncover the mystery of the city through its language and monuments.



Dateline Calcutta: Days 5 and 6

As their mission trip ends, the 12 Ave Maria University students who volunteered in Calcutta have much to contemplate.



Dateline Calcutta: Day Four

Today, Leah shares how kindness with simple gestures toward the children and women in Calcutta made her day. She has worked with the orphans, the sick and dying during her time in Calcutta with the AMU group.



Dateline Calcutta: Day Three

Ave Maria University Junior Joe Kerr shares his story of a day of service in Calcutta. He massaged the ill to help take away some of their pain and helped feed a young girl with cerebral palsy.



Ave Maria University Announces Third Annual Scholarship Dinner

Myra Janco Daniels will be the honored guest next February at AMU’s largest fundraiser, which will celebrate the life and contributions of Mrs. Daniels, the founder and former chief executive officer of the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.



Dateline Calcutta: Day Two

Today, the students toured Calcutta, getting an up close and personal look at the slums where Mother Teresa worked and lived.



AMU students in India on mission trip

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey and a dozen Ave Maria students are in Calcutta, India, for a weeklong mission helping the religious order that was the focus for much of Mother Teresa’s work.



Dateline Calcutta: Day One

Experience the trip through the students’ eyes. They’ll share what they see, hear and feel in words and images. Be part of their Calcutta calling.



The Evidence of God's Favor

President Jim Towey shares the exciting results of a Standard & Poor’s review of Ave Maria University’s finances in his recap to the AMU community of the recently completed academic year’s extraordinary accomplishments.



AMU Graduation Photos

Photographer Jason Easterly covered Ave Maria University’s ninth commencement at the Golisano Field House on Saturday, May 4, 2013 for the Naples Daily News.



Florida Governor Rick Scott Addresses the Class of 2013

The governor addressed Ave Maria University’s 2013 graduating class of 159 undergraduates and 15 graduate students in the Golisano Fieldhouse.



AMU Graduation Online

10:00am, Saturday, May 4th 2013.



5 Finalists for President’s Award

The President’s Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating senior of AMU to recognize academic accomplishments and involvement in the life of the University.



Distinguished Visiting Professor and Former Ambassador, Michael Novak, Remembers Lady Thatcher

She was supposed to be an Iron Lady, and she was in the sense that when she asked you a question she expected a quick, accurate, and useful answer -- one felt a little like being in a university oral exam. She was, indeed, a serious woman. She was supposed to be an Iron Lady, and she was in the sense that when she asked you a question she expected a quick, accurate, and useful answer -- one felt a little like being in a university oral exam. She was, indeed, a serious woman. 



Ave Maria University Reacts to HHS Lawsuit Dismissal

The Federal Court’s dismissal on Good Friday of Ave Maria University’s lawsuit was made on technical legal grounds - so-called “ripeness” – because the federal regulations in question are not in final form.  It does not mean our lawsuit is dead.  The Obama administration has bought itself time by promising to change its regulations and the Court’s dismissal order explicitly relies on this promise.  



Governor Rick Scott to address Ave Maria University Graduates

Florida Governor Rick Scott will be the 2013 commencement speaker at Ave Maria University, Jim Towey, the University’s president announced today.



AMU Chamber Choir Thrills in Carmina Burana Debut at the Phil

If you have tickets for the joint performance of “Carmina Burana” at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in North Naples today or Saturday, you are one lucky concertgoer. It promises to be a killer performance.



AMU Students in St. Peter’s Square

The latest blog from Ave Maria student Erin DeCleene, who is in Rome this semester in our study abroad program, describes the excitement in St. Peter’s Square after the appearance of white smoke.



SW Florida Catholics' excitement for conclave in overdrive, here and in Rome

Kim Scharfenberger also is among those anticipating seeing the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signifying the election of a new pope. The Ave Maria University student is studying in Rome for the semester.



AMU Chamber Choir at The Phil in Naples

Join the Ave Maria University Chamber Choir and Dr. Timothy McDonnell, AMU Director of Choir in their Philharmonic Center debut performance of CARMINA BURANA! March 14th through 16th, 8:00 pm. Philharmonic Center for the Arts. 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples, FL 34108



AMU Announces New VP for Finance and Administration

Dear Faculty, Administrators and Staff of Ave Maria University:
I am happy to announce the appointment of Mrs. Maureen Joyce as the new Vice President for Finance and Administration at Ave Maria University.
Maureen brings to our campus community over 30 years of experience in academia in the fields of financial management, auditing, and administration. 
She began her career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an internal auditor, and served for 25 years at Northeastern University in a number of capacities, including Associate Controller and Director of Sponsored Project Administration.  Most recently, Maureen served as Comptroller of a small, liberal arts institution, Simmons College, in Boston.  
Maureen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Massachusetts, graduating with honors, and went on to receive a Master in Business Administration from Northeastern University.  She brings a wealth of experience to Ave Maria University and we are quite fortunate to have a person of her caliber joining the University Council and our senior management team.  She will begin her work at Ave Maria in early April.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Dennis Grace, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, who has provided important management oversight of business and finance during this interim period, and also Comptroller Tony Beata and his colleagues in the business office who have worked so admirably and diligently. The University’s “growing pains” have been acutely felt by these professionals because the size and complexity of University operations are overwhelming the systems that were put in place at our founding.  They are owed our deep gratitude. 
Finally, I will be holding a “town hall” style meeting to discuss the 2013-14 budget that was recently adopted by the Board of Trustees and the progress the University is making on our five-year strategic plan, and also to answer any questions that you have.  I will let you know when a date is set for this gathering and hopefully you will be able to attend.
It is an exciting time in the Church and at Ave Maria University.  I join my prayers to yours as we implore the Holy Spirit to guide the College of Cardinals during the conclave that begins Tuesday.  May Our Lady intercede for them as they deliberate and designate the next shepherd of our Church, and also for us as we continue to advance the New Evangelization through our mission in Catholic higher education.
Kind regards,
Jim Towey



President Towey Appeared on PBS

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey appeared on PBS News Hour as part of a panel discussion on divisions within the Catholic Church in the United States. The discussion was also focused on recent polls showing an array of opinions on the future of the Church.



Ave Maria University Adds Two New Majors

Ave Maria University today announces the addition of two new undergraduate degree programs in Education and Accounting, an expansion into pre-professional learning that will help students thrive and succeed in a globally competitive job market.



Huber Named To Allstate WBCA Good Works Team

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Allstate Insurance Company announced this morning the 10 women's college basketball student-athletes that were named to the inaugural Allstate WBCA Good Works Team®. Ave Maria’s Emily Huber was selected to the team for her vast contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement.



