Dean Mark C. Alexander spent his inaugural semester immersing himself in the culture and community of Villanova Law. His dynamic and inclusive leadership is grounded by his own commitment to the University’s Augustinian Catholic values of Veritas, Unitas, Caritas—truth, unity and charity—which Alexander often invokes when speaking with students, alumni, faculty and staff.
In his Orientation address on Aug. 17, Dean Alexander spoke of the importance of community, both at Villanova and in the legal profession. He urged every person in attendance to rise to their best selves, to exercise courage and to commit themselves to the highest standards of conduct. Dean Alexander went on to extoll the importance of empathy and civility. He spoke of how, as individuals, we may not always be in agreement, but that we all need to approach our life and our studies with an open mind and an open heart.
He echoed similar sentiments in an op-ed, “First Year Will Shape You for Decades to Come,” published by the National Law Journal on Sept. 26. In the piece, Dean Alexander implored new law students to speak out with care and courage. He posited that by sharing our ideas and experiences with each other, we may find common ground with someone unexpected.
Additional highlights of Dean Alexander’s first semester at Villanova Law include:
- Capitalizing on his scholarly expertise in constitutional law and the intersection of law and politics, Dean Alexander joined numerous TV news programs to discuss topics related to the 2016 presidential election. He appeared on CBS This Morning (Sept. 24 and Nov. 26), MSNBC’s AM Joy with Joy Reid (two segments on Nov. 26) and MSNBC Live with Kate Snow (Oct. 10).
- Dean Alexander led students, faculty and staff in two pop-up discussions in the Arthur M. Goldberg Commons addressing the 2016 elections—one analyzing the first presidential debate, the other a post-election conversation about the importance of respectful dialogue in promoting understanding among peoples with different ideological views.
- In his first months at Villanova, the Dean was frequently found having lunch with small groups of students in the Law School’s Blank Rome LLP Dining Room. These casual gatherings allow him to connect individually with his students, hearing from them about their experiences and aspirations.
- A regular presence on Twitter (@MarkCAlexander), the Dean shared anecdotes from his visits with other Law School Deans, a meeting with the justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and his once-in-a-lifetime invitation to the White House State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Renzi of Italy.
- Dean Alexander hit the road for an alumni-focused tour, connecting with hundreds of Villanova lawyers at five Dean’s Welcome Receptions across the Northeast.
- His speaking engagements included the keynote address of the Keystone Honors Academy’s Autumn Reception at Cheyney University and a talk with The Barrister’s Association of Philadelphia.