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VILLANOVA, PA, 30 November 2007—Daniel DiLella, President & CEO of BPG Properties, Ltd., has funded the establishment of the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate at the Villanova School of Business (VSB). Mr. DiLella earned his finance degree from VSB in 1973, and is an active philanthropist in the Philadelphia community. The new Center for Real Estate marks Mr. DiLella’s largest contribution ever, and will change the face of business education at Villanova.
The gift is setting a precedent for the growth of research centers at VSB. Dean James Danko has made it a goal to ensure that each VSB center is named, and is ultimately endowed at $5 million, to provide the resources needed to support high-level teaching and research.
Mr. DiLella, who financed his own college education by working and pursuing scholarships, explains that the new center represents his strong desire to give back to his alma mater. “When I was a student, Villanova provided me with the knowledge and opportunities I needed to develop the career I have today,” he says. “It is my hope that this new Center for Real Estate will provide young people who are interested in real estate, as I was, with the resources they need to pursue successful and rewarding careers in the field.”
Mr. DiLella has a “pay-it-forward” philosophy of giving. He hopes that the students who benefit from the center will, in turn, become community leaders and support future students. Mr. DiLella also intends for the center to support faculty research and curricular innovation, which will contribute to the real estate field both academically and professionally.
VSB Finance Professor Shawn Howton has been named the Center Director. Jim Vesey, Senior Director for Capital Markets for Cushman & Wakefield in Philadelphia, has been named the Center Business Fellow.
“The establishment of this center marks a significant milestone for VSB,” says Dean Danko. “Our students, parents, alumni, faculty, and corporate recruiters have expressed a strong desire that we include real estate as a key learning and professional development area at the school. Mr. DiLella’s gift is meeting a very real need.”
The center will celebrate its formal opening in April 2008. The introduction of a new real estate minor is planned for the fall 2008 semester.
Founded in 1922, the Villanova School of Business is ranked #13 in the nation by BusinessWeek in its ranking of undergraduate business programs. More at www.business.villanova.edu.
BPG Properties, Ltd. is a private equity real estate fund manager with a 25-year track record of building value in a broad range of real estate on behalf of institutional partners. The firm's current portfolio consists of over 20 million square feet of office, retail, student housing, and industrial properties and more than 25,000 apartment units in over 100 communities located throughout the US. More at www.bpgltd.com.