Events and Celebrations in Thanksgiving for the Petrine Ministry

Masses of Thanksgiving for the Petrine Ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
7:30am, 12:00pm (Novus Ordo Latin), and 5:00pm
Student-Organized Panel* – On the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and its contributions to the life of the Church
5:00pm – Demetree Lecture Hall 
Dr. Michael Waldstein, Fr. Matthew Lamb, Mr. Anthony Valle
*Sponsored by Filii in Filio Household
Eucharistic Holy Hour
7:00pm – Oratory
Meditations by Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J.
Student Service Ministry – “Deus Caritas Est” Service Event
11:00am-2:00pm – Student Union Ballroom
Students preparing meals for the poor in Immokalee

Board of Trustees Mass – Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
5:00 PM - Oratory                                                                                                                   
Homily by Fr. McTeigue, S.J. will honor the Legacy of the Pope Emeritus
Lecture  – “The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI”
7:30pm – Demetree Lecture Hall
Dr. Michael Waldstein



"Wrying but a little?" Marriage, Revenge, and Forgiveness in Shakespeare

Dr. Robert Miola is Gerard Manley Hopkins Professor of English and Lecturer in Classics at Loyola University, Maryland. A prolific scholar, he has published thirteen books and penned more than thirty-five academic articles. His publications include two edited volumes of Shakespeare, Hamlet and Macbeth, in the prestigious Norton Critical Edition Series, 2007’s Early Modern Catholicism: An Anthology of Primary Sources (Oxford University Press) and Shakespeare’s Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1983). Professor Miola has also served as Editor-in- Chief for Presence, a journal on Jesuit Higher Education.



NY Post Op-Ed by Jim Towey: “A Teacher in Every Sense”

The news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation struck with the suddenness of grace.

Usually, a changing of the guard at the Vatican is preceded by a period where Catholics throughout the world grieve and the square of St. Peter’s overflows with pilgrims attending the Funeral Mass. But Catholics have come to expect the unexpected with Benedict and perhaps should have seen this coming.

Throughout his life, he has never been a prisoner to convention or stale ideas. He’s never feared scientific truth or engagement with modern culture. His three-volume “Jesus of Nazareth” is perhaps as fresh a take on the mystery of the person of the Christ as anything published in any age.

He is a theologian at heart, a teacher in every sense — and now he is teaching the Church Universal something about the papal office in the modern age, as well as his own limitations as shepherd.

Whereas John Paul II fearlessly lived his Parkinson’s infirmity in office to demonstrate that the great human dignity with which man is endowed is undiminished by disability, Benedict is teaching us about the need for clarity of mind and purity of heart in order to discern precisely what God is asking today of each of us.

That examination of conscience is required of popes and paupers alike, and his decision to resign was clearly the fruit of much prayer and contemplation.

His 26 years in academia prepared him for decisions like this by sharpening his appreciation for the pursuit of truth, excellence and beauty. That he would conclude on Sunday, at age 85, that he no longer has the strength and capacity to continue on the chair of St. Peter seems in hindsight to be utterly predictable.

Nonetheless, the news of Benedict’s resignation has a jarring quality to it as well as ample precedent.

The early Church was accustomed to the sudden departures of popes. In the third century, because of the cruel persecution of tyrants seeking to eradicate the Christian faith, there were five popes in the span of 10 years. Some were beheaded and all were elevated with the expectation of certain martyrdom.

Benedict’s announcement, in this context, seems far less dramatic. But it is no less momentous.

Those of us in Catholic education find ourselves already missing our beloved theologian-pope. He was a friend to us all.

I will never forget his remarks at a gathering of Catholic educators in Washington, DC: “A university or school’s Catholic identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction — do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear?”

He continued, “The church never tires of upholding the essential moral categories of right and wrong, without which hope could only wither, giving way to cold pragmatic calculations of utility which render the person little more than a pawn on some ideological chess-board.”

The truth of Benedict’s exhortation challenges all of us who labor at Catholic institutions of higher learning to shepherd our students toward a deeper understanding of what is asked of us, and what dangers are posed when society measures individuals based simply on their usefulness.

The pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI may be ending but the value of his teaching and the power of his witness to the Christian faithful will continue. His leaving the chair of St. Peter shocks us, and perhaps even saddens us, because we have grown accustomed to the lovely attraction of his words.

He served with a fearlessness and gentleness that were evangelical. His formidable intellect and gift of expression were from God.

He soon will enter a new stage in his life, one of quiet prayer and ascendant weakness as he prepares to return to the Father. He has mentored the multitudes across the continents for this very moment, and now it is his turn to embark.

He goes with our prayers and profound gratitude.

Jim Towey is president of Ave Maria University in Naples, Fla.



The “Contraception Stamps” Entitlement Program

President Obama wants to enlist all faith-based groups to be on the front lines of a new federal entitlement to free birth control for every woman in America. His only problem is, some of us refuse to serve.



24-Hour Homerathon Reading

Beginning Friday evening, Feb. 8, AMU students and faculty will be holding a "Homerathon" where all 24 books of "The Iliad" will be read aloud over a 24-hour period, ending at 6 p.m. on Saturday.



Proposal to Amend ObamaCare Contraceptive Rule Met with Skepticism

AMU President Jim Towey quoted in article on



Ave Maria University Reacts to Latest HHS Compromise

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey responds to the latest compromise proposed by the Obama Administration and Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius.



AMU Professor lectures at the Augustine Institute

Dr. Michael Waldstein, Max Seckler Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University, presents a lecture at the Augustine Institute in Colorado. 



Living Morally and Intelligently in the Light of Christ’s Eternal Glory

The Aquinas Center realizes the importance of St. Thomas Aquinas’s theology and philosophy for the deepening appropriation of Catholic speculative and moral theology. The Center reaches out to scholars and doctoral students around the world and bestows awards in recognition of their contributions to the study of Aquinas and Catholic intellectual and faith life.



John M. Rist to Deliver 3rd Annual Aquinas Lecture in Philosophy

Professor John M. Rist, the first occupant of the Fr. Kurt Pritzl Chair of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, and author of fifteen books and dozens of important scholarly articles in those areas, will give the Third Annual Aquinas Lecture on Monday, January 28, at 5pm in the Lecture Hall of the Academic Building.



Professor Mary Ann Glendon: "Politics as a Vocation"

This Thursday, January 17, Professor Mary Ann Glendon will give the third lecture in this year’s Ernest L. Fortin, A.A., Lecture Series. Her lecture, titled “Politics as a Vocation,” will take place at 5:00 p.m. in the Demetree Auditorium in the Henkels Academic Building. Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Professor Glendon was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in May of 2012. From 2008 to 2009, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and prior to that she was a member of President Bush’s Council on Bioethics (2001-2004). A prolific scholar, Professor Glendon writes and teaches in the fields of human rights, comparative law, constitutional law, and political theory. Among her works are Abortion and Divorce in Western Law (1989), the critically acclaimed Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse (1993), and A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2002). Her lecture Thursday is drawn from her latest book, The Forum and the Tower (2011).

