With over 300 guests in attendance, including the Board of Trustees, President Jim Towey, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, various faculty, administration, staff, students, and friends of the University, Ave Maria’s 7th Annual Scholarship Dinner, “Welcome to the Renaissance,” was truly a night to remember.
Candle-lit tables, stacks of books, and themed decor transported guests to an evening in the Renaissance
The Scholarship Dinner on Thursday, February 15th, opened with a cocktail hour accompanied by a student juggling act, after which guests streamed into the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples, Florida. Bishop Dewane offered an opening prayer to the bless the evening’s food and happenings. Festivities were sprinkled throughout the night in the form of a performance of the National Anthem by the AMU Chamber Choir, a special show from the Shakespeare in Performance Troupe, student testimonies, an operatic solo by AMU junior Matheus Bressan, and, of course, great company, fantastic food, and good cheer.
President Towey offered introductory remarks, including an announcement of the official naming of the new academic building as it nears completion of phase one. In honor of one of AMU’s trustees and his wife, who together made a major gift to the University, it will be called The Thomas and Selby Prince Building.
Keynote Speaker Arthur Brooks urged Scholarship Dinner guests to “disrupt” the culture
There were numerous unforgettable moments at AMU’s 7th Scholarship Dinner, but for many the highlight was hearing from keynote speaker Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute and Trustee of the University. In his address, Dr. Brooks called upon those gathered to “disrupt” the current culture’s destructive tendencies. Among the three ways Dr. Brooks identified in which we can disrupt the current culture was the answering of the world’s contempt with love. “Our culture is destructive, and we need people to disrupt it,” he said. “We need to create and support institutions that teach disruptive practices,” Dr. Brooks went on. “And that’s why I’m here tonight. That’s why I’m involved with Ave Maria University.”
“Welcome to the Renaissance” was a fitting theme for this year’s annual Scholarship Dinner, particularly in light of Dr. Arthur Brooks’ keynote address. The Renaissance (from the French, re, meaning “again,” and naissance, meaning “birth”) was a time of revival, a time of bringing back the culture and life of an earlier time. Similarly, Dr. Brooks was calling upon the evening’s guests to adopt an attitude, a way of life which we, as a culture, once had, but have now lost. Our world is in desperate need of a Catholic Renaissance, a revival of communities living out joy and peace, faith, hope, and love.
Students at AMU are filled with joy and being formed to “disrupt” the culture
Ave Maria University, with its commitment to the Church’s teachings and guided by the apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, is undertaking just such a Catholic Renaissance. AMU works to foster these virtues among its members, forming them to be disciples of Jesus, equipped and eager to go out and disrupt the world. The evening concluded with closing remarks from Brian Couch, Vice President of Advancement, and a prayer from Fr. John Ludden.
Judging from the talent, wit, and faith on display at the 7th Annual Scholarship Dinner, the community of Ave Maria University is well on its way towards achieving a Catholic Renaissance. Watch the highlight video from this year’s Scholarship Dinner to see for yourself, and be sure to mark your calendars for AMU’s 8th annual Scholarship Dinner on February 14th, 2019!