VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University Alumni Association (VUAA) has named Sarah Francis-Bland ’06, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as its 2019 Young Alumni Medal recipient. The award honors alumni who have made outstanding contributions to one or more areas of society, including professional, academic and service to the University. Francis-Bland will be presented with the Young Alumni Medal later this year.
“Every year we give this award to an up-and-coming young alumna/us who has made an outstanding effort to give back in the short time since they graduated,” said George Kolb, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations. “Sarah is someone who not only excelled as a student-athlete while at Villanova, but also now as a young professional, representing her alma mater in such a proud and distinctive way.”
Francis-Bland is the Executive and Board Network Leader for the Americas Financial Services Organization of Ernst & Young LLP (EY), where she is responsible for the development of strategic programs that enhance the EY global brand while strengthening relationships with board members, clients, alumni and market influencers across the financial services marketplace. She is a member of the EY Women Athletes Business Network leadership steering committee and previously served on the organization’s Americas People Team Advisory Board. Prior to joining EY in 2008, Francis-Bland worked for a Philadelphia-based venture capital firm where she oversaw talent strategy and recruiting efforts.
She serves on the Advisory Council for Villanova University’s Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership and on the Board of Directors of Marjorie’s Fund, a global non-profit organization whose mission is to empower adults living with type 1 diabetes in resource-poor settings to not only survive, but to effectively manage their diabetes and to thrive. Francis-Bland chairs the Development Committee for Marjorie’s Fund and previously served as co-chair of their 2016 gala.
Francis-Bland is a cum laude graduate of Villanova University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and was a four-year starter on the Division 1 Field Hockey team. She was an All-BIG EAST Conference Second Team Selection (2005), an All-BIG EAST Academic Team Selection (2005) and a four-year NFHCA Academic All-American.
Francis-Bland resides in New York City with her husband, Lavare, and two sons, Walker and Thaddeus.
The Young Alumni Medal is presented to an alumnus/a who has reached a significant level of achievement in his/her profession and who is a model of the quality and caliber of today’s Villanova student.
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 www.villanova.edu.