Sponsored by a grant from the Stuck with Virtue Conference Series, the Ernest L. Fortin Lecture Series is named after Fr. Ernest L. Fortin, A.A. Fr Fortin taught at Assumption College, Laval University, and Boston College, where he held joint appointments in the Theology and Political Science Departments and codirected the Institute for the Study of Politics and Religion. The author of books on Dante and St. Augustine, his collected essays have been published in four volumes. Focusing on the intersection of philosophical, theological, and political reflection, the lectures in this series explore the diverse but interrelated themes that animated Fr. Fortin’s life as a teacher and scholar.



Study Abroad: Croatia

Applications are now being accepted for an AMU study abroad opportunity this summer, July 28 to Aug 17, in Sibenik, Croatia.



Amb. Michael Novak receives award from President of Poland

Former U.S. Ambassador Michael Novak at Polish White House with President Komorowski and Father Maciej Zieba OP, former Provincial of the Polish Dominicans, close friend of JP II, former Solidarity member.



Archbishop Chaput Praises Dr. Travis Curtright's book on Thomas More

A day after the 2012 Summer Olympics closed in London, Joseph Pearce wrote that he felt like his “body had been covered in slime. I also felt a great sense of gratitude that I had shaken the smut and dirt from my sandals and had left the sordid culture of which I was once a part.”



Ave Maria University Professor Decorated by President of the Republic of Poland

On the 31st anniversary of the declaration of martial law in Poland, Michael Novak, author, theologian, Ave Maria University professor, and former U.S. ambassador, was decorated by President Bronisław Komorowski with the Commodore’s Cross with a Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.December 13, 2012. Warsaw, Poland.—On the 31st anniversary of the declaration of martial law in Poland, Michael Novak, author, theologian, Ave Maria University professor, and former U.S. ambassador, was decorated by President Bronisław Komorowski with the Commodore’s Cross with a Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.  

Before the official decoration ceremony, Professor Novak gave a lecture at the Presidential Palace on the meaning of social justice, part of the series of Polish Presidential lectures on the Ideas for the New Century. The lecture was introduced by Paweł Lisiewicz, director of the Polish cabinet, and in it Novak emphasized the importance of the institutions of civil society that properly precede the activity of the state. 

The decoration ceremony took place in the historic grand hall of the Presidential Palace, the site of the 1955 signing of the Warsaw Pact. In addition to Professor Novak, who was the only American recognized at the ceremony, also honored were more than forty heroes of the political opposition to Polish martial law in the 1980s, civilians and members of the military, many of whom worked clandestinely for the cause of liberty. 

Professor Novak was cited for his “merits in fostering democratic change in Poland as well as developing Polish-American cooperation.” These merits include Novak’s influential masterpiece, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, which was published in an illegal samizdat translation in 1984 under the imprimatur of the anti-communist movement Solidarność. As ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 1986, Novak initiated the international condemnation of martial law in Poland, the first ever U.N. condemnation of a regime behind the Iron Curtain. In his remarks, President Komorowski recalled the aid, both material and moral, that the Polish people received from the West while under martial law. He mentioned in particular the significance of Radio Free Europe, which Novak served as a member of the Board of International Broadcasting. 

In his remarks President Komorowski also noted Ronald Reagan’s slogan “Let Poland be Poland,” and Reagan’s initiative to ask Americans to light candles in the windows of their homes, an expression of solidarity with those suffering in Poland. Today, Komorowski noted, the Polish people have a duty to extend the same solidarity to those still suffering under unjust regimes. 

Following the decoration ceremony, Novak visited the recently erected Ronald Reagan monument located outside the U.S. embassy in Warsaw. There President Komorowski, Novak, and others from the embassy lit candles and placed them around the monument.



Dr. Michael Dauphinais Named Vice President for Academic Affairs

University President Jim Towey announced yesterday that Dr. Michael Dauphinais has been appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs in addition to his role as the Dean of Faculty.



New Summer Course Features a Ten-Day Trip to Rome

This eight-credit course will explore Rome through its language and monuments from its pagan beginnings to its Catholic present.



AMU Founders Dinner for Jon Scharfenberger Scholarship Fund

The Ave Maria University Founders club annual dinner in Naples will be Thursday, Dec. 6, at LaPlaya Beach Resort. The dinner begins with an optional Mass at 4:30 p.m. with the reception beginning at 5:30 p.m.



AMU's Dr. Timothy McDonnell a busy man during holiday music season

I knew my neighbor, Dr. Tim McDonnell, was the chairperson of the music department at Ave Maria University, but I’m glad I didn’t know much else when I first met him – for instance, that prior to coming to AMU, he was director of liturgical music at Pontifical North American College in the Vatican.



AMU Reduces Tuition and Expands Online Courses for Summer 2013

Ave Maria University is pleased to announce that tuition rates for the summer 2013 session have been lowered from $445/credit to $349/credit, a reduction of more than twenty per cent. The University made this decision with a view towards putting the summer study option within reach of more students.



The Film Center at AMU

The Film Center at AMU was founded to support the study of film and the art of filmmaking on the campus of Ave Maria University. With help from the AMU Film Society, we screen and discuss with invited faculty and outside scholars the best of classic and contemporary cinema. Our blog publishes videos, reviews, and essays on film and filmmaking and provides support for the ongoing work of our young filmmakers.



Post-Election Message to the AMU Community from President Jim Towey

Dear members of the Ave Maria University community: 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?  The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?”

These words from Psalm 27 which the Church Universal proclaims in the responsorial psalm in today’s holy Mass are a reminder that God alone is sovereign over our affairs.  At Ave Maria University we place our trust in God, not government.  Yes, we are proudly American and we will continue to engage in the public square because the Lord invites us to bring our faith and values to bear on the issues of the day.  But our first allegiance, our first duty, is to the Lord, for He is our life’s refuge.

I want to thank our students who voted in yesterday’s election.  For many students this was their first time at the polls, and by all accounts, our students turned out in droves.  We sent shuttle after shuttle to Immokalee, and I was edified to see so many students exercising their right to vote.  

I know many of them awoke this morning with a stinging disappointment over the outcome of the presidential election.  While it is natural to be disappointed when your candidate loses, it is my prayer that your disappointment does not lead to disillusionment.  America – and the Church – need you to be fully engaged in the public square, even when you don’t prevail at the ballot box or in the cauldron of public policy making.  So don’t be discouraged.  Our country needs your continued enthusiasm and involvement.

