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Villanova University receives $7 million commitment from Robert F. Moran (’72 VSB) towards Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change”

Moran has committed $5 million to establish the Robert F. Moran Sr. and Elenore C. Moran Center for Global Leadership in the Villanova School of Business, and $2 million towards the Villanova Track and Field Program

 VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University received a $7 million commitment from alumnus Robert F. Moran ’72 VSB – retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PetSmart, Inc. – as part of the University’s $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.” Moran committed $5 million towards an endowment to name the Center for Global Leadership in the Villanova School of Business (VSB), and $2 million towards the Villanova Track and Field Program.

“With this gift, Bob Moran has invested in the future of Villanova,” said Mike O’Neill, Vice President for University Advancement. “His generous philanthropic support is yet another tremendous example that our recently launched $600 million campaign gathers continued momentum and is igniting change – for our students of today and for years to come. In many ways, Bob’s gift is a call to action to the Villanova Community. We are grateful for his leadership and inspired action.”

Villanova launched the public phase of its Campaign in Oct. 2013, and to date has raised $313 million towards its $600 million goal.

“I attribute a significant amount of my success to the great education I received at Villanova University,” said Robert Moran. “I feel that my 16 years of working internationally helped drive my future success and I want to pass along that same opportunity to VSB students. In addition, track and field has always been a major passion of mine and I’m hoping with this donation, we can continue striving for excellence with Villanova’s great program.  Together with Coach Marcus O’Sullivan, we have a vision to make Villanova one of the preeminent track and field programs in the country.”

Established in 2007 to promote cross-cultural awareness, ethical international business relationships, and responsible global leadership, the Center for Global Leadership is one of the flagship Centers of Excellence at VSB. In addition to creating an endowment to name the Center, “The Robert F. Moran Sr. and Elenore C. Moran Center for Global Leadership,” Moran’s gift will bolster the dynamic and innovative focus of the Center by providing funding for faculty research, curricular development, and student scholarships for international studies.                                                                                                

”Bob is a leader and deep strategic thinker in the areas of globalization and innovation,” said Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, The Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business. “His investment in the Center for Global Leadership ensures opportunities for our students to explore the global marketplace. I am personally grateful for his belief in VSB and the Center.”

Moran has also committed $2 million towards Villanova’s Track and Field Program. He has been a life-long track and field aficionado and is still involved in the sport today as a member of the Board of Directors for the USA Track & Field Foundation.  Moran’s gift will support the continued growth and development of Villanova Track and Field, enhancing what is already one of the nation’s elite programs.

“Bob brings a whole new dimension to our program and it is not just financial,” said Marcus O’Sullivan, Director of Track and Field/Cross Country at Villanova. “He brings vision and excitement to the Villanova Track and Field teams. Bob truly understands what we are trying to accomplish here and wants to be a part of our dream.”

Robert F. Moran, ’72 Villanova School of Business (VSB), retired in 2013 from his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PetSmart, Inc., the largest specialty retailer of pet food and supplies in the U.S., with more than 1,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Moran joined PetSmart in 1999 as President of North American stores.  In 2001, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, and in 2009, was named President and Chief Executive Officer.  Moran was appointed Chairman of the Board in January 2012, retaining the title of Chief Executive Officer.

Moran joined PetSmart from Toys R Us, Ltd., Canada, where he was President.  Prior to that, he spent 20 years with Sears, Roebuck and Company in a variety of financial and merchandising positions, including President and Chief Executive Officer of Sears de Mexico.  He was also Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Galerias Preciados of Madrid, Spain from 1991 through 1993.

Recently elected to the Villanova Board of Trustees, Moran joined the University’s 34-member Board, effective Jan. 1.  He previously served as a member of the VSB Dean’s Advisory Council. In addition to his role on Villanova’s Board, he is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Hanesbrands, Inc., GNC Holdings, Inc., and the USA Track & Field Foundation.

Moran received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Villanova School of Business in 1972. He holds an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Arizona.  

Villanova’s Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change,” is the most ambitious in the University’s 170-year history. 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). For more information on the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change, visit

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.

Media Contact:

Jonathan Gust

Director of Media Relations

Villanova University

(610) 519-6508