Established in 1928 by the Board of Trustees of Villanova University to recognize scientific accomplishment and religious conviction, the medal is one of the highest awards the University bestows and was given annually until 1943. Between 1946 and 1968, the medal was awarded eight times. After a hiatus of 25 years, it was reestablished in 1992 as part of the University’s sesquicentennial celebrations. Past recipients have included Nobel Laureates; outstanding medical researchers; pioneers in physics, astrophysics and chemistry; and noted scientist-theologians.
80th Anniversary of the Mendel Medal Celebration
In 2008, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Mendel Medal with a year-long celebration devoted to Mendel’s lasting impact on scientific discovery and exploration, the concept of sustainability, and an in-depth look at Mendel himself. Mendel is the man known widely as the Father of Modern Genetics, a revolutionary himself, an Augustinian friar, naturalist, and botanist who undertook experiments in the 19th century that have helped shape the world’s collective understanding of genes, crossbreeding, and hereditary. He is the namesake of the state-of-the-art Mendel Science Center on campus, and his legacy remains a vital part of contemporary study of the natural and physical sciences at the University.
The Mendel Medal was established in honor of Gregor Johann Mendel Abbot of the Augustinian Monastery, Brünn, Austria, (now Brno, the Czech Republic), who discovered the celebrated laws of heredity, which now bear his name. The medal is awarded to outstanding scientists who have done much by their painstaking work to advance the cause of science, and, by their lives and their standing before the world as scientists, have demonstrated that between true science and true religion there is no intrinsic conflict.
Gregor Johann Mendel