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Villanova University Announces $4 million in Gifts to Endow Scholarship Program with Philadelphia Futures

Villanova University Announces $4 million in Gifts to Endow Scholarship Program with Philadelphia Futures

VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University has announced $4 million in gifts to endow its scholarship program with Philadelphia Futures. Villanova was named an official college partner of Philadelphia Futures in March 2019. The program was made possible, in part, by a generous gift from the Lenfest Foundation, whose mission is to provide young people in Philadelphia with the education, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to lead fulfilling and productive lives. The $4 million in new gifts raised by the University, which included nine major gifts of $100,000 or more, will fund student scholarships, as well as a new position in Villanova’s Center for Access, Success and Achievement (CASA) to provide support and resources to support its Philadelphia Futures Scholars.

“I am extremely grateful for the generous commitments that have made a Villanova education possible for deserving Philadelphia youths,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President of Villanova University. “As an institution, we are deeply committed to supporting underrepresented students—as evidenced by our new Strategic Plan, Rooted. Restless. This scholarship program, in partnership with Philadelphia Futures, allows students needing financial assistance to further their education, and I am delighted they will continue to have that opportunity at Villanova.”

The first cohort of three Philadelphia Futures students wrapped up their first year at Villanova this past spring with the second cohort arriving on campus in August. This number will grow to a total of 12 students enrolled at the University annually. The students receive a full scholarship to attend Villanova—including tuition, room and board, books and fees. In addition to the scholarship, the University provides its Philadelphia Futures Scholars with academic, social and professional development support to ensure success.

“I am so grateful for the Villanova alumni community’s additional philanthropic support of the Philadelphia Futures initiative,” said Michael J. O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “Now, generations of Philadelphia-area students can experience the impact of a Villanova education and power of the Villanova community.”

Through CASA, the University’s Philadelphia Futures Scholars are provided academic and social support services at every step of their college journey—from the summer before they enroll until they graduate. CASA is the home at Villanova for services and programs to support underrepresented, first generation, and Pell-eligible students, providing them with tutoring and mentoring as well as academic and personal support. The University also provides its Philadelphia Futures Scholars with stipends to study abroad, conduct independent research and participate in other experiential learning opportunities. The new endowed position in CASA will provide an added layer of support for students in the program.

About Philadelphia Futures: Philadelphia Futures provides Philadelphia’s low-income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college. Philadelphia Futures seeks to transform lives by breaking down the barriers that have historically excluded low-income, first-generation-to-college students from achieving college success. Through its direct service programs, Sponsor-a-Scholar (SAS) and College Connection, the organization annually provides over 500 high school and college students with academic enrichment, personalized college guidance, placement and retention services and financial resources. Through its other services and resources, including its Step Up to College Guide, Outreach Futures and the Charles E. Ellis Trust for Girls, Philadelphia Futures provides college guidance and financial resources to students throughout the City. Philadelphia Futures can be found online at

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