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Villanova University Successfully Concludes Transforming Minds and Hearts Campaign

Campaign exceeds $300 million goal with donations benefiting academic initiatives, scholarships, facilities, athletics, and endowment

Villanova celebrates with a New York City gala at Waldorf-Astoria Friday, December 7

For Immediate Release
December 6, 2007

Villanova, Pa. - Villanova University announces the successful conclusion of Transforming Minds and Hearts: The Campaign for Villanova, launched in 2004. The campaign exceeded its $300 million goal with more than 40,000 donors contributing. Fifty-seven of the gifts exceeded $1 million, which comprised more than 50% of the total goal.

Campaign gifts have benefited Villanova University’s academic initiatives, scholarships, facilities, and athletics, as well as its endowment. Leadership for the campaign was provided by a 22-member Steering Committee, headed by Campaign Chairman Gerald S. J. Cassidy, Esq. ’63 and Vice Chairmen James C. Curvey ‘57 and William B. Finneran, ’63.

The Campaign for Villanova, which ranks as the largest fundraising effort in the University’s history, was begun under the leadership of former Villanova University President, the Rev. Edmund J. Dobbin, O.S.A. The theme of Transforming Minds and Hearts underscores Villanova’s character, which as a Catholic and Augustinian University celebrates the intertwined relationship of the mind and heart.

On December 7, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Villanova University President, the Board of Trustees, and the Campaign Steering Committee will host an 800-guest, black-tie dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. The gala, entitled The Faces of Villanova, honors the University’s many alumni, parents, and friends for their generosity. Current Villanovans will be celebrated with over 100 student representatives in attendance. Among the special guests expected to attend will be the U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, the Honorable Arlen J. Specter.

“The generous way in which Villanovans have come forward to support the University through this campaign is remarkable,” said Father Donohue. “We are fortunate to have a community of alumni, parents, and friends which believes so strongly in our University and its mission. The success of this campaign strengthens our educational experience and ensures that Villanova will be able transform minds and hearts for years to come.”

Transforming Minds and Hearts Campaign Gifts

Gifts to the campaign enabled Villanova University to enhance its academic initiatives, scholarships, facilities, athletic programs, as well as increasing its endowment. Highlights include:

Academic Initiatives:

Campaign gifts will be used to attract, retain and recognize renowned faculty, encourage innovative teaching, and enhance current programs and learning initiatives. The campaign has funded 13 new endowed chair positions across each of the colleges and the School of Law as well as the endowed dean position at the Villanova School of Business.


Endowment funds will be used to augment the level of financial assistance provided to exceptional students based upon academic merit and community involvement. Campaign gifts include scholarships for international studies that bring students from Sweden and Ireland to Villanova as well as scholarships for local and area high schools students of the donors’ alma maters.


To allow for the most advanced learning environment, the campaign provided major support toward enhancing the campus and the University’s facilities. Highlights include construction of a new School of Law building with state-of-the-art classrooms and office spaces, slated for completion in August 2009; and the newly-opened Davis Center for Athletics and Fitness, featuring both basketball program practice and training facilities and a fitness center for the entire campus community.


Funding designated to the athletic programs will enhance student-athlete coaching, training and facilities, while ensuring that adequate levels of academic support are available through scholarships, counseling, and advisement. Highlights include an endowed fund for athletic leadership in international competition and the endowed track and field coach.


Campaign gifts earmarked as undesignated contributed to the University’s endowment, which has currently reached an all-time high of approximately $360 million. This enables the University leadership to address ongoing needs while also allowing flexibility in initiating programs and opportunities that benefit the entire campus community.

Villanova University

Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova Law School. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see