A Message From Father Donohue

July 26, 2016


Dear Faculty, Students and Staff:

Provost Maggitti and I are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of J. Leon Washington as the Dean of Enrollment Management, effective September 1. This key appointment is the result of a rigorous national search that included a wide range of talented candidates. We ultimately determined that Leon Washington is the ideal choice for this important position.

An accomplished administrator with more than 35 years of experience in all aspects of enrollment management, Leon brings great energy and extensive knowledge to his new role at Villanova. As Dean, he will oversee the Offices of University Admission, Financial Assistance, University Outreach and the Registrar. His principal areas of responsibility will include monitoring student enrollment, retention, merit scholarships and need-based financial aid trends.

The Office of Enrollment Management has done a great deal the last several years to increase the talent and diversity of the Villanova undergraduate student community. These efforts have helped raise the national profile of the University and have created a strong and thriving student body. Under Leon’s leadership, I know this success will continue.

Leon currently serves as the Vice Provost of Admissions and Financial Aid at Lehigh University, and in this role, he manages all aspects of enrollment management. During his tenure at Lehigh, he designed and implemented a long-term strategic plan to meet the university’s ambitious enrollment goals, which included significantly increasing the total and quality of applications, as well as growing the number of enrolled international and multicultural students. He was also responsible for expanding the national representation of the university, which historically had drawn students primarily from the Northeast region.

Prior to Lehigh University, Leon served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Student Academic Support at the University of California-Davis. As Assistant Vice Chancellor, he designed and implemented the first phase of UC Davis’ new enrollment and recruitment plan, and worked collaboratively with academic units across campus to participate in recruiting, admitting and retaining students. Leon also worked in the Chancellor’s Office at California State University, where he led the enrollment management function for the system’s 23 campuses. Beyond this, he has served in enrollment management leadership positions at some of the nation’s premier private colleges as well as large public universities. Leon earned a Bachelor of Arts from Dakota Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts from California State University-Hayward.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Cathy Connor, who has served as Interim Dean since last December. Cathy has been an incredible resource during this period of transition, and I am extremely grateful for her leadership over the past year. I would also like to thank everyone who participated in the interview process for this key leadership position.

Please join me in congratulating Leon on being named Dean of Enrollment Management and in welcoming him to our University community.



Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA