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Villanova University Launches $600 Million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For The Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change”

Transformative $50 million lead gift from alumnus James C. Davis and wife, Kim, marks launch

The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, Villanova University President, announced the launch of a bold new $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign on Saturday, Oct. 26.

VILLANOVA, Pa., Oct. 26, 2013 – Villanova University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, this evening announced the launch of a $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.”

This Campaign, the most ambitious in Villanova’s 170-year history, is anchored by the largest ever gift to the University – a $50 million commitment from alumnus James C. Davis ’81 and his wife, Kim. A member of the Villanova University Board of Trustees, Davis serves as Campaign Co-Chair together with Terence (Terry) M. O’Toole ’80, former Chair of the Board. Villanova begins the public phase of its Campaign having raised nearly $300 million, which was the goal attained in the University’s previous campaign concluded in 2007. 

“This extraordinary gift from Jim and Kim Davis illustrates the boldness of this Campaign,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “The significant investment in the University reflects an unwavering belief in its mission and a desire to play a key role in charting its future. I am grateful to Jim and Kim for this historic, inspirational and transformational gift, which will usher in a new era of philanthropy at Villanova.”

With this new $600 million Campaign, Villanova secures its future by further cultivating academic innovation across its schools and colleges, investing in recruiting and retaining the finest teacher-scholars, dramatically enhancing financial aid and student opportunities, and continuing to build a premier living-learning environment on the University’s 260-acre campus. These goals will be attained through the following Campaign priorities: Endowment ($250 million); Academic and Programmatic Priorities ($125 million); Facilities ($150 million); and Annual Fund ($75 million).

The historic $50 million gift, made through the Davis Family Foundation, will significantly impact the University by strengthening Villanova’s endowment and supporting initiatives advancing academic innovation. Designated for the Villanova School of Business (VSB), the Davis’ generous investment will enable VSB to further enhance its strong position as a top, nationally-ranked business school. Specifically, Villanova will bolster its world-class student experience by creating the Davis Family Funds for student enrichment, scholarship, and strategic and capital initiatives. This lead gift is a continuation of the Davis’ significant investment in the University and its students. Previously, Davis and his brother, William ’85, and their families generously supported an intercollegiate athletics and recreation facility, which opened in November 2007 and was named in their honor.

“Villanova’s leadership continues to navigate the University to new and exciting heights, and this Campaign will help to assure an even brighter future,” said Davis. “A Villanova education builds leaders, and the University’s role in helping develop these leadership qualities compels Villanovans to want to give back. As someone who gained so much through his time as a business student at Villanova, I believe in this University, and this trust led Kim and me to want to invest in its future.”

Campaign Co-Chair Terry O’Toole ’80, and his wife, Paula (Polly), made a $10 million gift to the University, establishing the O’Toole Family Presidential Scholarship Program. Villanova also received a second $10 million gift made anonymously toward a new Performing Arts Center. To date, 49 donors have made gifts of $1 million plus to the Campaign totaling $172 million.

“Villanova is stronger than ever, and while the University is seen and respected as an elite national Catholic university, we must raise our endowment to the level that will support our bold vision,” said O’Toole. “This Campaign will allow us to honor all that Villanova has achieved, and by increasing our endowment, assure that the University can continue to support the next generation of exceptional Villanovans.”


This Campaign builds upon the upward trajectory of Villanova University under the leadership of Fr. Donohue, now in his eighth year as University President. During his tenure, Villanova launched a bold new strategic plan and campus master plan, increased its commitment to financial assistance, established a new core curriculum, made programmatic changes across the academic landscape, and increased its focus on diversity. Fr. Donohue also hired three new academic deans and established a new leadership team, opened three state-of-the-art buildings, launched regional advancement offices in five cities across the country, and dramatically increased alumni participation and giving from 16 to 24 percent. 

“The University's Campaign leadership and Board of Trustees have demonstrated fervent support for this Campaign through their incredible generosity,” said Michael J. O’Neill, Villanova’s Vice President for University Advancement. “Along with their dramatic support, our alumni, parents and friends have generously responded to Villanova's compelling vision with gifts at every level, and their impact has galvanized every facet of the University as we mount this historic undertaking.” 


