Contributions of AMU Community Acknowledged at Former AMU Nicaragua Campus
Published on Sunday, 16 March 2014 13:23
The Ave Maria University name may be gone from its former Latin American campus in Nicaragua, but it won't be forgotten.
That was clear at a celebration in late February of the campus's grand opening under its new owners, Keiser University.
Keiser University Chancellor Arthur Keiser paid special tribute to several members of the Ave Maria University community who were long-time supporters of the Latin American campus.
Dr. Keiser unveiled busts (pictured above) of three of them – Tom Monaghan, Gigi Daniels and Henry Howard – which are in the school's new library, a structure that was made possible through a gift of Mr. Howard and is named for his parents.
"It started out as kind of a sad day for Ave Maria," said Ave Maria resident Richard Hailer, an Ave Maria resident who attended the ceremony, "But it turned happy with Dr. Keiser's announcement that he would guarantee that the campus would keep its Catholic identity – which prompted cheers and a standing ovation from students and parents."
Former AMU Development VP Carole Carpenter, who also attended the ceremony along with Mrs. Daniels and Mr. Hailer, said she believes the campus is in good hands and that Dr. Keiser cares deeply about its Catholic culture and spiritual traditions.
Mrs. Carpenter said Dr. Keiser made four pledges: 1) To beautify the campus, which she said he has done; 2) To retain all faculty and staff who wanted to stay; 3) To establish programs abroad for the students at the Nicaraguan campus; 4) To keep the culture and identity of the campus Catholic. (Pictured, a shrine to the Virgin Mary on campus, donated by Mrs. Daniels)
Ave Maria acquired the Latin American campus in 2000 from the University of Mobile and divested the campus in 2013 to Keiser University, a private, not-for-profit University basede on the east coast of Flordia, serving nearly 20,000 students pursuing doctoral through associate degrees on 17 campuses, online and internationally, employing 3,500 staff and faculty.