Humanities alumi and faculty sitting outside talking.
Three Humanities alumni sitting outside eating lunch.
Humanities faculty posed outside for a photo.
Professor engaging a classroom of Humanities alumni.
Humanities alumi sitting outside talking.
Two professors talking outside.
Convivium: Celebrating 20 years of Villanova's Department of Humanities


"....because whenever joy is shared among many, even the gladness of individuals is increased, for all are affected by the common enthusiasm and they catch the flame from one another."

–St. Augustine, Confessions


Convivium 2023:  Twentieth Anniversary Alumni Retreat

Over one hundred alumni gathered in mid-September 2023, for a weekend of intellectual and convivial retreat to celebrate the twentieth-anniversary of the Department of Humanities. An illuminated backyard gathering at the Morelands’ launched the weekend. Bright and early the next day, alumni arrived ready for a series of seminars, convened by Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, William and Julia Moulden Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Discussions unfolded with remarkable ease and elegance, and they had a theme and a purpose—moving from what it means to “Person Well” against the odds, to “Restorative Joys,” and “Words to Live By.”  

Lunch offered a chance to relax with old and new friends, and time was given to quiet contemplation and evening prayer in Corr Chapel. But the grand celebration was saved for our anniversary banquet, when speeches were given by founding chair Thomas W. Smith, PhD, former chair Kevin Hughes, PhD, and current chair Michael Tomko, PhD, as well as remarks from alumni representing our Humanities for Good endeavors and our new Great Books Fund

Sunday morning mass was a fitting conclusion to the weekend. Babies and toddlers arrived with their parents, Corr Chapel filled to bursting, the Rev. Kevin DePrinzio, OSA, PhD, celebrated, and an ad hoc reunion of Pastoral Musicians gave voice to the gladness of the occasion. 

Thanks to everyone who made Convivium such a wonderful, memorable event!

Here are quotes from some of our attendees:

“Convivium was a revitalizing experience—being around both familiar and unfamiliar faces who shared my intellectual, spiritual, and community-oriented values really helped me reconnect to the spirit of the Humanities program that I experienced in undergrad. I left the reunion feeling ready to reengage with the world in a meaningful and intentional way thanks to all of the wonderful staff and alumni I’m able to share this part of my life with!”  

- Natalie Anderson '23 CLAS

“The Convivium weekend was such a gift—just like the Humanities program was to me. My spirit and soul were refreshed by the reunion of community and the space to be immersed again in the questions about the world, God, humanity, and society that first compelled my heart in college. I was reminded I get to carry this lens into my new season of life.”

- Abigail Carr '20 CLAS

“Traveling to Villanova for Convivium truly felt like a living out of those last words of ‘Homeward Bound’: ‘set me free to find my calling, and I’ll return to you somehow.’ Paul and I left the weekend with fresh eyes, full hearts and a course packet to which we return to revive our deep gratitude. We can’t wait for the next one!” 

- Gabriella Berman Elhallal ’17 CLAS

“While Convivium was only one short weekend, it left a lasting mark on the course of my year. Being around the Humanities Department’s incredible professors and alumni reminded me that the growth and curiosity that defined my time as a Humanities student can last for a lifetime.” 

- AJ Fezza '23 CLAS

“Participating in Convivium weekend was pure joy—so invigorating! Coming back to see old classmates, encountering beloved professors, and meeting new faces all while engaging in the big questions and good conversations of life was such a gift.”  

- Kyra (Malamood) Koons, ’15 CLAS

“Reconnecting with friends—and faculty turned friends—at Convivium was restorative and rejuvenating, in every way. A quintessential golden session!” 

- Jessica Swoboda, ’15 CLAS

“Undergraduate Humanities students leave every class overwhelmed in the best kind of way, with our minds, and notebooks, flooded with awe-inspiring insights and ideas. Convivium did not just allow us to re-immerse ourselves into this wondrous contemplation, but it gave all of us alumni the opportunity to see how the notes we once frantically took in class have become incarnate in each of our unique lives and vocations.”

- Sarah VanFleet ’23 CLAS