Villanova University and Cabrini University Reach Final Agreement

Joint Statement Regarding Villanova University-Cabrini University Agreement

VILLANOVA, Pa. (November 2, 2023) — Villanova University and Cabrini University, along with the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus—who founded Cabrini University—have reached a final agreement for Villanova to assume ownership of the Cabrini campus after the conclusion of the 2023-24 academic year.

Since announcing an agreement in principle between the two institutions in June 2023, Villanova’s and Cabrini's leadership have been completing the necessary due diligence to reach a final agreement, which states that Villanova will also maintain the Cabrini name for the campus and preserve its overarching legacy and mission. Completion of the transaction is contingent on a number of regulatory and other approvals, which are expected to be received over the next 12 months.

“It was important to honor the work of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by continuing to foster what St. Frances Xavier Cabrini called ‘education of the heart’,” said Helen Drinan, Cabrini University President. “We feel confident that our agreement with Villanova will preserve the Cabrini legacy and that our work to educate both minds and hearts will be carried forth. The Cabrini University impact does not end when our doors close.”

“Villanova’s and Cabrini’s shared faith, common values and corresponding missions allowed for a strong alignment of two like-minded institutions,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “This agreement provides an opportunity for Villanova to honor the legacy of Mother Cabrini and Cabrini University, while furthering our commitment to advancing Catholic higher education.”

In addition to maintaining the Cabrini name for the campus, Villanova will also preserve Cabrini’s overarching legacy and mission through a variety of initiatives, including: creating an institute/center on immigration; incorporating the work of Cabrini’s Wolfington Center into existing Villanova programs focused on developing students as advocates for social change; and establishing a “Cabrini Scholars” scholarship program in conjunction with the program that currently exists with Cabrini High School in New Orleans.

Villanova will also provide resources to commemorate, celebrate and document the history and artifacts associated with Mother Cabrini and the Cabrini campus. Additionally, two designated representatives from Cabrini, including at least one representative from the Missionary Sisters, will serve on the Villanova Board of Trustees for up to two successive terms of five years.

Over the next several years, Villanova plans to ascertain the best way to incorporate and utilize the Cabrini campus for the benefit of its students, faculty, staff and alumni.

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

About Cabrini University: Founded in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cabrini University is a Catholic institution that empowers a diverse population of students to become advocates of social change. Through the University’s Education of the Heart, student learning focuses on academic excellence, community engagement, and leadership development. Cabrini offers 50+ undergraduate majors and minors, as well as online and hybrid graduate, doctoral, and professional studies programs. Its 112-acre suburban campus is located 30 minutes from Philadelphia. For more, visit