The Ave Maria Gallery and history Museum now is open in the town center, offering visitors a chance to see an ecclectic mix of memorabilia and art from the personal collection of Tom Monaghan. Displays include Mr. Monaghan's conceptual sketches of the oratory, one of which (right) was done on a restaurant tablecloth.
Other displays include the World Series trophy won by the Detroit Tigers in 1984 when Mr. Monaghan owned the team as well as a number of items from Mr. Monaghan's business career, philanthropic endeavors, work with the Catholic Church and founding of the university and town of Ave Maria.
The museum offers an "interesting perspective on Ave Maria history" and will help bring visitors to the town, said Barron Collier Vice President Blake Gable.
There also are several paintings in the gallery that are for sale, with proceeds benefiting a fund for AMU student scholarships.
Most visitors seem primarily interested in the items from the life of Mr. Monaghan, according to volunteer Patti DeFelice who serves as a guide. "That's what they spend their time looking at," she said.
The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, and admission is free.
Above, the 1984 Detroit Tigers World
Series trophy is at left.