VILLANOVA, Pa. – Building upon its year-round commitment to service, nearly 5,000 members of the Villanova University community will roll up their sleeves Sept. 27 to partner with local service organizations and neighborhood agencies throughout the Greater Philadelphia region in celebration of the University’s ninth annual St. Thomas of Villanova “Day of Service.” One of the largest single-day service events in the region, the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration honors the University’s patron saint – the 16th century Augustinian bishop of Valencia, Spain – known for his great charity to the poor and marginalized. Villanova students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families will fan out to more than 140 sites to pitch in on projects ranging from neighborhood cleanups and painting to working on an urban farm and creating a rain garden.
“Villanova’s community-wide commitment to service is exemplified during the annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “Each fall, Villanovans come together to work alongside our neighbors throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. The energy and enthusiasm generated during this one day carries through the rest of the academic year and serves as a catalyst for the great volunteer work that our students, faculty, staff and alumni will perform year-round.”
“The Day of Service brings Villanovans together as a family with a unified goal of serving more than 140 different service sites around the region,” said Michael Fox, student chair of the Day of Service. “What makes the whole celebration so special is that it embodies the Catholic and Augustinian principles that make this University unlike any other. By giving of their time on Saturday morning as one cohesive unit, all of the volunteers make a huge difference in the areas surrounding Villanova.”
The St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service is just one of many ways that Villanovans reach out to meet the needs of communities near and far. They provide more than 220,000 hours of service annually in communities locally, regionally and globally. In the Philadelphia area, Villanovans participate in weekly outreach opportunities at social service and charitable organizations. They also engage in a wide variety of long-term mentoring and service-break experiences as well as ongoing Habitat for Humanity projects.
This year’s St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration begins Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m., with the presentation of the annual St. Thomas of Villanova Lecture in The Pavilion on the University’s Main Campus. The 2014 lecture features New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore, whose book, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, has been selected to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University’s One Book Villanova community reading program. In his book, Moore, a U.S. Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, executive producer and host of the PBS series, Coming Back with Wes Moore, explores how the different choices made by himself and another man with the same name, born blocks apart within a year of each other, destined one to become a Rhodes Scholar and the other in prison for the rest of his life. The event is free and open to the public.
The St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration continues Friday, Sept. 26 with a Community Collection Day to benefit local community agencies that are partners for the Day of Service. The donation of items such as canned and dry goods, school and arts and crafts supplies, toiletries, and baby supplies will be delivered on Saturday as part of the Day of Service.
Day of Service volunteers will depart from The Pavilion on the University’s Main Campus at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, to work in local neighborhoods, schools, churches, community centers and other service organizations across the Greater Philadelphia Region. Among the more than 140 service sites are 18 Main Line locations, including sites in Radnor Township. In addition, alumni across the country will donate time volunteering in their local areas as part of the Day of Service.
For more information regarding the 2014 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, visit: www.villanova.edu/stvc
MEDIA: For additional information on the 2014 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, including Day of Service sites and details, please contact the Department of Media Relations at (610) 519-5152.
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 six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies 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.