All elections have consequences and the re-election of President Obama means that our Federal lawsuit in defense of our University’s religious freedom will proceed.  As the current department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations now stand, our employer-provided health plan is in jeopardy, beginning in 2014.  We have a year to prepare, and much can happen in this year.  I know how important health insurance is to our faculty and staff and we will do everything we can do in good conscience to continue to support your health care needs. 

Today I am appointing an ad hoc committee from among the University’s faculty and staff to make contingency plans in the event HHS does not follow through on President Obama’s pledge in February to amend the regulations in a manner that protects the right of conscience of faith-based institutions like ours. The members of the Committee on Health Insurance are Ken Ferguson, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chairman; Jennifer Nodes, Director of Library Services; Dr. Michael Pakaluk, Chairman of the Department of Philosophy; Bill Kirk, Vice President for Student Affairs and General Counsel, and Anne Hart, Director of Financial Aid.  They will meet in the near future and Vice President Ferguson will report to you on their deliberations when appropriate.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will continue its advocacy on our behalf.  Next week I will be in Baltimore where the Bishops will gather for their annual general assembly and I am scheduled to visit with a number of them who will be in attendance.  I also will be participating in meetings of the Cardinal Newman Society and conferring with my colleagues from other universities as we strategize in response to the current dilemma.  

The University also will work with the lawyers of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and press ahead with our lawsuit.  Now that the President has been re-elected, it is my sense that a judge will be assigned to our case and the pace of the proceedings will accelerate.  I remain confident in the merits of our lawsuit and believe fervently that the HHS contraception mandate is unconstitutional and also a violation of Federal law.  The University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, and dozens of other institutions also are in court and I expect that these lawsuits will gather more attention in the months ahead.

My friends, the electoral wave that unexpectedly swept the country last evening reminds each one of us why Ave Maria University exists and why the need for an institution with our values and mission has never been greater.  And I am not simply referring to the national election.  A large majority of Floridians rejected constitutional amendments that would have protected religious liberty and banned the public funding of abortion.  Several states embraced so-called “same sex marriage” in ballot measures, bringing to ten the number of states where such unions are now legal.  One state, Massachusetts, has a dead heat on their initiative to legalize assisted-suicide, which would bring to four the number of states where this dangerous practice is permitted. 

It might be easy to become discouraged by these troubling trends.  However, Psalm 27 ends with the beautiful words, “Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.”  

What all of us must do, in this year designated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as a year of faith, is deepen our dependence upon Divine Providence and be courageous like our Patroness.  At the end of this month the Church will begin a new liturgical year, and soon thereafter we will be focusing our gaze on her, the Virgin with child who will give birth to a son, “and they shall call him Emmanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.’”  (Matthew 1:23)

Indeed God is with us.  As discouraging as last night’s results were for so many of us, there is nothing to fear.  God is with us at Ave Maria University. He is our light and our salvation.  

Kind regards, 

Jim Towey



Video Highlights

AMU president Jim Towey spoke out strongly about religious liberty and the importance of Amendment 8 on "Newsmakers with Jeff Lytle." 



Jim Towey on Newsmakers with Jeff Lytle

AMU president Jim Towey will appear on the "Newsmakers with Jeff Lytle" show this Sunday morning at 10, when he squares off against ACLU's Howard Simon on religious liberty and Amendment 8, also known as the Florida Religious Freedom Amendment on the November 6 state ballot. Newsmakers with Jeff Lytle airs on ABC channel 7.



Year of Faith Lecture

Friday, October 26th, Dr. John F. Boyle will deliver a lecture on “St. Thomas, Faith, and Life” as part of Ave Maria University’s commencement of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. The lecture is Sponsored by the Henkels Lecture Series of Ave Maria University.  Dr. Boyle is a Professor of Theology and Director of the Master of Arts in Catholic Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Dr. Boyle has published important research on Medieval Studies, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Thomas More.  The lecture is free, open to the public, and will take place at 5pm in the Demetree Auditorium of the Henkels Academic Building.



The Fall Season of the AMU Choirs Opens with Mozart's Requiem

Intrigue and conspiracy provide a background for Mozart’s last musical testament, his stunning Requiem. Left incomplete at his death, the work was finished by various students who secretly sewed together the sketches left by the master in order to provide for the dead composer’s widow.



Plaintiffs Against the HHS Mandate Reach More Than 100 Strong

On Tuesday, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed suit on behalf of East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University, adding two more Protestant institutions to the legal fray and helping push the total number of plaintiffs over the 100 mark.



Ambassador Novak Delivers Lecture on the Battle of Lepanto

On October 7th in the year 1571, ships from the Holy League, an alliance of Christian states, defeated the fleet of the Ottoman Empire.  The stunning victory was credited to the Virgin Mary, whose intercession had been sought.  In her honor, Pius V instituted the feast day of Our Lady of Victory, now celebrated as the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  

On Monday, October 8th, at 7:30 pm, Ambassador Michael Novak will deliver a public lecture and presentation on this famed sea battle and its significance.  All are welcome. 



Catholic Reads Before Election Day

The National Catholic Register selected the new biography of St. Thomas More by Ave Maria University Associate Professor of Literature Dr. Travis Curtright  as one its recommended Catholic reads before Election day. 



Harvey C. Mansfield: “Science and Non-Science in Liberal Education”

Wednesday at 5:00pm in the Demetree Auditorium,  Professor Harvey C. Mansfield, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government of Harvard University, will give the second lecture in this year’s Ernest L. Fortin Lecture Series.  



George P. Bush Visits Ave Maria University

The son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, George P. Bush, dropped by Ave Maria University on Wednesday. The younger Bush is working with a conservative group called Maverick PAC. He's on a 7-city bus tour of college campuses in Florida. Their goal...



Ave Maria University Celebrates Constitution Day, September 17

On September 17, 1787, the 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution. In submitting their Constitution to the American people for ratification, Alexander Hamilton said that it was up to the people to decide  “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.” 

Here at Ave Maria, our students come to know the founding documents of their Republic by way of the core requirement in American Civilization. 
As part of the University’s Constitution Day observance, a panel will discuss “Religious Liberty and Free Exercise of Religion” on Wednesday, September 19, at 5:00 in the Demetree Auditorium. Panelists will include President Jim Towey, Dr. Seana Sugrue, and Dr. David Dalin. The event is open to the public, and there will be free booklets of the Constitution and Declaration available for the first 100 guests in attendance.



The Inaugural "Paula Castagnet Seminar in Biology and Medicine"

The Department of Biology and Chemistry at Ave Maria University is proud to announce the inaugural "Paula Castagnet Seminar in Biology and Medicine".

