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Paul Henkels Academic Buiilding Dedicated at Ave Maria

Paul Henkels was remembered Friday for his generosity and strong support for Ave Maria University, which has named its academic building in his honor.

Addressing a large gathering in the auditorium of the Paul M. Henkels Academic Building, AMU Chancellor recalled how he had valued the support he received from Mr. Henkels for more than 20 years, from the early days of  Legatus through the difficult years of transition from Ave Maria College in Michigan to Ave Maria University in Florida.  "Whenever you had a problem, he was always front and center," Mr. Monaghan said.

Mr. Henkels, a successful businessman from the Philadelphia area, had been associated with Ave Maria University and Ave Maria College in Michigan since their beginnings. He was a strong supporter of many educational institutions and was chair of the Ave Maria University board of trustees when he died last year.

With 30 members of the Henkels family gathered in the building's auditorium, Barbara Henkels spoke of her late husband's enduring enthusiasm for Ave Maria University and all those dedicated to its success.

"Paul was on many boards," Mrs. Henkels said, "but here was his abiding interest."

"He always loved those who stood up for the truth and practiced the corporal and spiritual works of mercy," she added. "That's exemplified by what goes on  at this university." (Right, Mrs. Henkels speaking at the dedication. Behind her is an image of Mr. Henkels. To her left, in the aisle, one of her 21 grandchildren present.)

henkels5aMrs. Henkels was accompanied to the building's dedication by her nine children and 21 of her 29 grandchildren who came from Rhode Island, Maryland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Massachusetts and Philadelphia. (Left, one of the Henkels grandchildren, Theo Gorman, signing the guest book following the dedication.)

University President Nick Healy and the Dean of Faculty, Michael Dauphinais, also expressed their gratitude to Mr. Henkels and shared remembrances of him.

Mr. Healy praised Mr. Henkels for living a life so full of good works that when he died "It took two hours to walk past his casket." Dr. Dauphinais noted that through the generosity of the Henkel family, "the great conversation" engendered by the various academic disciplines would be able to "continue in this building."

 The Henkels foundation donated $5 million to Ave Maria university, one of the school's largest single gifts.

Below, the Henkels family gathered outside the Paul M. Henkels Academic Building following the dedication.





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