WFI Inaugural Symposium

To commemorate WFI’s official launch in October 2010, we held a two-day series of events celebrating the Waterhouse Family, recognizing the work already made possible by Mr. Waterhouse's gift, and charting the future of the Waterhouse Family Institute.

Our first events, on the evening of October 1, 2010, were held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. With Independence Hall as a backdrop, Villanova students and faculty, members of the Waterhouse Family, and guests of the WFI celebrated the vision that Mr. Waterhouse's gift made possible. Following an address by the WFI founding director, Dr. Bryan Crable, Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA, President of Villanova University, brought the entire Waterhouse Family to the stage for a public recognition of their good works. Following these events, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof delivered the keynote address to the attendees. Kristof centered his message on the importance of communication in the creation of social change, drawing upon his travels in China, Africa, India and South Asia, to offer a compassionate glimpse into global health, poverty and gender in the developing world.

Events continued the next day, when hundreds attended an inaugural symposium focused on the role of communication scholars, students, and practitioners in the creation of social change and social justice. In the morning, a roundtable of distinguished communication scholars--Stephen Littlejohn, Brenda Allen, Raka Shome, Tom Nakayama, and Vicki Freimuth--addressed these questions, led by Villanova's own Gordon Coonfield. After a working lunch of roundtables, students from the WFI-sponsored Vatican Internships, Social Justice Documentary films, and GCNova spoke about the power of students to improve their communities. Later in the afternoon, a roundtable of notable communication professionals--John Rivera from Catholic Relief Services, Donald Kimmelman from Pew Charitable Trusts, Joseph Dugan from CNN/Time Warner, Kate Allison from the Karma Agency, and Jeff Jubelirer from Jubelirer Strategies--engaged in a spirited dialogue, led by Villanova's own Bill Cowen.

The symposium concluded with the presentation of the first WFI-sponsored research results, presented by Villanova's own Emory Woodard. His project is a first-of-its-kind attempt to evaluate the potential of YouTube, in both content and form, for the creation of social justice.

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Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. at the WFI inaugural symposium
Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. at the WFI inaugural symposium
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof delivered the keynote address to the attendees.
Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. with Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Waterhouse Jr., ’59 A&S
Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. with Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Waterhouse Jr., ’59 A&S