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Villanova Concludes Historic Comprehensive Campaign at $760 Million, Exceeding Original Goal by over $150 Million

Campaign drives institutional momentum with two named colleges; new endowed scholarships and faculty positions; new centers of excellence; and dramatic campus enhancements

Villanova concludes history comprehensive campaign at more than $759 million

VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University has announced the successful conclusion of its historic comprehensive capital campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change,” at more than $760 million. The campaign, which launched in October 2013, surpassed its original $600 million goal 18 months early, with momentum and contributions continuing through to its conclusion on May 31, 2018.

Marked by unprecedented support from the Villanova community, the highly successful campaign enabled Villanova to continue its upward trajectory as one of the top national universities. Highlighting this momentum, more than 77,500 alumni, parents and friends supported the campaign, with more than half being first-time donors to the University. Additionally, annual undergraduate alumni giving nearly doubled over the last decade, rising to 30 percent in the campaign’s final year, placing Villanova in the top 25 nationally for undergraduate participation.

“In 2010, we implemented a strategic plan to guide and prepare the University for the future,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “It was a bold vision that called for enhanced programs, new initiatives and innovative thinking. To make our vision a reality, we launched the comprehensive campaign, which mirrored the strategic plan with ambitious ideas for the future and lofty goals to help transform Villanova. Our remarkable success is a credit to the countless Villanovans who contributed to the campaign. Through their generosity, we are not just a better University, we are a greater Villanova.”

The success of The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change has underpinned the University’s strong momentum across all areas, from its distinctive academic experience and record-breaking admissions, to its impressive student outcomes and the dramatic enhancements of its campus landscape. The campaign has enabled Villanova to build on its strengths, highlighted by the naming of two colleges; the launch of 10 centers and interdisciplinary institutes; the creation of 14 new endowed faculty positions and 295 endowed scholarships; and the physical transformation of its campus with 40 new or renovated academic and athletic facilities. The campaign also contributed to Villanova more than doubling its endowment, securing the future of Villanovans to come.

“We called upon our community to participate in the campaign, and the response has been remarkable. Alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends gave generously to the University at record-breaking rates, with gifts at every level, ushering in a new era of philanthropy at Villanova,” said Michael J. O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “Our campaign’s success is a shining example of what Villanovans can accomplish together, and we want to thank each and every one of our donors for their tireless support of the University.”

Over the course of the campaign, giving significantly increased with more than $100 million per year raised for five consecutive years. The campaign was anchored by the largest-ever gift to the University—$50 million from alumnus and campaign co-chair James C. Davis ’81 and his wife, Kim. This drove a record number of other major gifts, with 10 of $10 million or more and 123 gifts exceeding $1 million.

Additional transformational gifts included $25 million from Charles Widger, Esq., ’73, which the University recognized by naming its School of Law for Widger. Supported by $22.6 million from William B. Finneran ’63, the University undertook a $60 million renovation of the Pavilion, which will reopen this fall bearing his name. Villanova also broke ground on a Performing Arts Center, funded entirely through philanthropic contributions. The $60 million project, bolstered by two gifts of $20 million, will provide a hub for creativity, engagement and exploration for the University’s arts community.

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 M. Louise Fitzpatrick 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


By the Numbers: Highlights of The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change

1:  First named interdisciplinary institute, the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership

2:  Colleges named through philanthropic support (Charles Widger School of Law; M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing)

10:  Centers and interdisciplinary institutes launched during the campaign

10:  Gifts of $10 million or more

14:  New endowed faculty positions established during the campaign

30:  Percentage of undergraduate alumni giving in the campaign’s final year

40:  New or renovated academic and athletic facilities

123:  Gifts of $1 million or more

295:  New endowed scholarships created through campaign support

77,500+:  Alumni, parents and friends participated in the campaign

$22.6 million:  Largest-ever gift to Athletics and lead gift for Finneran Pavilion transformation

$50 million:  Single largest-ever gift to Villanova University, made by alumnus James C. Davis ’81 and his wife, Kim

$600 million:  Goal of The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change, achieved 18 months early

$760 million+:  Total amount raised during the University’s historic campaign


Thank You – Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change

Click on the video above to learn more about the campaign's impact.