This years’ seminar will be presented by Dr. Angela Flippin-Trainer, M.D., entitled "A Conversion of Heart and Mind: Living the Catholic Faith in the Practice of Medicine" on Monday, September 17 from 5-6pm in the Demetree Auditorium located in the Henkels Academic Building.  AMU students, faculty and the public are invited to attend this event.

Seminar contact:
James A. Peliska, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry



Ernest L. Fortin Lecture Series Begins with a Political Perspective on Hawthorne

Dr. John Alvis’ lecture, "Revisiting Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter from a Political Perspective," will be in held in the library, room 160B, at 5:00PM. The next Fortin lecture will be by Dr. Harvey C. Mansfield, Professor of Government at Harvard University, on Wednesday, October 3.



AMU Graduate Ordained to the Priesthood

St. Patrick Catholic Church recently welcomed Fr. Matthew Grady, a newly ordained priest and a graduate of Ave Maria University. Grady, 26, was welcomed into the priesthood July 14 by the Most Rev. Frank Dewane, bishop of the Diocese of Venice, at an Ordination Mass at Epiphany Cathedral.



Amb. Novak's Classic Work Remembered in the American Spectator

Thirty years ago saw the publication of "The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism" by Board of Trustee member and Visiting Professor, Ambassador Michael Novak.



AMU Names VP for Student Affairs and General Counsel

William W. Kirk has been named Vice President for Student Affairs and General Counsel at Ave Maria University. The position was announced by Ave Maria University President Jim Towey.



Ave Maria University Hosts FCA Camp

Ave Maria University is hosting the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) team football camp for southwest Florida.



AMU Mourns Loss of Student, Clayton Burroughs

Today we received the very sad news that one of our students, Clayton Burroughs, was involved in an automobile accident early this morning and went home to God.  The University is working with county and state law enforcement in the investigation of this accident.



Will Obamacare "Tax" Trump Religious Liberty?

Though the Supreme Court has long been hostile to tax exemptions for religious reasons, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Establishment Clause should give religious organizations reasons to hope that they won't be penalized by the Obamacare "tax."



Ave Maria University President featured in The Hill

Ave Maria University President, Jim Towey will be featured in The Hill Thursday, July 12, 2012.



Ave Maria Professor to Participate in County Forum

Dr. Joseph Burke will participate as a panelist in the Collier Candidate Commissioner Forum on July 16th, 2012 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Agricultural Extension Center.



Ave Maria not backing down from challenging federal contraceptives rule

A U.S. Supreme Court health-care ruling this week won't directly affect lawsuits filed by religious-affiliated employers like Ave Maria University over a controversial contraception mandate earlier this year.



AMU ranked among Top 25 homeschool-friendly colleges

Ave Maria University was ranked by The Best Schools among the Top 25 homeschool-friendly colleges in the nation.



Ave Maria University President Responds to Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court of the United States may have decided one case today, but it likely has not heard the last on the Affordable Care Act.



2012 Youth Conference

Please join us for the 5th Annual Ave Maria University Youth Conference “Overflow” 
July 6-8th 2012



Justin James Signs Contract with Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays

James will report to Clearwater, Florida for camp on Saturday, June 9th, 2012. Says Justin, "I feel so blessed to have this opportunity. I want to thank everyone who has helped and supported me through the years - most of all Christ. To Him be the glory. I hope to make everyone proud in the coming years."



Defend Religious Freedom Rally

Let's make our voices heard right here in Naples, Florida Friday, June 8, 12:00pm - 1:00pm. Corner of Pine Ridge and Highway 41.



Special Report with Bret Baier Looks at Battle over Religious Freedom

Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Lori, and AMU president Jim Towey are interviewed regarding the lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate.



Lou Dobbs Interviews Jim Towey on HHS Mandate

Ave Maria University's lawsuit against the HHS mandate is discussed by AMU president Jim Towey on the Lou Dobbs program.



Why Ave Maria?

The sound of native songbirds was just as loud as the roaring fountain in front of the Oratory; people dispersed from the Golisano Field House, where commencement had ended, and the lives our graduates had only just begun.



Ave Maria University Discontinues Student Health Insurance

Although colleges and universities in America are not bound by law to require students to have health insurance, Ave Maria University from its founding has done so and made an inexpensive group policy available to them. 



1st Annual Marian Eucharistic Conference at Ave Maria University

This dynamic and faith-filled weekend, May 18-20, will include many opportunities for you to celebrate your faith on the beautiful campus of Ave Maria University! Be sure to check out our live streaming site for those of you unable to attend the conference. 



AMU Grads on Faith

Meet Matthew Vicinanzo and Sarah Richards – both recent Ave Maria graduates who see a clear connection between their faith, their education, and their futures.  



Dr. Michael Pakaluk Article Featured in the Boston Pilot

There are lessons in fish. Consider: Do you, as a Catholic, abstain from meat on Fridays? If not, you would probably tell me that practice was abandoned by Vatican II. Indeed, but I would say that your reply is a half truth. Before Vatican II, Catholics abstained from meat, and ate fish instead, as a very slight penance, to remember the day of the Lord’s Passion. After Vatican II, Catholics are still supposed to do penance on Friday and remember the Passion, only the specific penance need not be fish. 



Homily at Baccalaureate Mass, Rev. Matthew Lamb

Joyful greetings to you graduates of Ave Maria University, to your parents and friends, Chancellor Monaghan and President Towey, and distinguished faculty, staff and visitors. In the venerable traditions of Catholic universities, we invoke the Advocate, the Spirit of truth, upon you graduates before sending you forth with your degrees at Commencement. 



A Night on Broadway, April 13th

Presented by the students of Ave Maria University, featuring selections from Wicked, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, etc.



Scholarship Fund Established in Memory of AMU Graduate

Jon Scharfenberger just wanted to help people, his mother said at a gathering in Ave Maria. Now, a scholarship fund being established in the name of the young man who died in a car accident last fall may help many others attend the university where he was such an active part of the campus life for four years.



AMU Professor to teach two Biology classes in Nicaragua this summer

AMU Professor, Thomas Smith, will teach two Biology classes (Natural History Field Studies and Environmental Science) in Nicaragua this summer from May 6 – June 7.  Both classes will fulfill the natural sciences core curriculum requirement for AMU students.



Professor Michael Waldstein video featured on St Peter’s List blog-site

In excerpts from a classroom lecture, Dr. Waldstein comments on  the importance of the Papal document Humanae Vitae in our understanding of the Theology of the Body.  



Ave Maria is Growing

Arthrex announces official ground-breaking for new $25 million light medical device manufacturing facility. 



