Looking back on his time at Villanova from 1954 to 1958, Alfred Mannella fondly remembers Falvey Memorial Library. A Philadelphia native, Mannella enlisted in the US Navy after high school and became a 10-year veteran of the Naval Air Reserve. Enrolling at Villanova in 1954 as a “day-hop”, the Falvey Memorial Library soon became his study hall and his librarian was Rev. Daniel P. Falvey, OSA, PhD.
After graduation from Villanova, Mannella worked at several manufacturing companies in Philadelphia and was an instructor for Penn State’s Evening Division. He subsequently became Group President of Microdot, Inc. working in the area of the electronics business. He retired at the age of 50 and for the past 25 years he has served on the board of various private and public companies. He credits much of his success to Villanova University.
Alfred Mannella combined his pride in his Italian-American heritage with his appreciation for Villanova by generously funding The Alfred F. Mannella & Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series in honor of his parents. He also endowed a fund in memory of his nephew Michael J. Mannella. The speaker series includes a unique component in an annual lecture focused on the study of Italian-American history and culture. The program has featured many fine scholars representing a variety of fields and offered view-points on the Italian-American experience. It has included some of the finest historians and sociologists as well as biographers, filmmakers, folklorists and authors.
Mannella stays involved with the University and provides support because as he notes, “It is a way of saying and paying gratitude to the Augustinian Order for my chance to learn and for building a moral fiber within my personality and conscious.” He stresses the importance of alumni support for Villanova because it provides the opportunity for young people to have the excellent education they will need to prepare them for the challenges of the future.