I’m Ben Novak, brother of the late Ambassador Michael Novak. Michael was Ave Maria University’s first trustee. In 2009 Michael started living part-time in Ave Maria’s Piazza, and in 2011 he asked me to come to Ave Maria and live with him in this Catholic village. I came because my brother asked me to, and because of my lifetime of experience in college towns—namely Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania where I served as a four-term university trustee and worked as an attorney for three decades. Thanks to my brother and to my experiences here, I have a fair amount of insight and perspective that I hope to share for the benefit of community life.

A lot of things are happening in Ave Maria. This is a public way for me to “think aloud” about Ave Maria’s present and future in the light of its past. I hope it’s can be a way for newcomers to gain some perspective on this growing community.