AMU Women's Basketball Player Emily Huber Bikes for Multiple Sclerosis

Emily Huber of the Ave Maria University women's basketball team will bike from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington this summer as a cyclist in the "Bike the U.S. for MS" 2012 tour.



HHS Mandate Article in The Weekly Standard Quotes Jim Towey

On February 11, as the debate over the Obama administration’s rule forcing religious institutions to provide insurance for contraceptive and aborti-facient drugs to their employees was reaching fever pitch, a prominent American said:  



Combined Choirs Sing to Benefit Local Agricultural Workers

The combined voices of over 120 singers, accompanied by a full professional orchestra and world-class pianist, John Robilette, will perform a Back to Beethoven: An Epic Journey program of 19th century masterworks in Naples and Fort Myers March 24-25.



AMU Student Shares Pro-Life Perspective at UN Women’s Conference

AMU junior Isabel Avila offered one of the few pro-life perspectives last week at the UN's 56th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.



Dr. Burke Publishes Report on Cost of Bureaucratic Delay

AMU Assistant Professor of Economics, Dr. Joseph Burke, estimates the impact of one week of government-caused delay in the creation of a start-up business in Florida.



Jim Towey in Washington Post article on Bishops' Fight Against Mandate

Top U.S. Catholic bishops on Wednesday formally made their fight against a White House mandate for reproductive services the church’s top priority, saying “this struggle for religious freedom” demands their immediate attention.



(Video clips) Jim Towey Takes the HHS Mandate Fight to Washington, DC

Jim Towey is in Washington, DC to make the case in person for Ave Maria University's principled stand against the HHS contraception/sterilization mandate. After taping a radio interview yesterday afternoon with AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman, he appeared on EWTN's The World Over, Live with Raymond Arroyo. Earlier this morning he was interviewed live on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, and ahead on today's schedule are interviews by FOX News Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry, World Magazine's Washington Bureau chief Lee Pitts, and Fox News contributor Judd Berger.



Ave Maria University Statement on Lawsuit Against HHS

"It is a sad day when an American citizen or organization has no choice but to sue its 
own government in order to exercise



Two AMU Students Win National Competition

Two students from Ave Maria's BUSN 304 Marketing class (Roman Samuels and Mary Ladewski) earned a 10-week internship in Chicago as a



"Why Now is a Good Time for a Christian and Catholic Approach to Psychology."

This Friday at noon at the AMU Student Union, Dr. Paul Vitz, Professor and Senior Scholar at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences,



Washington Post quotes Jim Towey’s response to White House compromise

“I still don’t think President Obama gets it,” Towey added. “This is a fig-leaf of a political compromise that’s trying to have it both ways, to mollify women’s groups and so-called centrist Catholics. But I think fundamentally this is not the end of this debate, it’s just the beginning.”



White House defends contraception rules as criticisms mount

Jim Towey said Tuesday that Ave Maria University would fight the provision using "all lawful means at our disposal."



Ave Maria University to Fight HHS Mandate

Former White House Faith-Based Director Jim Towey Decries Attack on Religious Liberty.



Former Gov. Jeb Bush to Keynote at Ave Maria Commencement

Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University, announced today that Florida’s 43rd Governor, Jeb Bush, will address the Ave Maria University graduating class of 2012.



College Goal Sunday at AMU

Free expert advice from counselors providing information about Federal Financial aid for college students.



AMU Women's Basketball #21 in National Poll Released Today

The AMU women's basketball team has moved from #23 to #21 in the latest NAIA national poll released this afternoon.

The Lady Gyrenes improved to 21-4 overall and 8-1 in The Sun Conference following a pair of wins over Warner University and Webber International University last week. They share to top spot in the conference with St. Thomas University who is ranked #16 in the national poll. AMU will host STU (18-5 overall) in the final game of the regular season on February 18th. In their last meeting, STU won an overtime battle 80-71.

The #21 ranking is the highest for any sports team in AMU athletics' history for a NAIA national poll. The AMU women are also listed #1 in the USCAA national poll having won the national championship last season. 



Lady Gyrenes ranked No. 25 in NAIA Poll

Top Six Go Unchanged in NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll



Marion, Sokolowski, and the Possibility of Natural Theology

Catholic theology has traditionally recognized the possibility of knowing God by rational reflection on his created effects. This is what has come to be known as “natural theology.” The First Vatican Council (1869-1870) famously affirms the ability of human beings to know God through reason without the aid of supernatural revelation. But there are many – both Catholic and Protestant – who have questioned the possibility of natural theology or certain of its aspects for various reasons. In this paper I consider the challenges to natural theology posed by the work of the contemporary French philosopher and theologian Jean-Luc Marion and the contemporary American philosopher and theologian Robert Sokolowski. I try to show the weaknesses in their positions, which seem to deny – Marion rather categorically and Sokolowski with some qualifications – the natural human capacity to know God.



Chicago Fire Return to Ave Maria Friday

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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!

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

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.



2011 Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership

"Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) will present the 2011 Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership to four national Catholic leaders at a reception and dinner to be held Friday, November 11 at the Drexelbrook, in Philadelphia, PA."

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Ave Maria to offer 13 new programs

Ave Maria University plans to nearly double its program offerings next year in an effort to attract more students and continue expansion of the still-young school.



Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle interviews Jim Towey

President Jim Towey discusses formal Catholic recognition for AMU and the future role of Tom Monaghan

CLICK HERE to view interview!!!



Annual Aquinas Lecture a Success

Fr. John Baptist Ku, O.P., of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., delivered the annual Aquinas Lecture on Friday, October 28 in the Paul M. Henkels Academic Building. The Aquinas Lecture is sponsored by the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal of Ave Maria University. An overflow crowd of students and faculty attended the lecture, which was entitled "God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas."



Rabbi David G. Dalin speaks about his most recent book, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope

"Rabbi Dalin will focus on the efforts of Pope Pius XII to save the Jews in Europe during the Holocaust."

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Jon Scharfenberger remembered in the National Review Online

“As I stood waiting for the train back to Manhattan, I got word that Jon Scharfenberger, coordinator of Pregnant on Campus and campus-support coordinator for Students for Life of America, had died from injuries suffered in a car accident. He was born in 1989.”

This past week, I went to the wake of a woman who was born in 1925. As her son, Ed Mechmann, a New York lawyer who is active in the pro-life movement, wrote to friends, “Her family was with her at the end. It was a peaceful, holy death, of a good Christian woman.” On such occasions, at the passing of someone who lived a good and long life, you wish you could have present during her last days to ask questions — to download the wisdom of 86 years. But she leaves us her legacy in the dedication of her family, who cared for her in her final years, and who work tirelessly for church and community.

 s I stood waiting for the train back to Manhattan, I got word that Jon Scharfenberger, coordinator of Pregnant on Campus and campus-support coordinator for Students for Life of America, had died from injuries suffered in a car accident. He was born in 1989.

