Donor Spotlight: Mike Gardner ’67 CLAS
Mike Gardner ’67 CLAS is thankful for and proud of the Augustinian grounding he received during his time at Villanova, which he considers the foundation for his life. “I support Villanova and its initiatives so I can give back to the University for all they have given to me during my undergraduate years, career and life,” Mike said.
Originally from the West Coast, Mike relocated with his family to northern Virginia for high school in Washington DC before moving onto Villanova for college. Following his graduation from Villanova, Mike accepted a position with IBM and spent more than 40 years in a high-tech career in Silicon Valley.
He gives back to the University by promoting entrepreneurship among Villanova students through the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute, which seeks to advance collaborative, multi-disciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship at Villanova by providing scholastic, educational and professional development opportunities.
In addition to his role as an Advisory Council member for the ICE Institute, Gardner further lends his expertise and mentorship to the Villanova community by serving as West Coast Chair of Villanova in the Valley. This ICE Institute-sponsored entrepreneurship immersion program for students held each January in Silicon Valley provides participants with opportunities to visit regional companies and attend networking events and educational tours where they hear first-hand from investors, entrepreneurs, startups, large companies and innovators.
His philanthropy to the University is very personal, as Villanova holds a special place in the Gardner family. “Both of my children went to Villanova and—most importantly—I met and married my wife while at VU,” Mike said.