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More than 3,200 to participate in Villanova University’s annual St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration “Day of Service”

Villanova students, staff, faculty, alumni and families will volunteer at more than 115 sites throughout the Greater Philadelphia region Sept. 19

Each year, Villanovans provide more than 64,000 hours of service to communities locally, regionally and globally

September 16, 2009

VILLANOVA, Pa., September 16, 2009 – More than 3,200 Villanova University students, staff, faculty, alumni and families are expected to participate in the University’s 2009 “Day of Service,” volunteering at 115 locations through the Greater Philadelphia region on Saturday, Sept. 19. This event is part of Villanova’s annual St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, honoring the University’s patron saint, the 16th-century Augustine bishop of Valencia, Spain. The “Day of Service” has grown from 1,500 volunteers in 2006, it’s first year, and now will engage more than 3,200 volunteers.

Among the service sites in Greater Philadelphia are: Fairmount Park, East Kensington Neighbors Association, Northlight Community Center, Elmwood Park Zoo, Radnor Historical Society and the Wynnefield Heights Civic Association. In addition, Villanova alumni across the country will donate time in their local areas as part of the Day of Service.

“The Day of Service has become a powerful demonstration of Villanova’s campus-wide commitment to service,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Villanova University President. “It is an extension of the work that takes place throughout the year as our students, faculty and staff work with local organizations to meet needs large and small. The size and scope of our Day of Service allows us to provide more than 15,000 hours of service in one day and, just as important, bring greater awareness to the issues facing the communities in our region.”

Each year, Villanovans provide more than 64,000 hours of service to communities locally, regionally and globally. Villanova was recently honored with three community service awards. Special Olympics Pennsylvania inducted Villanova University into its Hall of Fame, honoring the University with the Chairman's Choice Award. Villanova is host to the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event in the world. Additionally, Villanova was chosen to receive The Higher Education Civic Engagement Award from The Washington Center and was selected as one of the top five Habitat for Humanity campus chapters for 2009.

The St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration kicks off Friday, Sept. 18, at the University with an Academic Symposium entitled "Restorative Justice: A Catholic Response to Crime and Punishment." The Symposium focuses on crime and punishment and includes several speakers who will discuss restorative justice as the appropriate Catholic response to crime and punishment. The Symposium will be moderated by Barbara E. Wall, Ph.D., Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Villanova University. The guest speakers include:

  • Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, C.S.B., D.D., Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Jill A. McCorkel, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, Villanova University
  • Joyce A. Zavarich, D. Min., Associate Director of Campus Ministry, Villanova University

For more information regarding the 2009 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, including full biographies of the Academic Symposium speakers, visit:

MEDIA: Any media interested in covering the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration “Day of Service” should contact the Department of Media Relations at (610) 519-5152.

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.