I still can hear Kristan Hawkins, executive director at Students for Life: “You’ve got to meet Jon, K-Lo. He’s awesome.” And when Kristan says “awesome,” she actually means the word seriously: self-sacrificial, a leader, tenacious in the cause of saving lives and helping others lead good ones. 

I never did manage to meet Jon, although I had connected a person or two to him during his short tenure at Students for Life. 

 Jon’s job was to be a conduit for support and healing, and he was part of a generation of builders. As one missionary (that’s the official title) with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at New York University put it to me recently, “We’re like the Early Church.” Shining a light, being beacons. Building. Educating. Not only walking the walk, but walking with their brothers and sisters — walking with people who may be lost without solid examples of successful marriages that make them feel capable of the same. 

Shunned and feeling totally alone when an unexpected pregnancy brings with it only the lie of the rhetoric of choice, young women — abandoned by boyfriend or husband, abandoned by family and friends — often see only one option. For these women, in pain and confusion, Jon and so many like him in this life-filled generation are offering good news, support, and their own witness. 

“One of the first nights after we had moved in,” Charles Atkinson tells me, “we stayed up late into the night discussing what the nature of the good life is.” Charles was Jon’s roommate last year at Ave Maria University in Florida. “This was the first of many conversations I had with Jon about finding happiness, what real success consists of, and following the will of God. Jon was dogged when it came to finding the right path and following it. He had a healthy discontent with the state of things both in his own life and in the culture around him, which led him to always search for more.” 

Explaining the position Jon would take with Students for Life of America — a non-lucrative and exhausting one, requiring hours of travel most weeks — Charles tells me that Jon wanted to “change the culture.” His job was dedicated to achieving a world without abortion, one campus at a time. 

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 46 percent of abortions are performed on women in college. During his short tenure at SFLA, Jon helped establish a pro-life group at Florida International University that had already kept one mother and child from joining that statistic. 

In addition to the Pregnant on Campus Initiative Jon was spearheading, SFLA and Feminists for Life have been working together to create a Pregnancy Resource Guide that will cover campuses nationwide. The aim is that no young woman will ever find herself alone on campus with no alternative but abortion. Child care, money — you name the obstacle, these groups seek to help in one way or another. 

Jon’s death came as the result of injuries sustained when his car was hit by another during a working weekend earlier this month. His colleague Kortney Blythe Gordon and her unborn child, Sophy, died that night. 

I met Kortney this summer, during a training weekend for SFLA Wilberforce fellows, named for the British parliamentarian and abolitionist leader. “Fellows” are college students who make a commitment and are given leadership training, mentors, and resources to be campus pro-life leaders. 

Mrs. Mechmann, living to age 86, saw a great deal — including years of cultural tumult. Jon and Kortney are two faces of a generation that I keep encountering throughout the country. They are occupying fully human lives, not forgetting their brothers and sisters, and not letting injustice go unaddressed. Jon and Kortney did not believe what young people of the Woodstock generation did, about radical individualism and wars of the sexes and entitlement. They, and those who survive them, want to live lives of responsibility, gratitude, and service — lives more rooted than endlessly searching. Many of them want God. They at least want to know there is truth. 

Jon didn’t embark on this “abortion abolition” business alone though — Charles is insistent on pointing that out. This gets to the heart of what motivated him and Kortney and others of this generation I’m talking about, and it is also what makes it possible for their family and friends to go on. “When Jon got up out of bed in the morning,” Charles tells me, he prayed. “Even if his body was barely awake, his spirit was pushing forward, drawing strength from his Lord.” The day ended in prayer, as well. 

Charles remembers Jon with the words from John 10:10, in which Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” “He always wanted more,” Charles tells me. “And wherever he went he carried a particular joy in his characteristic half smile, half smirk.” 

The long and the short of it is this: Jon’s, Kortney’s, and Mrs. Mechmann’s were three rich lives. We don’t know the day or the hour, but we don’t have to. As we get caught up in the headlines and all our daily challenges, these three lives can be an inspiration to a rededication, to living each coming moment to its fullest, with joy in service to one another.



AMU Alum - Matthew Grady Ordained to Transitional Diaconate

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Matthew Grady took a major step toward his dream of becoming a priest when he was ordained to the transitional diaconate during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome Oct. 6.

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Governor Scott Visits Ave Maria University

Governor Rick Scott visited AMU today and met with President Towey and discussed his agenda for higher education and the University’s record enrollment and growth. Governor Scott toured the campus and met with students, including Student Government President Alex Pince, and other members of the Ave Maria community. In addition, he visited Professor Joseph Burke’s Econometrics class and visited briefly with his students. Earlier in the day the Governor toured the Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, the K-12 school adjacent to the campus, and spoke with students there. On the visit, President Towey said, “It was great having the Governor on our campus and wonderful to see how interested he is in Ave Maria University and our students. I told him how important it was for the state to support private institutions like Ave Maria and I think today is the beginning of a wonderful dialogue with the Governor on the pressing issues in higher education in our state.

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Guest Lecture on Elizabeth Anscombe's Moral Philosophy

The philosophy of the late Elizabeth Anscombe, professor of philosophy at Cambridge University, literary executor of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and widely admired defender of the Church's teaching on contraception, was the subject of a lecture on Friday, Oct 15th, by Dr. Jose Maria Torralba, a professor of philosophy at the University of Navarre in Spain and currently a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago. 

Speaking on, "Anscombe's Moral Philosophy: Human Action, Moral Ought, and Practical Truth," Torralba explained some of the main themes in Anscombe's moral philosophy, including Anscombe's concern to reject consequentialism through a defense of the principle of double effect and a careful examination of the notion of "intention".  Torralba also explained how Anscombe made use of an account of what she called "brute facts" to criticize Hume's "is/ought" distinction. 

The morning following the lecture, Dr. Torralba met with students at the Bean for continued discussions.  Students included the participants in Dr. Pakaluk's "Advanced Readings" seminar, who had just been studying a paper by Anscombe for that class.


Dr. Jose Maria Torralba explains a fine point in Anscombe's moral philosophy at the Bean, while Andrew Davis, Leslie Nagel, Maureen Bielinski, and Will Hughes listen on.



Ave Maria Officially Recognized as a “Catholic University”

AVE MARIA – Today, Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in
Florida, made perhaps the most significant announcement in the history of Ave Maria
University. During the investiture ceremony for new Ave Maria University President H. James
Towey, Bishop Dewane announced that he grants recognition of Ave Maria University as a
Catholic University.


