Tom Monaghan Scholarship Fund at AMU Surpasses $1 million
Supporters of Ave Maria University honored Tom Monaghan Wednesday night, toasting him with their glasses and opening their checkbooks to get a new scholarship fund named for the school's founder off to a strong start.
Published on Friday, 03 February 2012 16:36
The new Tom Monaghan Catholic Leaders Scholarship Fund has raised more than $1.4 million since it was established last fall, AMU President Jim Towey told about 400 supporters at a fundraising dinner at the Ritz Carleton Beach Hotel in Naples. About $625,000 was raised at the dinner alone, Mr. Towey said. (Right, Mr. Monaghan and Mr. Towey)
"I had no idea when I started this that we would fill the Ritz Carleton ballroom," Mr. Monaghan said.
"We have had a lot of dignitaries visit," Mr. Monaghan recalled, "and lots of cardinals. They all say the same thing: The Church needs Ave Maria."
These sentiments were reflected in the remarks of the guest speaker, William McGurn (left), a columnist for the Wall St. Journal, who reflected on the promise and hope "behind the Monaghan scholarships we endow tonight...that those who sweat and sacrifice to send their children here might do so confident that as as their sons and daughters learn, discover, and mature, they will do so amid the splendor of truth."
Too often, he said, he looks at a modern college campus and sees "the mediocrity of its aspirations."
"It is one thing, however, to fall short of standards," he said. "It is quite another to hold that there are no standards."
Ave Maria, on the other hand, he said is the type of school to which he would want his oldest daughter, who is approaching university age, to attend.
"I hope for an education that will leave her knowing the modern world better than it knows itself, an education that will help her rise above the modern world; in short, an education that will give her the wisdom and judgment to grab hold of this modern world of ours, to shake it to its very core, and to leave in its place a far better world than the one she found."
Entertainment at the dinner was provided by a 12-person vocal group from Ave Maria University as well as a surprise appearance by Franc d'Ambrosio, who starred for many years as the Phantom in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera.
Right, Mr. Monaghan is surprised at the dinner by a delivery from his new business venture, Gyrene Burger. AMU President Jim Towey had called in the order moments before.