Ave Maria College was founded by Tom Monaghan in August of 1998, with the goal of providing a liberal arts education in a Catholic environment. The school was located just east of the EMU campus, at the intersection of Adams Street and Forest Street.

After being denied zoning approval by Ann Arbor Township to build a larger campus near Domino's Farms, Monaghan decided to move the college to Florida. The new town of Ave Maria, FL is built around the new campus, and the Ypsilanti campus closed at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.

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