by Steven Ertelt
July 8, 2005
Naples, FL (LifeNews.com) — The new Ave Maria University in Florida has established a scholarship for students planning on careers as priests, the school said on Friday.
The announcement comes on the same day a local state prosecutor told Governor Bush he doesn’t think Terri’s husband did anything wrong in waiting over an hour to call 911 after she collapsed.
The Terri Schiavo scholarship will be for theology students, the school said. Ave Maria officials said the scholarship allows students "to carry on Terri’s name and assist future priests and laypersons in creating and developing a Catholic culture of life."
"Terri’s death was a tragedy not only to her family, but for the entire country," said University Provost Fr. Joseph Fessio. "But, it can also be a new beginning in renewing the conscience of Americans; and this type of pro-life scholarship will certainly contribute to that."
University officials say they have set it up as an endowed scholarship and they hope to have $4 million available after a few years.
Terri’s father Bob Schindler praised the decision, saying it Terri’s family was "pleased and honored."
"It’s great to have an institution willing to take on something like this," Schindler said. "We feel that Terri was chosen by God to combat evil, and what a fine way to pay tribute to her life."
Joseph Grady, father of a current Ave Maria University student, came up with the initial idea of a scholarship to help these students finance their education. Grady also made the first contribution to the fund.
"Terri would often say, ‘Where there is life, there is hope,’" said Grady. "Through Ave Maria University’s pre-theologate program, her prophetic words are being fulfilled. If we can bring future priests and bishops out of Ave Maria University with this same ideal, then her life-given gift will continue."
The liberal arts school, founder by former Domino’s Pizza owner Thomas Monaghan, had its first graduating class this spring. Ave Maria expects to open a new $220 million, 750 acre campus in Naples, Florida next year.