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Engineering Volunteers “Perform” Service at Footlighters Theater

Members of the College of Engineering brought St. Thomas of Villanova’s spirit of service to life by volunteering at Footlighters Theater in Berwyn on Sept. 24 as part of Villanova University’s annual Day of Service. During a three-day event, thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families partnered with community agencies to improve local communities in the greater Philadelphia region.

“The St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service is a whole weekend dedicated to the goals of the University; it expresses that we are committed to service. It shows our local communities that Villanova is not in a bubble, that we are a part of the community. We have to work together to help those in need,” says Francis Dougherty CE ’13.

Dozens of volunteers from the College of Engineering spent the day participating in different service projects in various locations. “Each year, I see more students than the year before, which tells me that students are beginning to understand that service not only enriches the community but also their personal lives, as well,” says Gayle Doyle, Administrator of Student Support Programs.

Nearly 20 engineering volunteers assisted Footlighters Theater by covering the box office, stairway walls, railings, and the interior of the theater with a fresh coat of black paint. Not limited to the inside of the theater, volunteers also helped with exterior landscaping and removed a defective water fountain. Volunteers may have not installed an intricate electrical system or built the theater from ground up but, “although the work may not feel like you’re doing a lot, even the smallest things go a long way,” says Dougherty. At the end of the day, Footlighters invited the volunteers to join them for the opening night of their next play. They also publicly thanked the team for their efforts on the theater’s website.

Bringing together nearly 5,000 volunteers annually, the Villanova Day of Service only shows signs of exponential growth. The service-packed weekend includes lectures, a community dinner, and a presentation of the annual Distinguished Service Awards to recognize volunteers. 

Volunteers from the College of Engineering at Footlighters Theater in Berwyn, Pa.
Volunteers from the College of Engineering at Footlighters Theater in Berwyn, Pa.