Ave Maria University

  • Education
  • 1998

Raised in an orphanage run by nuns, Tom Monaghan had a deep appreciation for Catholic education. After the 1997 sale of his stake in Domino’s Pizza, the firm he founded and grew into a multibillion-dollar business, Monaghan turned his attention to philanthropy. He quickly zeroed in on the difficulty Catholic families told him they had in finding colleges that were both high-quality and faithful. And so in 1998 he founded Ave Maria College. Two years later he created the Ave Maria School of Law as a sister institution. Thanks to more than $500 million donated by Monaghan the schools grew quickly, and became permanently located in southwest Florida, with a current enrollment of 1,300 students. Broad philanthropic support is developing, with more than 10 patrons having given at least a million dollars, and over 100 making six-figure donations.

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