Moving a university campus over a summer is an immense job. Ave Maria University is busy doing just that, but it recognizes the importance of remaining first and foremost a center of learning. So, amidst packing and re-organizing, not to mention the usual bustle of admissions for the fall, Ave Maria has been steadily providing opportunities for other private Catholic educators, prospective students, and of course its own students.
From June 20-22, Ave Maria hosted a workshop for High School Counselors. The workshop was given by Joe Adamec, an experienced consultant and college counselor. The twenty-four counselors were able to benefit from Mr. Adamec's expertise and network with each as well as get to know Ave Maria University and tour its new campus. This program was immediately followed by a larger conference for Catholic Private Educators, the NAPCIS conference. Ave Maria hosted the event and hopes to do so in the future.
Just a few weeks later, July 8 saw the first of two weeklong programs for rising high school juniors and seniors. With courses taught by Mr. Joseph Pearce and Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., the program focused on the common theme of myth, magic and miracles in the writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. These two members of our faculty gave students a taste of the challenging and captivating academics offered at Ave Maria. "The classes were really in-depth, very interesting" said one student. Participants were also able to enjoy what beautiful Naples, FL, has to offer. From trips to the beach to a play on 5th Avenue, students thought the week was "awesome. There's nothing else to say." This is the second year that Ave has offered this program, and it plans to have a similar program every summer.
Ave Maria's summer activities weren't all confined to campus: the department of Sacred Music offers a program each summer at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Pierre in Solesmes, France. The Abbey at Solesmes is recognized world-wide as the center for the restoration and renewal of Gregorian Chant. Students from AMU, regardless of previous musical experience, can take a weeklong, one-credit course in Chant from the head of the music department, Dr. Susan Treacy. At the same time, they are daily exposed to the ‘real thing.' That is, students are able to attend daily Mass at the Abbey, as well as portions of the Divine Office, all of which are sung by the monks. To hear the original music of the Catholic Church used so beautifully for worship has an effect that no class can on its own. Students came away from that week with a far deeper understanding of and appreciation for this beautiful form of sacred music. As one participant put it, "it was awe-inspiring."
When the high school summer programs are over on July 23, Ave Maria will begin moving to its new campus, and begin another chapter in the University's journey. We'll be settled just in time to welcome our biggest freshman class yet, and start another dynamic semester.
Visitors are welcome to come see what's happening at Ave Maria. Check our website at www.AveMaria.edu, or call to set up a visit at (877) AVE-UNIV.