VILLANOVA, Pa.—The Villanova University Alumni Association (VUAA) has announced the selection of Maryalice Morro ’83 FCN, MS, ’19 DNP as the recipient of its 2022 St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal. The medal is the highest award given by the VUAA and is presented to alumni for outstanding service and for reflecting the spirit and legacy of St. Thomas of Villanova.
“Maryalice truly embodies the spirit of the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal, given her dedication to the nursing field, especially with veterans and other underserved populations,” said George Kolb, associate vice president for Alumni Relations. “She is truly a remarkable Villanovan who has given back in ways that have made an incredible and lasting difference in patient care. I am grateful for her years of dedicated service, not only to Villanova, but also to the United States Navy and the local communities where she has resided to improve the health care systems that make a tangible impact on so many lives.”
Morro spent 35 years in government, with 29 years on active duty in the US Navy, serving around the world in support of peacetime, humanitarian and wartime missions. She was the commanding officer (CEO) of the Pensacola Naval Hospital and chief of staff for Navy Medicine East, serving 15 medical commands in the United States and abroad. She also served as executive officer (COO) of the Lemoore Naval Hospital in California, as well as director of Patient Care Services at the Yokosuka Japan Naval Hospital.
“Villanova has enriched my life in so many ways, providing a foundation to build a nursing career guided by the Augustinian values of truth, unity and love,” said Morro. “It also provided me with a family of friends and colleagues from whom I draw strength, inspiration and new knowledge, and it is a wonderful place to return and give back.”
Currently, Morro is an independent consultant, working with business owners and executives through formal and informal coaching and mentoring. She is also a faculty member in Villanova’s M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s Nurse Manager Certificate program and an adjunct professor at the Citadel Military College Swain Department of Nursing. She was recently appointed as teaching faculty for the University of Pennsylvania’s inaugural Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership track.
Previously, Morro served as Global Quality and Training Director of Military Health Services for International SOS Assistance, Inc., a leading medical and travel security services company. She was later appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the US government and was selected to serve as director (CEO) of the Carol Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Ga. In that role, she transformed an underperforming medical center into a vibrant health care center to meet the 21st-century needs of veterans. Her efforts included overseeing a $40 million construction to right-size the facility to best serve the veteran population there and obtaining the funding needed to build a new outpatient clinic in a remote, underserved community.
Morro has been an active member of the Villanova community since graduating with her BSN and later her DNP. She serves as the program coordinator for the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute’s Women’s Leadership Development certificate program, which she helped to create. She also is a member of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s Board of Consultors and served on the VUAA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2017.
A resident of Charleston, S.C., Morro is also active in her local area, currently serving on the board of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services and as a volunteer driver for East Cooper Meals on Wheels.
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.