VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University Alumni Association (VUAA) has announced the selection of Rear Admiral Mark Handley, ’81 College of Engineering, and Charles L. Jenkins, Sr., PhD, ’58 Villanova School of Business, as the 2016 St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal recipients. The St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the VUAA, is presented annually to alumni for outstanding service and those who best symbolize the spirit and legacy of St. Thomas. Handley and Jenkins will receive their awards at a ceremony on campus during Villanova’s Reunion Weekend on Friday, June 10.
“We are pleased to honor two well-deserving alums in Mark Handley and Charlie Jenkins with this year’s award,” said George Kolb, Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations. “Both of these gentlemen display qualities of what it truly means to be a Villanovan and have gone on to achieve the highest levels of success in their careers. We are excited to have them back on campus to celebrate what has already been an outstanding year for the University.”
Since 1995, the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal has been given to those who have achieved a significant level of distinction within their career field and have made a major impact on their community, the University and Alumni Association. Recipients must also be an alumni for a minimum of 11 years.
Admiral Handley, Civil Engineer Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.) was commissioned through Villanova’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1981, graduating with a mechanical engineering degree. He earned a Masters of Engineering in 1986 from Stanford University, attended the University of Michigan’s Executive Management Program in 2002, and is a registered Professional Engineer. For 32 years, Handley served in a number of engineering and leadership positions in the Navy, including a combat deployment with the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah, Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. Handley is currently the Senior Vice President, National Governments and Market Segment Leader, Federal Energy Programs at AECOM. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Society of American Military Engineers and is Chair, Board of Trustees for Leadership Hampton Roads.
Dr. Jenkins received his Bachelor of Science degree from Villanova in 1958 and his PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1978. Jenkins also received an honorary degree from Villanova in 1979. During his time as a student-athlete at Villanova, Jenkins won an Olympic Gold Medal in the men’s 400 meters and 4x400 meter relay. He has coached and lectured around the world, is a member of the national Track and Field Hall of Fame and was the head coach for Villanova’s Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams from 1981-1990, leading his teams to nine Big East Championships. Jenkins and his son, Charles Jr., also a Villanova alum, are the only father and son to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the same Track and Field event. Jenkins recently retired from the Federal Government after 42 years of service, serving in a variety of agencies, including The White House, The Office of Education and The Social Security Administration.