“The friends I’ve made will last a lifetime, and the memories I’ve made just as long,” Michael Dauphinais, AMU senior, says with confidence about his four years here. He’s earned the right to such confidence, seeing as he started out his freshman year as a skeptic. “My parents made me attend for my freshman year, but they said they would support me transferring after that if I so chose,” he shares. Michael’s family lives in the town of Ave Maria. Although he had to be persuaded to begin college at AMU, after one year, he learned to find a home of his own at the University. “I chose to stay at AMU…because it gave me the opportunity to build lasting friendships, develop relationships, and hone the skills I would need for future success. … The people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made, and the mentors and role models I’ve learned from have made my AMU experience so wonderful.”
A large reason why so many find a home at AMU is the lasting friendships that are formed here. Another reason is the integrated lifestyle the University offers—a balance between academics, service, faith, and fun that strikes a chord with so many students. For example, as a Politics and Humanities major, Michael seamlessly integrated his academic interests with his extracurricular activities. He served as Sophomore Class Representative and Vice President for the Student Government Association. He was also a two-time member of Ave Maria University’s Shakespeare in Performance, playing a Sea Captain in the 2014 production of What You Will, and just finishing up as Antigonus in the 2016 production run of The Winter’s Tale. (“I was awarded the honor of Most Gruesome Off-Stage Death for my performance in the latter,” he adds.) Michael found time to develop two other loves—chess and weightlifting—on the side.
When it comes down to it, though, the four years of college are about receiving a quality education. What is one of Michael’s favorite memories from the classroom? “There’s nothing quite like doing your Moot Court during Constitutional Law with Dr. Seana Sugrue,” he answers. He couldn’t have picked a more classic Ave experience. The Moot Court exercise, with Dr. Sugrue presiding, is like a rite of passage for AMU politics majors. “The pure fear that you experience standing in front of the bench, the adrenaline-fueled flurry of argument and debate, and the proportionally sweet relief that you experience when you’re done are all unrepeatable,” Michael explains.
Armed with a wide and balanced foundation, hallmarks of a university education with a strong liberal arts core, Michael accepted a one-year teaching fellowship at the Rhodora J. Donahue Academy. Come the fall, he will be teaching 10th grade Rhetoric, 9th grade Logic and Geometry, and quite possibly a few “fun” electives. (“Sports and Culture. American Military History, or something fun like that,” he says.) He was accepted to the University of Michigan Law School and will matriculate there in the summer of 2017.
As for the far future? “I’d love to practice corporate litigation in Detroit and eventually transition into public service by running for office,” Michael shares. “AMU has given me the skills I need to flourish in my future career: I’ve sharpened my writing, improved my public speaking, and developed my reading comprehension. … I had no choice but to hone the natural talent I was given at birth.”