The Opus Prize is awarded annually on college campuses, providing an opportunity to inspire a new generation of leaders. The Opus Prize is given not only to expand the humanitarian efforts of the recipient, but to inspire others to pursue lives of service. The $1 million award and two $100,000 prizes make up one of the world's largest faith-based awards for social entrepreneurship. Opus Prize laureates combine the spirit of innovation with amazing faith to inspire long-term, local solutions to address poverty and injustice. Opus Prize laureates prove change is possible, empowering and inspiring us all. Opus Prize criteria includes:

  • Individuals or organizations who champion faith-filled change
  • Doing work aligned with the mission and values of the Opus Prize
  • Committed to successfully transforming lives
  • Working anywhere in the world
  • Motivated by any faith or religion
  • Able to benefit significantly from the monetary award and recognition 


Father Peter Donohue, Villanova President, meets with students in his office.

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

I am pleased to announce that Villanova University has been selected to host the 2023 Opus Prize, which will be awarded on our campus in November 2023. The Opus Prize is awarded annually to individuals or organizations who champion faith-filled change and are working to solve the world’s most persistent social issues.

Each year, the Opus Prize Foundation partners with a Catholic university to award the Prize—$1 million for first place and $100,000 to the two runners-up, making it one of the world’s largest faith-based awards for social entrepreneurship. As host of the event, Villanova is responsible for identifying nominees, selecting finalists, participating in due-diligence site visits, planning the awards week on campus, and most importantly, inspiring others to ignite change in their respective work and organizations.

Earlier this fall, I formed the Villanova Opus Prize Committee, co-chaired by Nick Tumolo, Director of University Events and Initiatives; and Alicia Dunphy-Culp, Senior Director of First-Year Experience and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life. The committee consists of students, faculty, staff and alumni from across campus who are responsible for infusing our Villanova values and tradition into this year’s event. One of the committee’s first tasks was to develop the 2023 prize’s theme, and I am pleased to share that it is distinctly Villanovan: “Awakening Restless Hearts: The Opus Prize at Villanova University.”

I will have more updates to share as we move through the process of serving as the 2023 Opus Prize host institution, and I extend my deepest gratitude to everyone for their efforts involved in planning this prestigious, University-wide event. 


Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA

Logo for the Opus Prize

NOVEMBER 6-9, 2023

A series of events and celebrations are currently being planned to bring the Opus Prize to Villanova University. Check back soon for more information.



Nick Tumolo
Office of the President

Alicia Dunphy-Culp
Student Life

Committee Members

Celina Alexander
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Paul Camacho
Augustinian Institute

Kevin Covington
Center for Access, Success and Achievement

Fr. Frank Doyle, OSA
University Board of Trustees

Judy Duroseau
University Advancement

Jordan Ermilio
Center for Humanitarian Engineering and International Development

Miranda Febus
Office of Intercultural Affairs

Katie Fischer
Office of the President

Kate Giancatarino
St. Thomas of Villanova Center for the Common Good

Dan Griffin
Mission & Ministry

Kevin Grubb
Career Center

Caroline Levine
Office of the President

Bette Mariani
Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Patty McGoldrick
University Advancement

Michael Moreland
Charles Widger School of Law

Skylor Morton
Office of Residence Life

Tia Pratt
Office of Mission & Ministry

Chesley Turner
Center for Church Management

Kathy Welsch
The Inn at Villanova University

Catherine Wilson
Department of Public Administration

Hamna Chaudhry
Student, Class of 2024

Zenaida De La Cruz
Student, Class of 2024

Claire McBlain
Student, Class of 2024

William Minnig
Student, Class of 2024

Hannah Phillips
Student, Class of 2024

Mychaela Purnell
Student, Class of 2024

Elizabeth Vaughn
Student, Class of 2024

Grace Akkara
Student, Class of 2025

Jamie Barbara
Student, Class of 2025

Madison Lawrence
Student, Class of 2025

Teni Babatunde
Student, Class of 2026

Majo James
Student, Class of 2026

Liseth Mejia Perez
Student, Class of 2026


The jurors for the Opus Prize stand together for a photograph.

Eleven distinguished jurors have been named to select the three finalists for the 2023 Opus Prize, an annual faith-based humanitarian award—whose $1 million award and two $100,000 prizes make up one of the world's largest faith-based awards for social entrepreneurship. The prestigious honor recognizes individuals who champion faith-filled change and are working to solve the world’s most persistent social issues. 

Members of Villanova’s Opus Prize jury include leaders from the Greater Philadelphia arts, business, non-profit, faith and civic communities, and have the important responsibility of reviewing and evaluating nominations based on the Opus Prize values and principles, which will be centered around the theme of “Awakening Restless Hearts.”

Madeline Bell '83 FCN
President and Chief Executive Officer of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Fr. Kevin DePrinzio, OSA
Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Villanova University

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, '75 CLAS
President of Villanova University, Chair

Chris Gheysens '93 VSB
President and Chief Executive Officer, Wawa, Inc.

Jane Golden
Founder and Executive Director, Mural Arts Philadelphia

Rev. Jim Greenfield, OSFS
President, DeSales University

Joseph Lenz
Senior Disaster Program Manager, American Red Cross

Crystal Lucky, PhD
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of English

Cathy Nguyen
Villanova Class of 2023

Michael Nutter
Former Mayor of Philadelphia

Sister Mary Scullion, RSM
Activist and Co-Founder, Project HOME