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Villanova University’s Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good Receives Grant from Thomas W. Smith Foundation

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good has been awarded a $300,000 grant from The Thomas W. Smith Foundation. The funds will support Post-doctoral Fellows, Senior Fellows, Constitution Day programs, Visiting Lecturers and other programs that advance an understanding of the principles and practices of constitutional democracy and free society.  The Center, housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, also organizes and sponsors reading groups, student groups, the Freedom and Virtue Learning Community, and gives out student scholarships. 

 "We are deeply appreciative to the Thomas W. Smith Foundation for their abundant generosity," said Colleen Sheehan, director of the Ryan Center and a political science professor at Villanova University.  “Because of their support, we are able to bring esteemed scholars and leaders with real world political experience to campus to interact with our students."

The Matthew J. Ryan Center promotes inquiry into the principles and processes of free government and seeks to advance understanding of the responsibilities of statesmen and citizens of constitutional democratic societies. Recognizing the primary place Pennsylvania holds in the American founding and creation of the American republic is foundational to the Center’s mission. It honors its namesake, Matthew J. Ryan, a distinguished graduate of Villanova University and the Villanova Law School, who served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for over 40 years.  For more information about the Matthew J. Ryan Center visit us here:

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.