On a recent Saturday morning, a project becoming known as The Ave Homes brought a spot of brightness to a community still reeling in the aftermath of a tremendous natural disaster.
30 Habitat for Humanity homes in Immokalee, Florida, were dedicated at a ceremony on Saturday, January 20th. Three of these homes, The Ave Homes, were built in partnership with The Mother Teresa Project at Ave Maria University by funds raised by Steve Auth, Wall Street Executive and friend of AMU.
Mr. Auth owns a seasonal home in Naples, Florida. After Hurricane Irma passed through the area in early September 2017, Mr. Auth was struck by the damage suffered in the town of Immokalee, which is located ten minutes from Ave Maria, Florida. He reached out to his friends and colleagues, quickly raising enough money to build new homes. Through a connection with a student at Ave Maria University, Mr. Auth partnered with The Mother Teresa Project and Habitat for Humanity to help coordinate the volunteer labor and logistics required to make this dream a reality.
Much of the work put into building The Ave Homes was done by AMU students. Athletic teams, faith households, RAs, and individual students signed up to volunteer their free time to frame, put up siding, and paint homes built to last. Mr. Auth and his wife, Evelyn, also devoted many of their weekends to work alongside the volunteers building homes. On January 20th, the donors, volunteers and homeowners all came together to celebrate the accomplishment. At the Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony, each family was presented with a housewarming basket, and the homes were blessed. AMU student volunteers also had an opportunity to tour the completed homes and meet the grateful families.
Immokalee Rebuilds, the collaborative project between Mr. Auth, Habitat for Humanity, and Ave Maria University, has already begun construction on a fourth home. The project’s operating motto echos the words of Mother Teresa: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Two AMU student volunteers (in the official bright blue Immokalee Rebuild t-shirts) stand for a group picture with Steve Auth, at center, the Wall Street Executive who funded The Ave Homes project, and the new residents.
Earlier this month eight AMU students set out to the airport for a 5-day mission trip to Haiti with the Missionaries of Charity. Over the course of a week, they had an intense service experience focused on prayer. The students in Haiti worked alongside Mother Teresa’s congregation of sisters at their compound in Port-au-Prince, served in the Children’s Home, and accompanied the sisters as they traveled to other cities and attended to men, women and children in need.
Mrs. Mary Towey, wife to President Towey, led the annual mission trip to Haiti, which was just one among the many places where our students have the opportunity to serve. Other mission trips offered this year through the Mother Teresa Project (MTP) include Calcutta, Washington, D.C., Dominican Republic, New Mexico, Mexico City, and Uganda.
As with all the MTP mission trips, our students in Haiti attended daily Mass and adoration. They journaled about and shared with one another the transforming power of the experience of service. AMU alumnus Ethan Bertrand (‘16) says that his time in Haiti was incredible. “It was really inspiring to spend time with the Sisters who dedicate their entire lives to serving the poorest of the poor and still manage to let the Joy of Christ radiate from them constantly,” he shares. Going on: “It changes your perspective on poverty to see it all firsthand, and I think the experience did just as much, if not more, to help me grow in faith as it helped the people there.”
The MTP mission trips are an opportunity for students to broaden their horizons, grow in self-knowledge, discover the dignity of each and every person, and encounter the loving face of Jesus in the poor. Through the Mother Teresa Project, Ave Maria University students have opportunities to serve at home as well as abroad. Some of the local agencies AMU students volunteer with include Habitat for Humanity, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Immokalee, Immokalee Soccer School, Immokalee Housing and Family Services, and Harbor Chase Memory Care Center. To learn more, visit MotherTeresaProject.org.
|The March for Life Rally will take place in Washington D.C. on Friday, January 19th. Join us, from 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM EST at the National Mall. The March for Life will begin at 1:00 PM EST. Ave Maria University students, alumni, family and friends will be meeting up at the Rally at 11:30 AM EST at the corner of 14th and Constitution. Keep an eye out for the Ave Maria University banners and our new blue and green striped winter hats. We would love to have you March with Ave. Immediately following the March for Life, alumni and friends will head to The Dubliner (4 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001) for fellowship and celebration.
