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Villanova University "Day of Service" Highlights Annual St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration

More than 2,000 Villanova students, staff, faculty, alumni and their families volunteer for St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration’s “Day of Service”

Celebration includes an Academic Symposium on "Giving Life: Water, Faith and Sustainability"

For Immediate Release
Sept. 3, 2008

VILLANOVA, Pa., September 15, 2008 – Each fall, Villanova University begins its academic year with a celebration honoring St. Thomas of Villanova, the 16th-century Augustine bishop of Valencia, Spain, and patron saint of the University. On Saturday, September 20, more than 2,000 Villanovans – students, staff, faculty, alumni and families – will participate in the 2008 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration “Day of Service.” The Villanovans will volunteer throughout the Greater Philadelphia area at locations that include Philabundance, the Philadelphia Zoo, Heart of Camden, the Philadelphia Department of Recreation and Hospice Life Choice-Dunwoody Village. In addition, Villanova alumni from across the country will also donate time in their local areas as part of the Day of Service, in support of the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration.

“The Day of Service is an effective and visible way that the Villanova community can demonstrate its commitment to Greater Philadelphia,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Villanova University President. “Members of our community are active throughout the year performing service and partnering with neighborhood agencies. This one day allows us to shine a light on these efforts and draw attention to the good work that our community is doing year-round.”

The celebration kicks off on Friday, September 19, at the University with an Academic Symposium entitled "Giving Life: Water, Faith, and Sustainability." The Symposium will focus on water policy with guest speakers discussing topics such as the theological/spiritual nature of water, the science of water resource issues and water as a force in global politics and human life. The Symposium will be moderated by Dr. Robert Traver (professor of Civil Engineering at Villanova University and director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership) and Dr. Nancy L. Kelley (director of Villanova’s First-Year Academic Learning Communities). Guest speakers include:

  • Dr. Jerome Delli Priscoli, senior advisor to the Chief U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Institute for Water Resources
  • Dr. Timothy Brunk, assistant professor of theology at Villanova, with expertise in sacramental theology.

Traditionally held on one afternoon, the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration was expanded last year to incorporate the Day of Service, an initiative instituted by Father Donohue during his inauguration as Villanova University’s 32nd President in Fall 2006.

For more information regarding the 2008 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, including full biographies of the Academic Symposium speakers, visit:

*Media interested in covering the Symposium or Day of Service should contact the Department of Media Relations at (610) 519-5152.

St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration Schedule

Friday, September 19

  • Academic Symposium Connelly Center – Villanova Room 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 20

  • Day of Service “Send Off” The Pavilion 8:30 a.m.
  • Day of Service Various locations in Greater Philadelphia area 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Liturgy The Pavilion 4:00 p.m.
  • Community Dinner The Pavilion 5:30 p.m.

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s 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 School of Law. 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.