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Donor Spotlight: The Nord Family

Social Justice Documentary program
Photo by Elaine Nord

When Villanova launched the Social Justice Documentary Film Course in 2009, it didn’t take long for parents to get involved.

The course teaches students how to produce professional quality documentary films, and challenges them to turn the spotlight on contemporary social justice issues over the course of just one semester. The result is a highly creative, real-world, hands-on opportunity that gives students remarkable experiences that help launch their careers as media professionals.

Elaine and David Nord, parents of Erika ’10, Garrison ’12 and Dustin ’15, immediately took an interest. The Nords served on the Parents Executive Committee for 7 years, and Elaine is an active member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As they learned more about the film course, they recognized an opportunity to expand their impact on the student experience.

Elaine and David made a generous gift to support operating and equipment needs for the course. The gift has already made a difference, funding the purchase of new lighting, cameras, microphones and editing software, and also contains an endowed component that will support the program in perpetuity. 

Elaine remarked, “I am so impressed by the caliber of work the students produce, and the powerful messages they share about social justice issues. This is one of the Villanova experiences that lasts a lifetime, and we’re thrilled to support it.”

Since its inception, three films produced in the class have been selected as finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Award competition. A professional photographer, Elaine has joined Villanova students on set to capture their creativity in action.