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  • May 28, 2014 2:00 pm

    (Vice) Presidential Welcome

    Wednesday, 2:25 Cyprus Time
    In a village outside of Nicosia

    "I’ve got this," I thought, as I rode the bus into the capital. After interning at the State Department headquarters last spring, I thought that this new internship, at the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus’ capital, Nicosia, would start off pretty much the same. I expected the usual tours of the building, orientation,
     and introductions, then starting on my work as an intern. Simple.

    But not this time.

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  • May 5, 2014 12:17 pm

    Finals week! Final Blog of the academic year!

    Finals week!  Final Blog of the academic year!

    And if you are wondering why I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, here’s why. 

    First, I accepted an invitation by a senior student to be on his intramural basketball team.  The good news is that I played well enough that the opponent actually started to guard me.  The bad news is that I tore meniscus in my left knee and had minor surgery.  Lessons learned?  Probably none.  In fact I want to go out and play as soon as the rehab concludes.  But my wife Mary carefully reminds me that there is a reason why there isn’t a senior circuit for basketball like there is for golf. 

    So perhaps I scored my last points in competitive basketball (in a game, by the way, that we lost by two points).  But perhaps not.  How can I possibly go out on a loss?

    My stupidity in playing against athletes a third my age did not keep me from having a great couple of weeks that were as busy as you would expect.

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  • April 16, 2014 1:34 pm

    2014 President’s Award Finalists

    The season of Lent concludes today and our Ave Maria University community looks forward with great anticipation to the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil liturgies.  It is a time of grace, these days of mystery, and I am excited that this late Easter comes as the academic year reaches its crescendo.  So much is going on and our 199 graduates are getting ready for their big day May 10.

    As you students conclude your studies today and prepare for the holiest days of the year, and as the University closes until next week, I wanted to send you home with the news on the five finalists I have chosen for the President’s Award, our University’s highest honor for a student.

    I received scores of nomination letters and fortunately I had the assistance of three individuals who made recommendations to me after reviewing the qualifications of the nominees.  I am grateful for their help because this year’s nominees were all deserving of finalist status  I congratulate them all on their many accomplishments and extend my gratitude to all who sent to me a letter of nomination.  

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  • April 7, 2014 10:56 am

    Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, to Which College Shall I Go?

    Deciding on which college to attend is a difficult decision, trust me, I know. Choosing where you want to spend the next four important years of your life is a very daunting task. My decision process involved a lot of laying face down on the living room floor in indecisiveness. A lot of my friends had already picked what school they wanted to go to, which only added to the pressure. I know a lot of you seniors are getting down to the wire here, so I figured I would share what I learned in hopes to ease your final decision making process. And those of you who are juniors—keep this info in the back of your mind for next year!

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  • March 31, 2014 11:01 am

    Sabbath surprises and delights

    What a Sunday!

    The phone rang at my home Saturday and it was a member of the security detail of Governor Rick Scott saying that he would be coming to Ave Maria University on a swing through the area.  I invited the Governor to join Mary, my family and me for the 10AM Mass, and sure enough, he came.


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  • March 25, 2014 8:46 am

    Today’s newspaper


    For those with a Naples Daily News online subscription, view the opinion piece here: naplesnews.com

  • March 24, 2014 10:14 am

    A new “edict of toleration” is needed

    Tomorrow will be the highlight of our 10th year anniversary celebrations as we gather as a university community to celebrate our patronal feast, the Annunciation. 

    We are Our Lady’s university, and the beautiful bas relief on the front of the Oratory reminds us each day of Mary’s “yes” to God, her breathtaking humility and her unfailing trust of and invincible love for Jesus.  We will have Mass at 5pm followed by our annual steak dinner on the mall (weather permitting, otherwise we move inside).  And then some musical entertainment will follow to cap off the night.  I look forward to having our student body and University community together for this joyful occasion.

    Divine Providence has chosen the feast of the Annunciation in 2014 as the day when the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the Obama administration’s unlawful health insurance mandate.  Ave Maria University filed a federal lawsuit against this mandate because it requires religious employers like us to be complicit with the government’s efforts to make abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and other contraceptive services available for free to our employees under the health plans we offer. 

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  • March 23, 2014 4:37 pm

    Spring Break: Mother Teresa Style

    This spring break Ave Maria students went out on mission trips to Haiti, Mexico City, Jamaica, and Destin, Florida to do service work. This is the first round of mission trips with the Mother Teresa Project. With launch of the new Mama T Project, we went out to put her teachings into action and follow in her footsteps of giving ourselves in service.

    Today we had a Service Learning retreat, and all the spring break mission groups came to share their stories. I’m finally getting a chance to blog about my spring break experience after catching up on my sleep and homework this week. Along with six other students, I went on the trip up to Destin for Habitat for Humanity. I had never done Habitat for Humanity before, so I was super excited to get to work on a house for someone. After packing up our van (the Holy Roller) we set off on the nine hour drive up to Destin. We met up with students from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of South Florida; they joined our group for the week. That Sunday, we went to Mass together and then hit up the gorgeous beach to relax and play football in the sand.

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  • March 5, 2014 1:57 pm

    Ash Wednesday and spring break

    Ash Wednesday and spring break. 

    At first blush, it seems like a terribly odd convergence today.  The liturgical season of Lent and the annual rite of spring where college kids flock to the Florida beaches (including those thirty-five minutes from our campus!) seem to go together about as well as tanning oil and holy water.  Change and repentance with recreation and revelry?  You are “dust and unto dust you shall return” one minute and “eternally young” the next?

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  • February 27, 2014 1:56 pm

    What a week at Ave Maria!

    What a week at Ave Maria!

    We had our annual scholarship dinner last Thursday and it was a huge success!  Four hundred people crowded into the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton on Naples beach and the dinner probably was our best yet.  Fittingly enough for our tenth anniversary as a University, Ave Maria conferred an honorary doctorate on our founder, Tom Monaghan.   It came as a complete surprise to him and we were thrilled that his wife of 51 years, Marge, was there by his side as Chairman of the Board of Trustees Michael Timmis hooded Tom. The photo below says it all.


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