Villanova, Pa.—Villanova University School of Law (VLS) has announced the naming of its deanship position in honor of Arthur J. Kania ’56. Mr. Kania, a member of the inaugural graduating class of 1956, and his wife, Angela, have been significant benefactors to the Law School throughout its history. John Y. Gotanda serves as The Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University School of Law.
“Art Kania has been a trusted advisor to each of the deans of Villanova Law, from Harold Reuschlein to the present. There is no better way to honor his commitment, vision and generosity than to name the deanship in his honor,” remarked John Y. Gotanda, The Arthur J. Kania Dean at Villanova University School of Law. “Art’s dedication, intellect and passion continue to enrich this institution and impact generations of our students and alumni.”
Since assuming his role as sixth dean of Villanova University School of Law in 2011, John Gotanda has engaged and united the Villanova Law community. Under his leadership, the Law School has embarked upon a bold new Strategic Plan that directly responds to recent changes in the legal industry, while also building upon its distinctive strengths as an Augustinian Catholic institution. Dean Gotanda recently announced significant changes that radically transform the Law School curriculum and provide students with both the academic and practical skills needed to succeed in in 21st-century legal practice. Most significantly, Villanova is strengthening the business foundation for future lawyers, regardless of their chosen field, through the infusion of business principles into the School’s core curriculum.
“I am especially proud of my long-term association with Villanova Law and Villanova University. As a student pioneer in the first Law School class, I became a mentee of Dean Reuschlein and I observed the critical importance of leadership to the vitality of an academic endeavor,” commented Mr. Kania. “Today’s best examples are the addition of the new world class law school facility and the recent institutional transformation under the leadership of Dean Gotanda. Through such past and existing leadership, Villanova Law is and will be a better place.”
Mr. Kania has been an active alumnus throughout the years, having served as Vice Chairman of the Villanova University Board of Trustees, President of the Development Council and as a life member of the Law School’s Board of Consultors.
Mr. Kania is a dedicated philanthropist and has provided significant financial support to academic and financial aid initiatives at VLS. He established the School’s first endowed scholarship fund, The Harold Gill Reuschlein Scholarship, in honor of the School’s founding dean in 1972. Mr. Kania also established the Francis E. McGill Endowed Scholarship in honor of his classmate, and the Marcella C. Reuschlein Endowed Scholarship, which was funded in partnership with the late Arthur M. Goldberg ’66. His leadership was also instrumental in the creation of The Reuschlein Fund, which supports The Reuschlein Chair for Distinguished Visiting Professors and The Reuschlein Clinical Teaching Fellowship. Along with several fellow alumni, Mr. Kania provided financial support to help launch Villanova Law’s Matthew J. Ryan Law and Public Policy Forum, in honor of the late Honorable Matthew J. Ryan ’54 C&F, ’59 VLS. Most recently, Mr. Kania was one of the largest benefactors and a member of the Steering Committee for the Campaign for Villanova Law, which helped fund the construction of the School of Law building. He was awarded the Villanova University School of Law Medallion Award and the Villanova Law Alumni Association Gerald Abraham Award for Service in recognition of his continued service and support.
Mr. Kania is Senior Partner at Kania, Lindner, Lasak & Feeney, a law firm specializing in corporate and real estate finance in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He is also a principal at Trikan Associates, a Kania family affiliate that manages various real estate holdings and is active in venture-capital investments in financial services, health care, technology and the leisure industry. A member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Security Bank, Mr. Kania previously served on the boards of Summit Bank, Prime Bank, PNC Bank and as a director and member of the Executive Committee of Mid-Atlantic Bancorporation and Continental Bank.
In addition to his work with Villanova, Mr. Kania is active in numerous charitable and civic affairs. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital; a director of Piasecki Foundation; a past member of the Delaware Valley Hospital Council and the Chairman’s Advisory Committee of the Temple University Department of Health Administration (Graduate Division); and a past member of the Executive Board of the Philadelphia Art Museum Associates.
Mr. Kania, a graduate of the University of Scranton, was honored by his alma mater in 1998 when it named the Business School after him. A past Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Trustee Emeritus of The University of Scranton, he was the recipient of an honorary degree in 1989 and the University of Scranton’s President’s Medal in 2004.
Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. Founded in 1953, Villanova University School of Law (VLS) is rooted in academic excellence, academic freedom, inclusion and respect for human dignity. The Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association, provides broad-based legal education, with an emphasis on educating lawyers who understand business concepts. Its award-winning clinics and Lawyering Together Program provide free legal aid to those in need.
Notable VLS alumni include Hon. Kelly Ayotte (U.S. Senator, New Hampshire); David C. Chavern (Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce); Michael R. Haswell (Head of Business Development, Commerce, Google Inc.); Jeffrey S. Moorad (Chairman/CEO, Moorad Sports Partners); Martin G. McGuinn (former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the former Mellon Financial Corporation, now the Bank of New York Mellon); Patrick O'Connor (co-founder and Vice Chairman, Cozen & O'Connor); Hon. Edward Rendell (Former Governor of Pennsylvania); Hon. Marjorie Rendell (Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit); Joseph T. Sebastianelli (President and CEO, Jefferson Health Systems); and Richard Trumka (President, AFL-CIO).