Ending One Academic Year and Beginning Another - May 2009

Dear Villanova Faculty and Staff:

Commencement weekend marks the end to another semester and the conclusion of the undergraduate experience for the Class of 2009. We are welcoming them into the worldwide community of Villanova alumni at a very challenging period. Concerns about the economy and the availability of jobs have loomed over most of their senior year. Yet, we send them forth armed with knowledge gained in the classroom, relationships formed on campus and beyond, and values reinforced through service experiences. These characteristics help to define the unique, Augustinian education which Villanova offers and help prepare our students to meet the challenges they will face beyond campus.

This should be an important focus for all of us as we end one academic year and move toward the beginning of another. The challenges I note above for the Class of 2009 continue to be challenges that the rest of us face both at Villanova and in our own lives. In previous messages, I have outlined the steps the University is taking to address the ongoing uncertainty in the economy. I assure you that the measures being implemented – which complement our long-standing commitment to prudent fiscal management – are acting to further solidify the University’s already strong financial position.

The financial strength of the University was an important consideration this year as members of the Class of 2013 and their families carefully weighed their college options. We remain committed to enrolling exceptional students and to helping them afford the costs of a Villanova education. This year, that commitment included a nine percent increase in the amount of available University-funded financial assistance. The deadline for reserving a spot in the upcoming freshman class was Friday, May 1. I am pleased to report that once again we will welcome an incredibly talented, distinguished and diverse group of students to campus this fall. Congratulations to the entire campus community and especially to the staffs of Offices of University Admission and Financial Assistance.

Finally, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you, your family, your class, or your department can be involved in this year's St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration which will take place September 18 and 19. Please check the website throughout the summer for updated information about the Academic Symposium, Day of Service and other activities which comprise this annual, community-wide celebration of our University's mission and heritage.

Please be sure to monitor your email regularly over the summer. I will be in touch should there be any updates about the University, the measures we are taking to address the uncertainty in the economy, or any significant milestones or achievements to share from our community.

Thank you for your continued commitment to Villanova. Best wishes to you and your families for a safe, healthy and enjoyable summer.

Regards,

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Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., President