Librarian of Congress James Billington to be Honored by AMU, Address Class of 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Commencement Will Be Held May 10
(March 6, 2014, AVE MARIA, FL) ---Librarian of Congress James Hadley Billington will be the commencement speaker this spring at Ave Maria University, Jim Towey, the university’s president, announced today.
“This remarkable man is one of the nation’s pre-eminent scholars, and when you consider the fact that he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and has served for 26 years at the helm of the Library of Congress, his ability to transcend the partisanship in Washington is simply amazing,” Towey said.
The University’s 10th Commencement Exercises for an expected 198 undergraduate and graduate students of the Class of 2014 will be held on Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. in the Golisano Fieldhouse on campus. The University will confer an honorary doctorate on Dr. Billington in recognition of his exemplary public service and lifetime achievements at home and abroad.
Dr. Billington was sworn in as the Librarian of Congress on September 14, 1987 and is the 13th person to hold the position since the Library was first established in 1800.
Born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., Dr. Billington was educated in the public schools of the Philadelphia area. He was class valedictorian at both Lower Merion High School and Princeton University, where he graduated with highest honors in 1950. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College. Following service with the U. S. Army, he taught history at Harvard University from 1957 to 1962, and then moved to the faculty of Princeton University, where he was professor of history from 1964 to 1974. Between 1973 and 1987, Dr. Billington was director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the nation’s official memorial in Washington to America’s 28th president.
Dr. Billington is highly respected for preserving sacred history, particularly in the Middle East where religious rivalries can lead to the destruction of documents and other artifacts of faith. In October 2004, as Librarian of Congress, Dr. Billington led a delegation to Tehran, Iran, that expanded exchanges between the Library of Congress and the National Library of Iran. He was the most senior U.S. government official to openly visit Iran in 25 years.
Dr. Billington has received more than 40 honorary doctorates and in 2008 was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by U.S. President George W. Bush
Dr. Billington was a longtime member of the editorial advisory boards of Foreign Affairs and Theology Today. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is on the Board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dr. Billington has championed the Library of Congress’s National Digital Library program which makes available online millions of American historical and cultural documents.
He is married to the former Marjorie Anne Brennan. They have four children. Dr. Billington and his daughter Susan are the first father and daughter to both be awarded Rhodes Scholarships and use them to earn doctorates at Oxford University.
“Dr. Billington’s remarks will be an inspiration to our students,” Towey said. “They will be meeting a singularly unique individual who is both octogenarian and humanitarian, and a genuine man of faith.”
Ave Maria University to Host Workshop on Aristotle
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A two-day Aristotle workshop will be held at Ave Maria University this weekend. Called the “Aristotle Workshop: Courage and Moderation in the Nicomachean Ethics” is sponsored by the AMU Philosophy Department and its chair, Dr. Michael Pakaluk. It begins Friday with “The Virtue of Courage in the Nicomachean Ethics.” On Saturday, “The Virtue of Moderation in the Nicomachean Ethics,” will be presented. The event is an international conference composed of leading scholars.
Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall Opens March 19
Monday, February 24, 2014
The Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall, the only public display in the United States of Mother Teresa’s life story and artifacts will open its doors March 19. During the academic year at Ave Maria University, the hours will be Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m.
Visit motherteresaproject.org for more information.
Ave Maria University to Build Performing Arts Center
Monday, February 17, 2014
Longtime Naples Phil CEO Myra Daniels to Chair Campaign
AVE MARIA, FL (February 17, 2014) – Ave Maria University is proud to announce that it will build a 1,250-seat performing arts center on its campus, an addition that will give students a much-needed venue to practice and master their talents and further study the arts.
Myra Janco Daniels, founder and longtime CEO of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts (now Artis-Naples) and the Naples Museum of Art will chair the project.
The $10 million performing arts center will feature a thrust stage extending into the audience and also house classrooms, a multi-media studio, office space, practice rooms and an art gallery. Its location will give AMU students the opportunity to experience the arts within a short walk on campus. In addition, the University will now have a first-class venue to host both internal and external events such as graduation and conferences.
“We have started a new era,” said AMU President Jim Towey. “Our founder, Tom Monaghan, had a great interest in the arts and planted the seeds. More and more of our students, coming from all over the world, are interested in the arts and this new performing arts center will fill that need.”
Not only does AMU expect the new center to draw students from around the world who are interested in the arts, but also to attract top-flight faculty members to teach at the University.
The University is raising money now for the building of the center, which is expected to be completed in 2016.
Renowned architect Gene Aubrey, whose work includes the Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex in Naples as well as the Wortham Theater Center and the Rothko Chapel, both in Houston, Texas, will design the center.
Detailed plans for the center will be released at the AMU Third Annual Scholarship Dinner on Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples. Media availability with President Towey and Myra Daniels will be at 6:15 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton.For more information on the Dinner, please call Brigid O’Malley, Director of Communications at 239-304-7009.
