VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, today announced at Villanova’s annual “Hoops on the Hudson” basketball event that the Pavilion—the University’s on-campus arena and home to its Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs—will be named for William B. Finneran ’63 VSB. Last spring, Finneran’s $22.6 million leadership gift was announced to support renovations to the Pavilion and programmatic initiatives for the Villanova Men’s Basketball program. This historic gift will have a lasting impact on the University’s Athletics program, and when the Pavilion renovation is completed, it will be renamed the William B. Finneran Pavilion.
“Naming the Pavilion for Bill honors his enthusiasm for—and unwavering dedication to—not only the University’s future, but also the future of Villanova’s Athletics program,” said Father Donohue. “As Villanova’s national prominence continues to rise, it is time for the Pavilion to undergo a significant renovation that, when finished, will more closely represent the tradition of excellence of Villanova Athletics. It is perfectly fitting for the Pavilion to bear Bill’s name since he was integral to making its transformation possible.”
Finneran, a 1963 Villanova alumnus with an Economics degree, is a longtime supporter of the University, serving for a decade as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a co-chair for the University’s previous capital campaign. He is a Founding Partner of EXOP Capital LLC, a long/short hedge fund firm based in New York City, and is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison Control Corporation. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Villanova, and is currently a member of the prestigious Carr and Heritage societies, which recognize the lasting impact of dedicated alumni, parents and friends on the University. A passionate and loyal supporter of Villanova Athletics, he also endowed the men’s basketball head coaching position.
“It will be an honor for us to have Bill's family name on the Pavilion,” said Villanova Head Basketball Coach Jay Wright. “Bill and his family have been very generous to Villanova University and the basketball program. I am proud to serve as the William B. Finneran Head Men's Basketball Coach. This gift will be truly impactful and we look forward to the day when our players walk onto the court at the Finneran Pavilion."
“I am grateful for the opportunities that were given to me during my time at Villanova, and I am pleased to give back in this way to a place that had such a profound impact on my life,” Finneran said. “I have always been passionate about the important role athletics plays at Villanova, and I am confident the renovation will bring a new energy to this venue and to those who practice and play in it.”
This significant renovation will completely transform the Pavilion—creating a high-quality, game-day experience for fans, while also providing a tremendous home-court advantage and strengthening Villanova’s ability to recruit and train the nation’s best and brightest student-athletes. Renovations will elevate the fan experience through improved seating and other amenities, enhance operations, and provide additional premium and VIP seating opportunities. The future venue will celebrate the storied Villanova basketball history and provide a more interactive fan experience.
The renovation planning process has been comprehensive and inclusive, with valuable input gathered from the Villanova University community, season ticketholders and Wildcat fans through market feasibility studies, focus groups and surveys. This process has provided the University with critical feedback to help better inform the Pavilion’s overall renovation plans and goals. Specific details about the renovation, including architectural renderings and a timeline, will be shared when the plans are further along.
“When the Pavilion renovation is complete, we will start a new chapter in its history,” said Mark Jackson, Director of Athletics. “Our Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams will benefit once the Finneran Pavilion reopens as a completely reimagined and newly transformed space that will make the entire Nova Nation proud.”
Since the launch of its $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great®: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change” in October 2013, the University has raised more than $570 million, including more than $98 million for athletics. The fundraising efforts for Villanova Athletics are an integral part of the University’s overall fundraising efforts to support the Villanova Campaign and Strategic Plan.
About William B. Finneran ’63 VSB: Bill Finneran is a Founding Partner of EXOP Capital LLC and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison Control Corporation. Six years prior to forming EXOP Capital, Finneran held the position of Managing Director with Wachovia Securities. Before joining Wachovia, he spent 30 years at CIBC Oppenheimer Corp., an investment banking and securities brokerage firm, also in New York, as a Managing Director. Finneran holds an honorary doctorate in Commercial Science from Villanova University, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Finneran is a longtime advocate for Villanova University and its Athletics program. He served on the Board of Trustees at Villanova for 10 years and co-chaired Villanova’s previous capital campaign, “Transforming Minds and Hearts: The Campaign for Villanova.”
He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Partnership for Inner-City Education of the Archdiocese of New York and is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors for Sacred Heart School in Lake Worth, Fla. Finneran is a member of the MD Anderson Board of Visitors and the Anderson Assembly, serves on the Board of The Ireland-U.S. Council and is a Director of the Palm Beach Civic Association. He formerly served on the National Board of Operation Smile in Norfolk, Va., as President of the Colony Beach and Tennis Association and on the Board of Directors of Covenant House for 10 years.
About the Pavilion: Home to the Villanova Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs, the Pavilion is a 6,500-seat venue that has become one of the most exciting in the BIG EAST. More than 1.9 million people have passed through the Pavilion’s doors for Men’s Basketball games since it opened in 1986. It also hosts a broad range of events that touch the entire Villanova community, including Commencement events, Reunion celebrations, student recruitment events, concerts, Special Olympics and Relay for Life.
About Villanova Athletics: Villanova University has a long and storied athletics history defined by excellence both in competition and in the classroom. The Villanova Athletics Department is a community of student-athletes, coaches and staff whose primary focus is to achieve academic excellence, while striving to produce teams and individuals committed to athletic competition and outstanding performance. Villanova Athletics sponsors 24 varsity sports, which together include more than 500 student-athletes. In the classroom, these Villanova student-athletes have registered a grade-point average higher than a 3.0 for 25 consecutive semesters. Three Villanova student-athletes have been named Rhodes Scholars, with numerous others earning Academic All-America distinction. Villanova’s athletics history includes 20 NCAA team national championships, as well as 100 conference championships. In addition, at least one Villanovan has participated in every Summer Olympics since 1948. Villanova is a member of the BIG EAST Conference, Colonial Athletic Association (Football) and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Women's Water Polo).
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 Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.