For additional information, contact Sophia Mick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 908-2414.
|If you are unable to join us in Washington D.C., show your support of Ave Maria’s ProLife initiatives by giving a gift, click here to Donate Now.
Fr. Matthew Lamb’s funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday at 10am in the Ave Maria Parish Church. 60-90 minutes prior to the start of the Mass the casket will be present in the Church for those who wish to pray with Father’s mortal remains or say a final farewell.
Classes are officially in session on Wednesday, but anyone who wishes to attend the funeral has permission to do so. The expectation for both students and faculty is that those who wish to attend the funeral will attend (or hold) as much class as possible prior to the funeral and return to class as soon as possible after it has ended.
Our beloved priest and graduate theology professor, Fr. Matthew Lamb passed away at 3am on Friday, the 12th of January. He passed after a rapid decline due to complications from blood clotting in his lungs and underlying pulmonary fibrosis. He was well-informed about the gravity of his situation, had received Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion several times, and spoke peacefully and openly about his desire to meet Jesus.
Every January, the staff, faculty and, most especially, the students of Ave Maria University become the voice for the University community at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. This past year was no exception as over 200 members of our University joined the ranks of Marchers, despite the cold of a record breaking winter. These 200 students, faculty, and staff were part of a peaceful protest that drew nearly half a million people from all over the United States looking to lend their voices to urge our government to abolish abortion from this country.
As usual, The March for Life was an excused absence from class for all Ave Maria University’s students attending with the University group. The University chooses to allow for this two-day absence to emphasize how important the fight for a Culture of Life is to the very mission of the University. In the spirit of Pope St. John Paull II and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Ave Maria University seeks to promote a Culture of Life which cares for the most vulnerable of our society from conception to natural death.
As can be heard in the resounding chants of her students at the March, Ave Maria University believes that the dignity of each person should be upheld not just by the Church, but all of society. Since life is a gift from God, every human is sacred and must be treated as such in any condition. By attending this March, Ave Maria University takes a stand to always defend the rights of those threatened by the culture of death, whether it’s the unborn, the disabled, the infirmed, or those at the end of their lives.
Like previous years, this mass pilgrimage to the U.S. capital from Ave Maria, Florida was entirely organized by the students of Ave Maria University, specifically Ave for Life; the University’s pro-life initiative and largest student organization. Ave for Life organized for three buses to transport these 200 students (almost 20% of the student population) over 1,000 miles to Washington D.C. This dynamic group of students was able to raise enough funds to cover all food and lodging costs for all the students traveling to Washington.
As is evident, everyone at Ave Maria University who was involved in the 2017 March for Life spent a great amount of energy to bring this event about. However, as usual, the established media chose to treat this large scale demonstration very minimally, or in some cases, pay no attention to it at all. One may ask why Ave Maria continues to be a part of an event that receives little attention due to biased reporting. What good can come of it?
In fact, a great deal of good has already come of it. According to the Washington Post, 53% of Americans ages 18-34 believe that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. This is a staggering number compared to the generation that was this age when Roe vs. Wade was passed. The students of Ave Maria University belong to a generation that believes it is becoming more and more likely that abortion will be abolished in this generation’s lifetime. This is why Ave marches. As AMU Junior Blair Harbison put it, “We believe that one day abortion will be seen as the evil that it truly is, and we hope to be remembered as the generation that stood for what they believed in and became the voice for the voiceless.”
AVE MARIA, Fla. (January 11, 2018) — Ave Maria University announced today that the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, will be commencement speaker at this year’s graduation exercises
“It is a great privilege to have America’s top education official address the Class of 2018, and our entire campus community looks forward to welcoming her with joy in May,” said Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University. “Secretary DeVos is a passionate advocate for children in America and their right to a quality education, and the common-sense initiatives she has undertaken in her first year overseeing higher education in America merit our gratitude,” he added. President of the AMU Student Government Association, Stephen Akers, echoed Towey’s enthusiasm. “Having Secretary DeVos on our campus is a true honor for our graduates and Ave Maria’s students will receive her with all of the excitement and gratitude she so richly deserves,” he commented.
