Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
It is with great sadness that I inform the Villanova community of the passing of a true Villanovan, Steve Merritt. As many of you know, Steve served as Dean of Enrollment Management since 1998. He passed away this morning at the age of 59, after being on medical leave for a heart condition.
I would like to take a moment to reflect on Steve’s many contributions to our University. Under his leadership as Dean, financial assistance and student scholarship opportunities were expanded significantly, and the services provided through the Office of the Registrar were dramatically upgraded and improved. During Steve’s tenure, Villanova also saw an increase in the talent and diversity of the undergraduate student community, which has helped to raise the national profile of the University. His legacy and impact on Villanova can be seen in the accomplishments of students from the Class of 1994, his first cohort as Director of Admission, through the incoming Class of 2020.
Steve’s positive influence on the University extended well beyond the area of Enrollment Management. He worked with Student Life and University Advancement to establish the Parents’ Program at Villanova; served as Special Assistant for University Communication to Father Dobbin and me, and developed a roadmap for creating the Office of University Communication; and was an integral member of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee.
Steve received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Villanova and returned in 1990 as Director of Undergraduate Admission before assuming the role of Dean of Enrollment Management, a position he held for 17 years. As Dean of Enrollment Management, Steve oversaw the Offices of University Admission, Financial Assistance, University Outreach and the Registrar.
As an alumnus, employee and Villanova parent, Steve was committed to the University and its mission and willingly gave of his time and expertise. Please remember Steve and his son, Keith, and his daughter, Erin, in your thoughts and prayers, and give thanks for all that Steve has done for Villanova and our community.
I will share information about the funeral arrangements when they become available.