VILLANOVA, Pa.— Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, today announced a $10 million gift from The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation to support several significant academic initiatives, including the continued modernization of Falvey Library. The gift will also establish an endowed chair in the DiLella Center for Real Estate within the Villanova School of Business, as well as a new University-wide speaker series focused on the thoughtful and civil exchange of ideas on current issues. In recognition of this gift, a building on campus in Villanova’s newest residences, known as The Commons, will be named “Hovnanian Hall.”
“I am extremely grateful to the Hovnanian Family Foundation for this gift, which demonstrates its confidence in Villanova’s mission and desire to continue to move the University forward,” said University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD. “The Foundation’s generosity will have a significant impact on key priorities of our strategic plan, Rooted. Restless., and provide critical funding to our academic enterprise.”
“Three generations of our family have had the honor of attending Villanova—an institution whose educational quality has never been compromised and whose focus on traditional values has ensured its graduates represent the best of what this great country of ours can rely on to be our nation’s future leaders,” said Siran H. Sahakian, who serves as vice president of her family’s foundation, The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation. “Through this gift, we hope to further enhance the academic experience for all Villanova students and support the University’s vision for the future.”
This gift from the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation—which counts education and real estate development training among its numerous causes—will directly impact the academic experience of Villanova students and faculty by:
- Supporting the continued evolution of Falvey Library and its efforts to advance the University's research and scholarly goals, as well as supporting the changing needs of students and faculty. This gift will allow the University to continue creating a center for learning and discovery at Falvey Library, where students, faculty, staff and the global community of scholars can access, create, and share knowledge.
- Establishing a Hovnanian Family Endowed Chair to lead the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate within the Villanova School of Business. This funding will allow the Center to recruit and retain top faculty talent, furthering its commitment to creating the next generation of real estate leaders. The DiLella Center supports faculty research and teaching in the area of real estate, ensuring relevance in the curriculum through the incorporation of site visits, experiential projects, industry-standard tools and expert perspectives.
- Creating a University-wide speaker series that presents discourse on critical issues of our time and can serve as a model for the thoughtful and civil exchange of ideas. The series will extend the institution’s academic and Augustinian Catholic mission of ensuring students have access to a wide range of viewpoints.
“We are so pleased to see the Hovnanian legacy continue at Villanova through this generous gift from the family's foundation,” said Mike O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “We could not be more grateful to Siran and her family for making such a visionary gift in honor of her father, Hirair, who was a proud Villanova alumnus. I know this gift—with its emphasis on key academic-focused initiatives—will give back to our community and to many Villanovans for generations to come.”
About The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation: The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation was founded by Villanova alumnus—the late Hirair Hovnanian ’56 COE—to support charitable causes relating to Armenian culture and education, as well as organizations in the Unites States focused on education, healthcare and real estate development training. Hirair Hovnanian graduated from Villanova University in 1956 with a BS in Civil Engineering. He would go on to build one of the most successful privately held land and housing development companies in the U.S. Hovnanian also dedicated his time and efforts to the betterment of society and to the Armenian-American community. He contributed greatly to the Armenian community worldwide through a variety of civic, charitable, educational, and philanthropic activities.
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 six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.