The Villanova University Mendel Medal was designed and sculpted by Mr. John Sinnock in 1929. He was the chief engraver of the U.S. Mint for many years. In this capacity, he also designed the Roosevelt dime, the current Purple Heart, and the Franklin half dollar. In addition, he designed and sculpted many other official commemorative medals such as the Congressional medal awarded to Thomas A. Edison.
The obverse side of the medal depicts Mendel, clothed in the Augustinian habit, examining intently a sweet pea plant. At one side appears a microcope as it was developed in Mendel's time. The reverse side depicts an adaptation of the University's seal encircled by a wreath of sweet peas.