The student is at the center of the Campaign, with every goal designed to enrich the student experience and the Augustinian living-learning environment distinctive to Villanova. The four strategic goals of the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change are:

  • Cultivate Academic Innovation: The Campaign will strongly position Villanova as a leader in interdisciplinary programs. It will allow the University to intensify its commitment to identifying new pedagogical approaches and establish new Centers of Excellence that promote collaboration across the colleges and schools.
  • Attract and Support World-Class Teacher-Scholars: Investing in new faculty endowed chairs and professorships will enable Villanova to recruit, retain and support the best teacher-scholars, supporting the transformative impact of scholarly excellence and student-professor partnerships.
  • Expand Student Opportunities and Financial Aid: By increasing its endowment, Villanova will have the ability to decrease the 20% financial aid gap between demonstrated need and available awards. With increased financial aid and distinctive student opportunities, the University will enhance its ability to attract and develop leaders. Villanova will increase personalized learning; expand formal mentoring, co-curricular programs and professional development; and provide additional hands-on experiences through service learning, study abroad and internships.
  • Build a Premier Student-Centered Living and Learning Environment: The University will further update its campus, adding state-of-the-art facilities and reinvigorating the unique living and learning environment that is Villanova.


The Strategic Goals of Villanova’s $600 million Campaign will be attained through the following priorities:

  • Endowment ($250 million): With $250 million of the Campaign going towards increasing the University’s current $425 million endowment, this will support student scholarships and financial aid, endowed faculty chairs and professorships, interdisciplinary curricular and extracurricular programs across Villanova’s schools and colleges, and new academic Centers of Excellence.
  • Academic and Programmatic Priorities ($125 million): The Academic and Programmatic Priorities are aimed at enriching student and campus life, positively impacting undergraduate student research and course development, student “personalized learning” initiatives, faculty recruitment and retention, as well as the University’s general scholarship fund.
  • Facilities ($150 million): The University’s campus plan calls for significant capital investments, featuring continued expansion of student residence capacity, new and modernized teaching and laboratory facilities, a 21st century Library facility, a major restoration of the iconic Tolentine Hall, renovation of the athletic Pavilion, and the creation of a new performing arts center.
  • Annual Fund ($75 million): The Annual Fund gives the University the flexibility to respond to challenges and deliver critical resources that impact every aspect of the Villanova experience. This plays an integral role in providing support to programs and initiatives that benefit the entire campus community.

Campaign: Volunteer Leadership

James C. Davis ’81

Co-chair of Villanova’s $600 million Comprehensive Campaign, James C. Davis ’81 VSB is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and served as a member of the Campaign Organizing Group. Davis and his wife, Kim, have made giving to Villanova a priority, recently supporting several initiatives throughout the University, including Men’s Basketball, the Men’s Basketball Endowed Fund, unrestricted Annual Giving and the President’s Contingency Fund. During the last capital campaign, he, along with his brother, alumnus Bill Davis ’85 VSB, made a $10 million commitment through The Davis Family Foundation, to support an intercollegiate athletics and recreation facility and create The Davis Foundation Athletic Facility Maintenance Endowment. Named The Davis Center for Athletics and Fitness, the facility opened in November 2007. Davis is the Chairman and co-founder of Allegis Group, Inc. in Hanover, Maryland, the largest privately held staffing firm.

Terence M. O’Toole ’80

Terence M. O’Toole ’80 VSB is the former chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees and is co-chair of Villanova’s $600 million Comprehensive Campaign. He has also served as a member of the Campaign Organizing Group, Steering Committee, Chairman’s Task Force and the VSB Dean’s Advisory Council. An ardent supporter of the University, O’Toole endowed the deanship in Villanova Business School in honor of his parents, Helen and William O’Toole in 2007, helping support VSB’s vision as a premier business school built upon outstanding faculty and academic quality. He has also supported the University’s official student newspaper, The Villanovan, a publication of which he served as editor while a student at Villanova. Most recently, a $10 million gift from O’Toole and his wife, Polly, established the O’Toole Family Presidential Scholarship Program at Villanova University. O’Toole is a co-managing partner of Tinicum, Inc., a private investment partnership based in New York City.

For more information on “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change,” visit the Villanova Campaign website at:

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others.  There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.