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Ave Maria School of Law to Buy Campus
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Ave Maria Law School has purchased its North Naples campus.

Summary: After receiving a generous $1 million donation from an anonymous donor, Ave Maria School of Law will purchase its North Naples campus.

According to, Ave Maria School of Law has announced that it will purchase its North Naples campus and launch a $3.2 million capital campaign, now that it has received an anonymous $1 million gift.


The school will host a celebration on campus at the St. Thomas More Commons. Naples Mayor John Sorey and Collier County Commissioner Georgia Hiller are expected to be in attendance.

In October, it was determined that the abortion-contraception mandate could not be applied to the law school.

The law school will also celebrate the “Decree of Recognition” it received from Bishop Frank Dewane. The title recognizes the school as a Catholic Institute of Higher Learning. Further, the law school is celebrating its impressive 83 percent bar passage rate on the February exam, which significantly surpasses the state average pass rate of 64.3 percent.

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Kevin Cieply, the President and Dean of Ave Maria School of Law, said, “This will be a historic day for Ave Maria School of Law. We will celebrate our continued commitment to the Naples area as Southwest Florida’s only law school with the purchase of our campus. We will also launch our Capital Campaign, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, with the announcement of a $1 million gift, one of the largest ever received other than from our founder.”

In 2012, a law student from Ave Maria School of Law was arrested for attempted murder.

According to the Ave Herald, the school had originally planned to eventually be located on the same campus as Ave Maria University. Now, it has abandoned that plan with its purchase of the North Naples campus.

Florida bar exam scores dropped in 2014.

Thomas Monaghan, the chairman of the board, and the founder of the law school, also commented on the school’s celebrations. He said, “The rental of the campus from the university to the law school over the last six years has been a blessing to both institutions – as is this sale. It is a classic win-win situation with the law school being able to own its own campus and the university being able to sell an asset that it never intended to hold on to long term.”

The Capital Campaign has a goal of raising $3.2 million, although it has been quiet for the past eighteen months. With the purchase of the campus, the school will save costs on rentals, which will provide funds for new academic initiatives, scholarships, campus infrastructure improvements, and faculty development. Naming opportunities on campus will also be possible.


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