TD Ameritrade Founder Joins Legendary Biblical Scholar to Be Honored at Ave Law’s 2017 Commencement

NAPLES, Fla.--()--Entrepreneur and philanthropist Joe Ricketts, founder of online brokerage TD Ameritrade and patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Ave Maria School of Law at commencement exercises May 13.

Seventy students will graduate from the School of Law, named the most devout Catholic Law School in the U.S. by The National Jurist’s PreLaw Magazine for a third time. The spring 2017 issue ranked Ave Law the top Catholic law school among 28 Catholic law schools nationwide.

The Rev. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, known for his appearances on the Eternal Word Television Network, will give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree.

A graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., Ricketts founded First Omaha Securities in 1975 and grew it into Ameritrade, one of the largest online brokerages, which was acquired by Canada’s Toronto-Dominion Bank. Since retiring in 2011, Ricketts has created several entrepreneurial companies and worked to support causes, including education in Africa and various Catholic organizations.

Father Pacwa is fluent in twelve languages and has an understanding of the people and cultures of the Middle East. His travels throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the Holy Land inspired him to write the “Holy Land Prayer Book,” which has been published by his apostolate, Ignatius Productions.

Ave Maria School of Law will also recognize the late Ambassador Michael Novak, a scholar, novelist, professor, diplomat and journalist. He was an esteemed lecturer at Ave Maria School of Law.

The Class of 2017 is a diverse group of young men and women who will leave a profound mark on the history of their alma mater.

Ave Maria School of Law offers a rigorous legal education characterized by a commitment to professional excellence, the highest ethical and moral standards, and the integration of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Since opening, Ave Maria has enrolled students from 49 states and abroad and from more than 200 colleges and universities. Alumni are now practicing law in more than 40 states and several countries. Ave Maria School of Law is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License Number 4007 and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association.


Ave Maria School of Law
Kristy Kryszczak
Director of Special Events and Communications
239-687-5404 (direct)
917-750-0503 (cell)

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