About Us

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Villanova University's Special Olympics Committee organizes the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world! Comprised of 90 dedicated students, the "SpO" committee works year round to organize every aspect of the Festival, from staging ceremonies to managing the budget and coordinating thousands of volunteers. Members are chosen from a pool of hundreds of applicants who all share a dedication and love for Special Olympics and its athletes. The intercommittee collaboration, devotion, and work ethic embodies the Villanova tradition of "Veritas, Unitas, Caritas" perhaps better than any other student organization on campus.

About the Fall Festival

Villanova University is the official host of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania fall state games, one of four statewide Special Olympic events. During the first weekend in November, the campus will host over 1,000 athletes, 400 coaches, 4,000 volunteers, and the many corporate sponsors and media outlets that will provide coverage for the event. The athletes who participate in the Fall Festival will compete in six Olympic-type sports: bocce, long distance running, power-lifting, roller skating, soccer, and volleyball. All housing and meals for the weekend are provided by Special Olympics Pennsylvania and Villanova University.

Special Olympics is a life-changing movement of people helping people. The athletes of Special Olympics -- more than 20,000 alone in Pennsylvania -- are constant reminders of all that is right with the human spirit.

Click here to check out our blog!

About the Festival Director

The Festival Director for the games is chosen each year to be the student leader of the Committee.  Villanova students who are interested in the position must endure a rigorous application process and have significant Committee experience along with a strong academic record.  This year’s director, Katie Hickey (’15), is no exception.  Katie is a History major and brings past experience as Fundraising Assistant and Chair to her latest position as Festival Director.  Her expertise, enthusiasm, and vision will help her to lead the 2014 Special Olympics Committee to organize the greatest Fall Festival to date!

Katie can be contacted at festivaldirector@villanovaspo.com

Would you like to support Special Olympics Fall Festival at Villanova to make 2014 the best competition yet? Check out our volunteer page, or Donate Here


"Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
— Athlete Oath


How to Get Involved

How to Get Involved

Click here to learn about Volunteer opportunities!

The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival is unlike any other event at Villanova.  With great reason, athletes, volunteers, and students alike regularly remark that Fall Festival is their favorite weekend of the year.  Nothing else unites our campus with as much enthusiasm, and nothing makes Villanova as wonderful as experiencing the athletes’ excitement, sportsmanship, and joy.”

–Paul Insley, ’14
2013 Director of Competition

DID YOU KNOW...?

DID YOU KNOW...?

Fact:  Eunice Kennedy Shriver organized the first International Special Olympics Games in 1968. Held at Chicago's Soldier Field, the event consisted of 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada competing in track and field, swimming, and floor hockey.