Ave Maria University Officially Recognized as a 'Catholic University'

The recognition of Ave Maria University as a Catholic University recognizes their commitment to continue to be guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church and faithfulness to the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae. (Catholic Online)

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Ave Maria Receives Official Recognition as a Catholic University

During the investiture ceremony for new Ave Maria University president H. James Towey, Bishop Dewane announced that he grants recognition of Ave Maria University as a Catholic university. (National Catholic Register)

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Lecture for the Inauguration by Dr. Michael Waldstein

Exemplary Father and Mother Figures for Ave Maria University
Lecture for the Inauguration of Jim Towey
as President of Ave Maria University, October 7, 2011
by Michael Maria Waldstein
Max Seckler Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University

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Ave Maria University Celebrated the Inauguration of H. James Towey

Ave Maria University officially declared a Catholic university at Inauguration of New President, H. James Towey

CLICK HERE to view Press Release!!!



Dr. Michael Waldstein Presents Archbishop J. Michael Miller Lecture

Ave Maria University’s Max Seckler Professor of Theology presents the Annual Archbishop J. Michael Miller Lecture at St. Thomas University in Houston on September 29.   

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Why we can't forget Sandy Koufax

Bio: David G. Dalin, a rabbi and a professor at Ave Maria University in Florida, is the coauthor (with Jonathan D. Sarna) of Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CBS News)



Biographer Joseph Pearce Discusses Critic of Communism

The professor of literature and writer-in-residence at Ave Maria University was recently interviewed following the reissue of his biography, "Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile" (Ignatius Press).

-Biographer Joseph Pearce Discusses Critic of Communism (  (



Ed H. Moore: Program helps Fla. veterans get college education

Our armed forces make incredible sacrifices for our nation and it is important our lawmakers and education community continue to create avenues that will promote access to learning opportunities for them. (

The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida is a statewide association of 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities and a significant amount of our member institutions participate in YRP, including Ave Maria University in Collier County and Hodges University in Lee County.



Dr. Louis Traina appointed New VP of Institutional Advancement

AVE MARIA, Fla. – (September 16, 2011) – H. James Towey, president of Ave Maria University announced today that Dr. Louis Traina has been appointed as the new Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

“He has experience in leading comprehensive campaigns and will be a key architect as Ave Maria University shapes our next advancement campaign. He is highly regarded in the Naples community and because he is a long-time resident of Southwest Florida, he will be able to hit the ground running,” Towey said.  Dr. Traina is stepping down at Hodges University from his posts as Vice President, Department of University Advancement, and Executive Director, Hodges University Foundation, where he has served since 1998 and where he established a development office and led the effort that raised tens of millions of dollars.

“I am looking forward to building on the great mission and vision that is evident in Ave Maria University. This was a tough decision from the beginning but my family gave me strong support in taking this step.  Looking back, I am grateful for the support of President McMahan and the confidence that he had in me,” commented Traina.  He indicated that he is very impressed by the challenge of the vision and mission of AMU. 

Traina will begin his tenure at AMU next month on October 7, 2011 the same day as the Inauguration of President H. James Towey as the second president of Ave Maria University. Traina is married and has two children.

About Ave Maria University

Ave Maria University (AMU) was founded in 2003 to provide a liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition.  To this end, the university was founded on the principles of the apostolic document Ex Corde Ecclesiae.  AMU is dedicated to the advancement of human culture, the promotion of dialogue between faith and reason, the formation of men and women in the intellectual and moral virtues of the Catholic faith, and the development of professional and pre-professional programs in response to local and societal needs.  The university features a broad range of undergraduate courses and programs ranging from the humanities to business administration. AMU also offers graduate degrees in Theology at the master’s and doctoral levels.  AMU has a total enrollment of more than 1,200 students (Florida campus, San Marcos, Nicaragua and the Institute for Pastoral Theology program) and has attracted students from 46 states and more than 31foreign countries.  Ave Maria University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges and Schools of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the American Academy of Liberal Education.



2012 Best Colleges Rankings

2012 Best Colleges Rankings Include New Schools (U.S. News and World Report)

This year, 147 schools have been added or were eligible to be part of the rankings for the first time.

Ave Maria University's ranking in the 2012 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, Tier 2.



Student essays reap rewards

Student essays reap rewards (

Mary Ruth Traver of Ave Maria in Collier County, a 2011 graduate of Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in the community near Immokalee, is one of the winners.



Ave Maria football

Ave Maria football to make history (
Saturday's college game will be first in SW Florida


Editorial: Ave Maria University ... Gyrenes line up to debut college football in Collier (Naples News)



Men's soccer

Men's soccer: Ave Maria doubles up Johnson & Wales (Naples News)

The Ave Maria University men's soccer team defeated Johnson & Wales, 4-2, on Sunday at home.



AMU Football

College football: Ave Maria takes field for first time in loss to Faulkner (Naples News)

College football: Ave Maria begins quest of first season (Naples News)

Wiregrass Ranch grad Prince commits to Ave Maria (



President Towey’s Inauguration

On October 7, 2011 H. James Towey will be inaugurated as the second president of Ave Maria University.

The Inaugural Liturgy will take place in the Ave Maria Oratory in Ave Maria, Florida at 10:00 AM.

The Investiture ceremony will begin at approximately 11:30 AM. H. James Towey's appointment as the new president of AMU was announced by the AMU Board of Trustees in February 2011.

His experience as president of St. Vincent College, Director of Faith-based and Community Initiatives for President George W. Bush, founder of the not-for-profit Aging with Dignity and attorney for Mother Teresa of Calcutta made him a superior choice for the post. The inauguration will maintain the reverence and modest environment typical of President Towey. The homilist for the Inaugural Liturgy will be Archbishop Wenski of Miami.



Dr. Pakaluk’s new book

New Book, "Accounting Ethics... and the Near Collapse of the World's Financial System," Provides Deep and Timely Insight into Business Ethics and the Financial Crisis (Bezinga)

Michael Pakaluk, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy and currently is the Chairman of the philosophy department at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida.



Pearce Article

The Vision of E.F. Schumacher (National Catholic Register)

Church social doctrine played a major role in the development of Small Is Beautiful. The Register takes a look at the work and the author 100 years after his birth.



Missionary Alumni

Griswold finds missionary work in campus program (The Catholic Miscellany)

Griswold, a member of St. Francis by the Sea Church and recent graduate of Ave Maria University, will work as a missionary at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.



Gifts of Priests

Charisma, conservatism gifts of newest priests (



Student Jim Torney

Braintree's Jim Torney puts on the gloves (

The former Braintree High School basketball standout is three classes away from obtaining his bachelor's degree from Ave Maria College, just outside of Naples, Fla.



College Goal Sunday at AMU

Free expert advice from counselors providing information about Federal Financial aid for college students.