Chairman of the Ave Maria University Board of Trustees Michael Timmis believes Secretary DeVos’ choice of the University buttresses the campus’ growing national profile, and praised her selection. “Secretary DeVos recognizes the rights and importance of faith-based institutions of higher education in America,” he stated. “Her message will surely resonate with our graduates on their special day.”
Ave Maria University’s commencement takes place on May 5, 2018 at 10AM in the Tom Golisano Field House. Approximately 250 undergraduate and graduate students are expected to receive degrees at this year’s ceremony, the 11th on the University’s permanent campus, and 14th overall. Past commencement speakers have included former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; entrepreneur Dan D’Aniello; Florida Governor Rick Scott; The Wall Street Journal columnist and author Peggy Noonan; Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington; President of the American Enterprise Institute Dr. Arthur Brooks; and His Eminence Sean Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston.
Ave Maria University is a Catholic liberal arts college situated in Southwest Florida with approximately 1,100 students from 45 states and 24 countries, and offers concentrations of study in 34 majors as well as both a Master and Doctoral program in theology. AMU’s average class size of 20, 85% Ph.D. instruction, net out-of-pocket costs for tuition, fees, room and board of about $20,000, and low average student debt for graduates, make the University one of the best value propositions in all of academia. Recently ranked as one of the top 25 colleges in the South and the third best in Florida by the Washington, D.C.-based research firm WalletHub.com, Ave Maria University has the nation’s only Mother Teresa of Calcutta project and museum in her honor. This academic year scores of AMU students will travel on mission trips to India, Uganda, Haiti, Mexico, France and the Dominican Republic, as well as serve the poor in the nearby farmworker community of Immokalee.
CONTACT: Brian Couch; Vice President of Advancement; (239) 280-1695; email@example.com
Senior Matt Peterson gives a glimpse into what it’s like to be a Residence Assistant.
Q: First, the details. Where are you from, and what are you studying?
A: I am from Bedford, New Hampshire and I am studying accounting with a minor in Latin.
Q: So, why did you want to be an RA?
A: I wanted to be an RA because I saw the impact my RAs had on me, and I wanted to have the same sort of impact on other students. Having transferred into Ave halfway through my sophomore year, I understand that the transition to college can be challenging and awkward at times, but the RAs were always there to aid with that transition. I’s satisfying knowing that now I can be that for other students.
Q: What have you learned from being an RA?
A: I’ve learned that every single person truly is unique and comes from a different walk of life. This definitely helps me handle situations with a less judgmental mindset, knowing that when a student is acting out or being unsociable, it has much deeper roots than what I see.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an RA?
A: Aside from the lack of sleep, the most challenging part of being an RA is stepping outside of my comfort zone, whether it be to connect with a student who wants nothing to do with me, or handling an incident.
Q: What makes Residence Life at Ave so awesome?
A: The people. Not just the residents, but also the other RAs, who are carefully and prayerfully grouped with one another to make the most perfect fit possible for each of the dorms.
At Ave Maria University, each residence hall is served by a Residence Director, a live-in full-time staff member who plays a critical role in the lives of the students in their residence halls. Residence Directors are assisted by a team of Resident Assistants (RAs), students who are hired for their leadership skills and heart of service.
Ave Maria University is excited to announce that it is now a participating institution in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), which sets national standards for postsecondary distance-learning programs. SARA works to lower the costs and increase the opportunities associated with students taking college-level online courses from institutions operating in other states.
Approved participation in SARA is good news for Ave Maria University, which launched its first distance-learning program, JumpStart, in August 2017. JumpStart offers high school juniors and seniors the chance to enroll in highly affordable, fully accredited college-level courses, taught by Ave Maria University professors and offered entirely online. When enrollment for JumpStart first opened, its offerings were limited to Florida residents alone, but the expansion of course offerings and extension of the program to students in other states was always part of the long-term plan. With its approved participation in SARA, Ave Maria University is now in a position to move forward and open up the benefits of JumpStart to high school students nationwide. “Ave Maria University’s new Jumpstart program provides a wonderful opportunity for high school and homeschool students to earn college-level course credit from one of the finest classical liberal arts curricula available,” says Director of Admissions Karen Full. “We are thrilled to offer these affordable, online courses to students from all over the country.”
