Alumni Gift Establishes New Endowed Chair in Leadership

Michael Heller '89
Michael Heller '89
Vince McGuinness '81

Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, recently announced the establishment of the Michael Heller and Vincent McGuinness Endowed Chair in Leadership. The new chair is made possible by a $2.5 million gift from alumni Michael Heller ’89, Vince McGuinness ’81 and their law firm, Cozen O'Connor. Heller serves as executive chairman and chief executive officer at Cozen O’Connor, and McGuinness is president and managing partner.

A reflection of academic and faculty excellence at Villanova Law, endowed chairs recognize faculty who have achieved great distinction and serve as leaders through exemplary teaching, scholarship and service.

“This gift represents our ongoing commitment to deliver meaningful support and opportunities for all our faculty at Villanova Law,” said Dean Alexander. “I am thankful to Michael, Vince and Cozen O’Connor for their generous support of Villanova Law’s mission and our school’s future.”

Professor Doris DelTosto Brogan ’81, who graduated magna cum laude and first joined the faculty in 1983, is now the inaugural Heller McGuinness Leadership Chair. She has published on privacy, defamation, ethics, conflict of laws and domestic relations. She also serves as chair of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and as chair emeritus of the board of directors of Riverbend Environmental Educational Center.

“I am so very grateful for the extraordinary generosity of Michael, Vince and Cozen O’Connor, who endowed this chair, and I am humbled to be the inaugural chairholder,” said Brogan. “Appointment to The Heller McGuinness Endowed Leadership Chair provides the inspiration and the resources for me to focus hard on leadership, to dig deep into what leadership means and to explore how we can best educate our students for the leadership challenges they will face.” 

Heller and McGuinness, who both have long tenures with Cozen O’Connor, say that Villanova Law helped provide a “strong foundation to build successful careers.” They chose to establish a new chair to help ensure Villanova Law students have a similar experience and can learn from leading faculty.  

“It is a great honor for both of us to be able to give back to our alma mater,” said Heller and McGuinness. “We hope that the Endowed Chair in Leadership will continue attracting and retaining top faculty who are passionate about teaching and mentorship while also creating opportunities that impact students. Villanova Law plays a vital role in shaping the next generation of leaders in the legal field. Through this endowment, we hope to inspire students and help them realize the sky is the limit for their careers.”