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Hotels near Ave Maria University in Naples, FL

Ave Maria University is a private Catholic institution located approximately 20 miles east of Naples, Florida in the planned community of Ave Maria. The university’s beginnings date back to 1998 with the founding of Ave Maria College. Ave Maria College was established by Tom Monaghan, founder and former owner of Domino’s pizza with the intention of creating an institution faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The school was originally housed in two former elementary school buildings in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Monaghan’s original plan was to build a much larger campus near Ann Arbor, Michigan. After denial of the necessary zoning permits, however, Monaghan decided to close the Ypsilanti campus and move the school to Ave Maria, Florida, a planned community then under construction. In 2003, the university opened in temporary facilities in Naples with an enrollment of approximately 100 undergraduates. In 2007, the school moved to its current campus in Ave Maria.

Today, Ave Maria’s 745 undergraduates can choose from among 23 majors in fields including accounting, biochemistry, business, Catholic studies, education, mathematics, physics, psychology and theology. Additionally, Ave Maria offers master’s degrees in Theology and Pastoral Theology, as well as a doctorate in Theology. The campus is also home to the Ave Maria School of Law. Fully accredited by the American Bar Association, the law school offers a Juris Doctor degree to its current enrollment of 375 students.

Approximately 90% of Ave Maria’s students reside on campus in a system of six same-gender dormitories. All non-local students under the age of 23 are required to live on campus. Social activities include student government, intramural sports and over fifty other clubs and organizations.

The university sponsors seven men’s and eight women’s varsity sports teams. Nicknamed the Gyrenes, most teams compete through the NAIA Division III as members of the Sun Conference. The school’s varsity football team is an exception, playing as an independent.

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