Ave Maria University
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Addresses AMU
On Sunday, October 30, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visited Ave Maria University to kick off the annual All Saints’ Day Celebration with a talk on Catholic values and the need for good political leadership.
The day started with a 10 a.m. Mass at the Ave Maria Parish, which the Governor attended with his wife, Casey, and 2 of their 3 children, Madison and Mason. Following Mass, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Thomas and Selby Prince Building for the Governor’s address. The event, hosted by Catholic Vote, began at 11:45 a.m. with remarks from AMU President Mark Middendorf and Catholic Vote President Brian Burch, who welcomed Gov. DeSantis to the stage.
When introducing the Governor, Burch talked about the importance of having good political leaders—like DeSantis—that stay true to the teachings of the Catholic Church, notably in the defense of life at all stages. “Our ideas are not true because they happen to be Catholic,” said Burch. “They are Catholic because they are true.”
During his time on the stage, Florida’s Governor talked about the importance of respecting the freedom of every individual and emphasized the significance of protecting our families. DeSantis also touched briefly on his commitment to promote laws that allow people to worship God freely.
Gov. DeSantis was essential in keeping the University open during COVID-19 and ensured his policies supported religious freedom and the sanctity of life.
“We learned—as did the entire country—during COVID, that teaching is done best when it is done in person. Thanks to the policies of Governor DeSantis, Ave Maria was able to reopen for in-person classes in the Fall of 2020. Only 9% of the universities across this great land can make that claim.”
–Mark Middendorf, AMU President
DeSantis joyfully recalled the time he came to Ave Maria University as a Lieutenant to recruit for the U.S. Navy about 15 years ago. “I remember that people were nice,” said DeSantis as he addressed the crowd. “It’s really remarkable how much [Ave Maria] has grown.”
The Governor’s address was later followed by AMU’s annual All Saints’ Day Celebration on campus. Students, faculty, and staff were able to enjoy a fun evening with live music and food, celebrating the Church Triumphant.
Ave Maria University thanks Catholic Vote for hosting this event, as well as Governor Ron DeSantis for coming down to Ave Maria with his family.
If you would like to support the formation of future authentic Catholic leaders, consider joining AMU’s Annunciation Circle: a community of members who support Ave Maria University through their prayers and monthly donations of $10 or more. You can learn more about Annunciation Circle here.