AMU to Build $11 Million Academic Building in Honor of Mother Teresa of Calcutta


AVE MARIA, Fla. (November 3, 2016) — Ave Maria University announced today its plan to build a new $11 million academic building in honor of Mother Teresa of Calcutta that will house the University’s nursing program and provide venues for the performing arts.

The new academic building will provide over 37,000 square feet of space for classrooms, a nursing laboratory, 13 private offices for faculty, and staff space for Campus Ministry and the Mother Teresa Project. The building also will include a permanent home for the Mother Teresa Museum, as well as a 400-seat performance hall and a 125-seat auditorium with a thrust stage. The auditorium is designed for AMU’s nationally-acclaimed Shakespeare productions that take place annually under the direction of Dr. Travis Curtright, chairman of AMU’s Department of Humanities. The auditorium also will accommodate academic lectures, students on retreat, and groups who visit the museum.

Ave Maria University will host a ceremonial groundbreaking on Friday, November 11th at 11:45 a.m. to commemorate the construction of phase one of the new academic building. The University has raised over $6.5 million to fund the costs of phase one which will consist of the construction of the main structure of the building and the completion of the interior of the wing that houses the auditorium. The final phase of construction will commence once the remaining funding has been secured. The new academic building will be located on the main quad of the campus, north of the Paul M. Henkels Academic Building and east of the Bob Thomas Student Union.

“This is a great day for Ave Maria University and our community,” said Jim Towey, president of the University. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the many trustees and donors who believe in our mission to provide an authentic and affordable Catholic liberal arts education.” Chairman of the Board of Trustees Michael Timmis added, “It is entirely fitting that we will be breaking ground on a building that will house America’s only Mother Teresa Project and museum at the very time the Vatican has declared her a modern-day saint. It was Tom Monaghan’s dream from day one that Ave Maria University would graduate students who would follow in the footsteps of the saints, and these new facilities will help enable that.”
The ceremonial groundbreaking on November 11th will be attended by Mr. Monaghan and other trustees and friends of the University, as well as members of AMU’s student body, faculty, and staff. Phase one construction will begin in early 2017 when the permitting process is completed, and should be completed by year’s end.

AMU was founded in 2003 and occupied a temporary site in Naples, Florida until it moved to its permanent campus in the fall of 2007. The new academic building will be the first construction project at AMU since the Tom Golisano Field House was completed in 2010. The additional academic space to be provided will support the 70% growth in undergraduate student enrollment at AMU since the spring semester of 2011. AMU has 1,102 students, including 1,042 undergraduates, offers 33 majors as well as graduate studies in Theology, and has 92 faculty members, 67 of whom are full-time. Students from 45 states and 20 countries comprise a student body that is approximately 85% Catholic, 25% minority, and evenly-divided between men and women. AMU’s state-of-the-art campus includes residence halls with a capacity for 1,300 students and rests on a tract of over 300 acres. AMU’s affordability is unmatched among its peers with fall 2017 tuition and fees remaining under $20,000, and virtually every student receiving generous scholarships to offset much of these costs.

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