January 2015

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Classes have begun and the campus is once again full of activity. With the new semester underway, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.

2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Next week, our campus will join together to mark the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., PhD, with five days of activities. Kicking things off will be a Day of Service on Monday when hundreds of Villanovans will make it a day on, not a day off by volunteering at sites throughout the region. Volunteer registration is available online through Friday, January 16.

Other events planned as part of this year's Celebration include a keynote speech on January 20 delivered by Bryan Stevenson, professor of Clinical Law at the New York University School of Law and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and Freedom School on January 22. In addition, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's visit to Villanova University. A reading of excerpts of the speech he delivered during that visit, as well as commentary and discussion, will take place on January 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Connelly Center Cinema.

Highlighted by service, fellowship and dialog, this annual celebration is a wonderful way for our campus to begin the Spring Semester and work together toward achieving Dr. King's vision of the beloved community.

Board of Trustees Elects Officers and New Members

I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has elected as its chair Paul A. Tufano, Esq. '83 VSB, '86 VLS, chairman and chief executive officer of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies; as its vice chair Joseph V. Topper, Jr. '77 VSB, chief executive officer and president of CrossAmerica Partners LLP; and as its secretary the Rev. Joseph L. Narog, OSA, pastor of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish. In addition, five new members recently joined the Villanova University Board of Trustees as of January 1:

Rev. Francis J. Doyle, OSA '67 CLAS, prior, Bellesini Friary
Rev. James Halstead, OSA, PhD, assistant professor of Religious Studies, DePaul University
Tom Klein '84 VSB, president and chief executive officer, Sabre Corporation
Nnenna J. Lynch '93 CLAS, director of Development, The Georgetown Company, LLC
Thomas M. Quindlen '84 VSB, executive vice president and chief executive officer, Synchrony Financial

Additionally, the Rev. Francis J. Horn, OSA, JCD '72 CLAS, treasurer of the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, joined the Board in October, replacing the Rev. Shawn Tracy, OSA, who passed away in July.

The Board of Trustees serves as the governing body of Villanova University. It is comprised of alumni and friends who volunteer their time and expertise to provide critical oversight and guidance for the University.

Provost Search Website

As I shared with you previously, the University has begun the search for a provost. This is an important position for Villanova and I am committed to ensuring that our community is updated on the progress of the search. A webpage has been created - www.villanova.edu/provostsearch - to serve as a central repository of information related to the position and the search process. The page features the position description, information about the search firm, a Villanova email address for general inquires and a list of the search committee members. The committee and I welcome your nominations of potential candidates, so the webpage also provides information for submissions of nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest which will go to Diversified Search, the firm the University has hired.

Villanova Earns Recognition for Community Service and Engagement

Villanova University has been recognized twice recently by national organizations for the its efforts in community service and engagement. In December, Villanova was named to the 2014 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in the category of General Community Service. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteerism, service-learning and civic engagement. Villanova University first appeared on the President's Honor Roll in 2007 and has now received this recognition seven times including three times with Distinction.

On January 7, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced that it had selected Villanova University as one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Villanova first received this classification in 2008 and was among 157 institutions to have this classification renewed in 2015. This is an "elective" classification, which institutions seek voluntarily by submitting requisite materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community both locally and beyond. This voluntary approach enables the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not normally captured in national data on colleges and universities.  

I extend my thanks to the Office of Planning and Institutional Research which coordinated these submissions, and my congratulations to the entire Villanova community for these distinguished recognitions. They are a wonderful reflection of just how intricately community service and civic engagement are woven into the fabric of who we are as a University.

President's Office Hours for Students

I set aside time on my schedule each semester to meet with students who would like to share ideas, raise concerns, or ask questions. Dates and times for the Spring 2015 semester have been posted and can be accessed online. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and look forward to meeting with you.

Best wishes to each of you for a successful, rewarding and productive semester!



Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA