New CLAS Endowed Dean Position Reflects Research of Graduate History Students

Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, the current Dean of Villanova University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will serve as the inaugural William and Julia Moulden Dean.

VILLANOVA, Pa. – This August, Villanova University President the Rev. Peter Donohue, OSA, PhD, announced a $7.5 million gift from an anonymous donor to establish the William and Julia Moulden Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). The gift honors the late William and Julia Moulden, a Black, Catholic couple who provided crucial support to the Villanova Augustinians in the 19th century. Much of what we know about the Mouldens is the result of the research of History master's student Angelina Lincoln ’18 CLAS, ’20 MA, whose work has evolved into the ongoing Rooted Project, which explores the relationship of Villanova to minority communities in the Main Line and the Philadelphia region.

Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, the current Dean of Villanova University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will serve as the inaugural William and Julia Moulden Dean. The gift will provide significant resources to the CLAS Dean to invest in key College initiatives, allowing it to enhance its curriculum, launch new academic programs and Centers of Excellence, bolster existing centers and programs, and support innovative faculty and student research and scholarship opportunities.

See the University's announcement of the William and Julia Moulden Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Lincoln's research into the life of William Moulden was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer in the spring of 2020. The Moulden name was well known at Villanova thanks to the Moulden Residential Hall on West Campus. But beyond the fact that the Mouldens, the first known Black Catholics in the area, donated money and land to the University in 1886, the family’s history remained largely a mystery. Lincoln started researching the Moulden family for an assignment and continued the work as University researcher with History Professor Judith Giesberg, PhD, Robert M. Birmingham Chair in the Humanities. Lincoln is currently pursuing a PhD in History at the University of Maryland.

Determined to produce a complete history of Villanova that recognizes the contributions of William Moulden and others, Father Donohue earmarked significant funds to continue this research. Visit The Rooted Project.

Angelina Lincoln ’18 CLAS, ’20 MA, doing archival research. Photo by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Angelina Lincoln ’18 CLAS, ’20 MA, doing archival research. Photo by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

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