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Pizza chain founder builds new university

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Pizza chain founder builds new university

NAPLES, Fla., July 16 (UPI) -- For the first time in four decades a new Roman Catholic university will be opening for business in the United States next month.

Located in southwest Florida, Ave Maria University is the creation of Tom Monaghan, the man who founded the Domino's Pizza chain, The Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press reported Monday.

Construction of the $400 million university town has dramatically reduced the unemployment rate in nearby Immokalee, Fla., which has a large population of poor migrants.

Immokalee has full employment now," Collier County, Fla., Commissioner Jim Coletta, told the News-Press. "If anybody wants work, there's a job. Ave Maria has been a godsend for Immokalee."

When completed, the nearly 5,000-acre project will be a planned community with 11,000 residences and a university enrollment projected to hit 5,000 in 20 years.

Monahan, former owner of the Detroit Tigers, joined with Barron Collier Companies to create Ave Maria Development.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International
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