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Villanova Law Receives $5 Million Naming Gift from Ambassador David F. Girard-diCarlo ’73 and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo ’74, Establishing Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance

Center to introduce new interdisciplinary coursework, academic programs and conferences at Law School

Ambassador David F. Girard-diCarlo ’73 and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo ’74

Villanova, Pa. – Villanova University School of Law (VLS) announced today that Ambassador David F. Girard-diCarlo ’73, retired U.S. Ambassador to Austria and former Managing Partner and Chairman of Blank Rome LLP, and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo ’74, former senior executive at ARAMARK Corporation, have committed $5 million for the establishment of The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance.  The Center is dedicated to the exploration and research of ethics and compliance through the offering of innovative interdisciplinary coursework, special academic programs, and conferences and seminars that explore emerging issues in these areas.

“Adhering to high ethical standards in your profession and encouraging others with whom you interact to do the same can and will create a culture that promotes achievement.  It is our hope and expectation that this new Center will reinforce the importance of fostering an environment based on ethics and integrity not only in law and business but also in life.  We are honored to have our names associated with such an important mission,” said David and Connie Girard-diCarlo.

The gift is part of the University’s $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.” Villanova launched the public phase of its Campaign in October 2013 and to date has raised $408 million towards its $600 million goal. The most ambitious in the University’s 170-year history, Villanova’s Campaign is aimed at 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.

The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance will support the entire Villanova community and help to shape interdisciplinary research and collaboration at the University. It will create new compliance and ethics programs that provide in-depth, real-world explorations of these fields. The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance complements the Law School’s two existing Centers—The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and the Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation—and is one of the growing number of Centers of Excellence at Villanova University.

“Villanova Law is deeply honored that Connie and David—each a pillar in the legal, corporate and civic arenas—have lent their names and so generously supported this new Center,” said John Y. Gotanda, Arthur J. Kania Dean of Villanova University School of Law. “Connie and David truly embody what it means to be a Villanova lawyer—an ethical leader who creates positive change everywhere life takes them. Their remarkable careers and their dedicated service to their country and community serve as an inspiration for generations of our students and alumni.”

“Villanova Law seeks to be the change agent that directly addresses the demands of tomorrow’s legal market,” added Dean Gotanda. “This new Center builds upon the Law School’s position at the intersection of law and business and furthers the University’s goal of educating ethical leaders.”

About The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance

Lawyers need to know more than just the law, as they are called on to perform important roles as counselors, problem solvers and strategists. In the current regulatory environment, businesses are under intense scrutiny from various enforcement agencies, both public and private. Lawyers must be ready to meet those complex challenges effectively and ethically.  The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance at Villanova University School of Law will be dedicated to the exploration and research of ethics and compliance— areas of vital importance in today’s business and law practice environment.

The Center, under the guidance of its inaugural Faculty Director Professor Steven L. Chanenson, will oversee the design of new coursework and special academic programs and will bring leading experts and scholars to the Law School for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. By hosting cutting-edge conferences and academics events, it will also become a premier resource for the compliance and ethics fields.

Ambassador David and Constance Girard-diCarlo have had a significant impact on corporate, legal, political and civic affairs during their careers. Both Villanova Law alumni, each has made a major mark in their respective fields.

Constance B. Girard-diCarlo was a successful lawyer and executive in the service industry, having held numerous senior management positions throughout her 25-year career with ARAMARK Corporation. She joined ARAMARK as Assistant General Counsel upon her graduation from Villanova Law in 1974. Mrs. Girard-diCarlo went on to serve as Vice President, Mid-Atlantic Region, ARAMARK Campus Services and then President of ARAMARK School Support Services. From 1990 until she retired in 1999, she served as President of Healthcare Support Services, an ARAMARK division that manages support service departments in the healthcare industry.

Mrs. Girard-diCarlo served on the boards of The Day & Zimmermann Group, Inc., EnergyNorth, Inc., The Multicare Companies, Inc., the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Widener University, The Franklin Institute, The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation and Girl Scouts of Southeastern Pennsylvania, among others. A native of Elkins Park, Pa., Mrs. Girard-diCarlo graduated from the University of Miami in 1967 with a BA in Economics. 

Ambassador David F. Girard-diCarlo, Ret. distinguished himself in law, politics and civic activities throughout his career.  He was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2008 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Austria. In that role, Ambassador Girard-diCarlo oversaw more than 500 U.S. and Austrian employees at the Embassy as well as the operations of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Vienna and the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Prior to his diplomatic appointment, Ambassador Girard-diCarlo served for 22 years as the managing partner and then chairman of Blank Rome LLP. He also served as chairman and CEO of Blank Rome Government Relations LLC from 1996 to 2008. After his diplomatic service, Ambassador Girard-diCarlo was a member and shareholder of Cozen O’Connor from 2009 to 2012, where he provided strategic advice to clients in the banking, health care, education, transportation and service industries.

Actively involved in politics for more than three decades, Ambassador Girard-diCarlo held positions with numerous local, state and federal campaigns and served as co-chairman of the host committee for the 2000 Republican National Convention held in Philadelphia.

Ambassador Girard-diCarlo served on the boards of numerous public companies and governmental entities, including PNC Financial Services Group, Midlantic Corporation, Continental Bank, Pennoni Associates, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) and the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. He served as chairman of the board of both the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

An active participant in the cultural communities in which he lived and worked, Ambassador Girard-diCarlo served in leadership positions at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Orchestra Association, the Gettysburg Foundation, the National Constitution Center and Saint Joseph’s University, among others.

Ambassador Girard-diCarlo has received numerous awards and honors, including the Americanism Award from the Anti-Defamation League; the Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee; and the Pontifical Honor of Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, conferred upon him by Pope John Paul II for his work as chairman of Business Leaders Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS).

Ambassador Girard-diCarlo has been an active alumnus throughout the years, having served as Chairman and now life member of the Board of Consultors of Villanova University School of Law. In 2003, Ambassador Girard-diCarlo was recognized for his ongoing commitment to Villanova Law as recipient of its Gerald Abraham Award for Distinguished Service. He has chaired major fundraising campaigns for the Law School, including the Reuschlein Fund (the Law School’s first capital campaign) and the Campaign for Villanova Law (which helped fund the construction of the current School of Law building). As part of that second campaign, Ambassador and Mrs. Girard-diCarlo generously donated the funding for the Student Lounge. Born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., Ambassador Girard-diCarlo graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1970 with a BA in History. While in law school, he was editor-in-chief of The Villanova Law Review.

About Villanova University School of Law: Founded in 1953, Villanova University School of Law provides broad-based legal education that is grounded in academic rigor, practical hands-on training and a foundation in business that prepares graduates for diverse and rewarding legal careers. The Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association, offers seven in-house clinics and more than 150 externship opportunities that immerse students in the real-world application of their legal skills. Villanova is home to three Centers of Excellence—The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance; the Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law—which provide students the opportunity to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary legal fields through study, practical experience and mentorship.

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.