prospect of becoming a university on the horizon, college president
Humberto Belli said school officials are hoping the change will attract
more international students, and boost the school's fundraising.
offers a bilingual and bicultural experience, but all of the classes at
the college are taught in English, and more than 50 percent of the
professors come from the United States.
university takes over, the college expects the curriculum will be
streamlined and new programs will be offered, such as a pre-theologate
When the Baptist
university decided to pull out of the college, it began scouting
Catholic universities to take it over. Ave Maria University founder Tom
Monaghan stepped in and named it a branch campus of Ave Maria in 2000.
The purchase was motivated by the goal of preserving the Catholic faith
in Latin America, reported Naples Daily News.
When Ave Maria
took over in 2000, many of the students seemed to be more agnostic or
indifferent to religion. Since then, the spiritual life of the school
has been on the upswing and daily mass attendance has grown from five
students during the first year to more than 60 students.
About 80 percent
of the current students are Catholic and include some religious men and
women. There are currently three Franciscan brothers enrolled.
"This is a place
for training professionals who have Christian values and can
Christianize society," Belli was quoted as saying. "We believe the best
contribution to society is to provide the world with a new generation
Maria University will take ownership of a college that was formerly the
branch of a Baptist university in Nicaragua. Ave Maria College of the
Americas in San Marco, Nicaragua, will move to Immokalee and is
expected to function as a campus of the Naples-based Catholic
university as of next year, reported Naples Daily News.