SARA is a voluntary agreement among participating states to a set of national standards for distance-learning programs with the goal of making it easier for students to take courses from institutions that are based in another state. SARA, which is overseen by a National Council, began inviting states to become members in January 2014. States become members through a process overseen by their regional compact. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), of which Florida is a member, approved Florida to join SARA as the 48th state member in August 2017. Once Florida was established as a member of SARA, the Florida-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (FL-SARA) opened up the application process in October 2017 for institutions such as Ave Maria University to seek approval to become participants in FL-SARA.
Starting next year, Ave Maria University will be able to offer more distance-learning courses, all available to students nationwide. High school students across the country will soon be able to reap the benefits of AMU’s online program, JumpStart, which is one step closer to the ultimate goal of offering more students access to quality Catholic postsecondary education at an affordable price. Registration for JumpStart is now open online for classes beginning January 8th, 2018.
“Joining SARA is a big step for Ave Maria,” says JumpStart Academic Coordinator Dr. Gabriel Martinez. “Not only does this allow us to serve almost the entire country, but also SARA institutions commit themselves to the highest standards in online education. By joining SARA, we are committing ourselves to developing high-quality, academically rigorous online programs in a manner that fulfills our mission and serves society.”
What’s the next best thing to experiencing a night on Broadway? Experiencing it without traveling to NYC! Broadway’s bright lights and magic came to life on AMU’s campus during the 2017 run of the Drama Club’s annual Night on Broadway performance.
The group of students who performed in this year’s Night on Broadway showcased songs from a variety of musicals, including Mary Poppins and The Drowsy Chaperone, Evita, and Wicked. Some in the audience were transported back to their childhood by Broadway classics like The Sound of Music and Footloose. Others had the opportunity to hear music from more recent productions, such as Anastasia, or the 2017 Tony Award-Winning musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Throughout it all, the joy and camaraderie of the group of student performers was clearly visible, and the fun they had while sharing their talents overflowed into the audience.
A Night on Broadway was initiated by Ave Maria University students looking to make use of their talents in a joyful experience of the arts on campus. Rachel Wisely, student director of this year’s show comments after the fact, “I was told several times that this was ‘the best Cabaret yet.’” Rachel was joined by students Rebecca Felix (assistant director), Erin Koehler (choreographer), and Zachary Rappley (orchestra director), in addition to the team of singers and dancers who put in hours of rehearsal to pull off the Drama Club’s 2017 Night on Broadway. “I am very proud of the cast and of my work as a director,“ Rachel shares. “It’s amazing how collaborative, artistic work pulls together!”
The AMU Drama Club, which has over 35 active members, is one of the largest clubs on campus. The club organizes and puts on at least one student-run production each semester. If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, contact the club’s staff advisor, Rachel Flowers.
Students looking to major in Marine Biology now have that opportunity at Ave Maria University.
“We’re in a very unique location,” says Dr. Nicholas Curtis, Assistant Professor of Biology and chair of the department. Ave Maria University is located less than 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Directly South of campus lie the Ten Thousand Islands, and just beyond that, the Florida Keys. We are adjacent to Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and more. “We have access to unique marine and ecological environments which can really only be experienced in Southwest Florida,” Dr. Curtis explains. “We decided to take advantage of our location.”
Starting spring 2018, the Department of Biology will offer courses for the Marine Biology (B.S.) major and minor. These new courses, such as General and Chemical Oceanography (BIO 310), and Animal Physiology (BIO 403), will explore the environment and how it interacts with fisheries and oceans. “Students who study Marine Biology at Ave Maria University,” Dr. Curtis says, “will receive a strong core in science and, within that, a focus on the marine environment.”
Who might study Marine Biology? For starters, anyone interested in teaching, research, or industry consulting in the fields of marine biology or marine ecology will benefit from this new major. Likewise, students who seek government employment in the National Park Service or Fish and Wildlife Service will find that the comprehensive Marine Biology major is designed to meet their needs.
In the words of Robert Wyland, renowned marine life artist, “The world’s finest wilderness lies beneath the waves.” What are you waiting for? Check out the Major in Marine Biology today!