Download Performing Arts Renderings
"Affordable Care Act Is A Violation Of Religious Liberty" by President Jim Towey
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The White House is granting yet another reprieve for employers who might otherwise be subject to fines for failing to comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Now, in addition to small employers and those whose plans are "grandfathered" (which number in the thousands), medium-size businesses have more time to apply the new health insurance regulations to their operations.
But the owners of the Hobby Lobby retail chain, David and Barbara Green, get no such relief. While the Obama administration has exempted multitudes of employers from the new regulations for administrative reasons, it has refused to acknowledge the deeply held religious convictions that bar the Greens from complying with one of the bill's mandates — the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate...Read More
Ex Corde Ecclesiae Conference at AMU
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Ex Corde Ecclesiae Conference
Ave Maria University
February 6-7, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 5:00 PM
Prof. Russell Hittinger:
“Catholic Discourses and Natural Law:
the Legacy of Joseph Ratzinger”
Friday, February 7, 12:00 PM
Prof. Stephen Barr
“Natural Science and Catholicism”
Friday, February 7, 5:00 PM
Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC:
This Conference celebrates the tenth anniversary of Ave Maria University in Florida, founded in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The seal of the University is inscribed with this title of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution. It begins: “Born from the heart of the Church, a Catholic University is within a tradition traced back to the very origin of the University as an institution.” He then quotes Pope Alexander IV’s letter to the University of Paris in April of 1255, exhorting them to a common love of learning and joy in the truth.
The first lecture is by Russell Hittinger, the William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa. Ex Corde Ecclesiae repeatedly calls for the development of sound moral judgments and actions by all involved in a Catholic University (#5, 7, 18, 20, etc). Fundamental to such moral education is the Catholic tradition of the natural law. Therefore the opening lecture of the Conference is on “Catholic Discourses and Natural Law: The Legacy of Joseph Ratzinger.”
Another theme of the Apostolic Constitution is the importance of doing the sciences in accord with the common good (# 7, 16-18, 29-31, etc.). Thus the second lecture is by Stephen Barr, the Professor of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware. He will lecture on “Natural Science and Catholicism”.
A Catholic University should also encourage learning to promote social justice and service “especially to the poor" (# 34, 4, 32, 40, Norm 7, 2). The third lecture is by Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C., the promoter of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s canonization, who will speak on “Mother Teresa: A Rich Resource for Contemporary Theology.”
Aquinas Lecture Set for Friday at Ave Maria University
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The annual Aquinas Lecture will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 in the Demetree Auditorium on the campus of Ave Maria University.
Professor Ed Feser of Pasadena City College will speak on "The Scholastic Principle of Causality and the Rationalist Principle of Sufficient Reason.”
The lecture is free and open to the public.
President Towey Live-Blogs at 2014 March for Life
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
AMU President Jim Towey live-tweeted and blogged at the 2014 March for Life. He marched along side nearly 100 AMU students, staff, and alumni. President Towey's updates can be found on his blog or on AMU's Twitter account.
“Faith, the White House, and the Public Square,” Featuring AMU President Jim Towey
Thursday, January 9, 2014
AMU Conference examines Business Education and Catholic social teaching
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
During January 2-4, more than 30 scholars from 14 universities came to Ave Maria for the “Mission-Driven Business Education” seminar to talk about integrating the Catholic faith and the Catholic intellectual tradition into the teaching of marketing, management, accounting, finance, economics, and business ethics. Michael Naughton (of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas), Gabriel Martinez (Chair of the Business Department at Ave Maria University), and Henry Amoroso (of the Micah Center at Seton Hall University) were the seminar organizers.
“Through the questions we raise, through the topics we choose, through the answers we give, we can give our students and our colleagues a sense of the meaning and fulfillment we have found as Christians and as Catholics,” said Dr. Martinez. “The Catholic tradition gives us a different perspective and a unique impetus to study finance, economics, marketing, accounting, management, and business ethics, which makes our classroom and research occasions for – appropriate, respectful, opportune – evangelization.”
The seminar, which focused on the uniquely Catholic dimensions of business education, lasted two and a half days, with formal presentations and informal discussions. In their presentations, the participants laid out their understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition and of Catholic social teaching. Then they connected these ideas with the specific pedagogical strategies that they use to help students make relevant connections. Other scholars responded by highlighting what they thought was most relevant, thus starting a discussion among the whole group.
All participants wrote background papers on their ideas of the integration of Catholic teaching with their disciplines. They also provided specific teaching notes and syllabi, which will be made publicly available to the worldwide academic community, with the aim of helping business professors in any university who want to bring the Catholic intellectual tradition to their own students.
Together with a very favorable impression of Ave Maria, the participants (from Notre Dame, Pepperdine, St. Thomas, Seton Hall, St. Joseph’s, St. John’s, Dayton, Catholic University of America, Loras, St. Norbert’s, Lexington, Le Moyne, St. Francis, and Ave Maria) left with strong bonds and with plans for future collaboration and extensions of their work into the world of business.