Villanova University Inaugurates The Dennis M. Cook ’90 Endowed Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has announced the inauguration of The Dennis M. Cook ’90 Endowed Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Honoring the University’s connection to the 19th century Augustinian friar and scientist Gregor Mendel, the Chair will enhance the research and teaching environment of the University by conducting a research program in genetics.

The Dennis M. Cook ’90 Endowed Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics will be actively involved in service to the College, University and the scientific community.  It will maintain a productive, externally funded research program and work to enhance the national reputation of Villanova.

The Chair position honors Dennis M. Cook, a 1990 graduate of Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who tragically lost his life in the 9/11/01 attack on the World Trade Center.

“The addition of this Chair will advance Villanova on the national stage, and benefits our students tremendously,” said Mike O’Neill, Vice President for University Advancement at Villanova University. “Donor support is so important to our faculty, and we are incredibly grateful to Judith Cook for her generosity in establishing this chair position in honor of Dennis.”

Dennis Wykoff, PhD, an associate professor in the department of Biology, has been named The Dennis M. Cook ’90 Endowed Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics.  “The Chair will empower the personal development of undergraduates through mentorship and teaching to become future leaders and contribute to the overall betterment of society at large,” Dr. Wykoff notes.

Additionally, the Chair will develop courses and programs that address social, legal and ethical considerations at the interface of genetics and society.

“We are grateful to Judith Cook for her commitment to education and belief in the College’s mission,” said Jean Ann Linney, PhD, Dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  “Dr. Wykoff is dedicated to students and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. The resources associated with this endowment will allow him to do even more in those areas.”

About Villanova University: 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. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.