Villanova University Announces Leadership Gifts to Support the Transformation of its College of Engineering
Expansion project bolstered by $13.5 million in gifts from Villanova College of Engineering alumni John G. Drosdick, Richard K. Faris and Nance K. Dicciani, PhD
Villanova has announced $13.5 million in leadership gifts towards the expansion of its College of Engineering’s primary academic building, the Center for Engineering Education and Research.
VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University has announced $13.5 million in leadership gifts towards the expansion of its College of Engineering’s primary academic building, the Center for Engineering Education and Research. The University has received significant support for the project from Engineering alumni, including $5 million gifts from both John “Jack” G. Drosdick and Richard K. Faris and a $3.5 million gift from Nance K. Dicciani, PhD.
"This project will further the College’s capabilities to foster change through interdisciplinary research and innovative teaching and learning,” said Michele Marcolongo, PhD, Drosdick Endowed Dean of the College of Engineering. “The expansion will establish a hub for Villanova’s College of Engineering, bringing all disciplines together into one facility, which will serve as a crossroads for collaboration and innovation.”
The following major gifts have been instrumental in bringing Villanova’s Engineering building expansion to reality and creating momentum behind the project:
- $5 million gift from John “Jack” G. Drosdick, ’65 College of Engineering, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Sunoco, Inc. and former chair of Villanova’s Board of Trustees. In recognition of his gift, the University will establish the Drosdick Innovation Lab, featuring a state-of-the-art, two-floor maker space that will enable students to design and build prototypes.
- $5 million gift from Richard K. Faris, ’69 College of Engineering, ’70 Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), retired Senior Vice President of Product Development of Oracle Corporation’s Primavera Global Business Unit. In recognition of his gift, the College of Engineering’s structures lab was named the Richard K. Faris ’69 CE, ’70 MSCE Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory.
- $3.5 million gift from Nance K. Dicciani, PhD, ’69 College of Engineering, CEO and co-founder of RTM Vital Signs LLC, medical device startup company, and a former Villanova trustee. In recognition of her gift, the Biomaterials and Polymers Lab in the new space will be named the Nance K. Dicciani PhD '69 Biomaterials and Polymers Laboratory.
A total of $35.5 million has now been raised for the project, including 15 seven-figure gifts from Villanova alumni, parents and friends.
“I am grateful to Jack, Dick and Nance for their vision and belief in this project and how it will transform the College of Engineering for future generations,” said Mike O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “Their commitment—and the support of all our major donors—has provided the solid foundation necessary to make this expansion project a reality.”
About the Project
In October 2021, the University unveiled plans for a 150,000 square-foot addition to its College of Engineering’s primary academic building, the Center for Engineering Education and Research. This project will dramatically transform the facility—more than doubling the existing 90,000 square foot facility—adding expanded research facilities and state-of-the-art instruction spaces for hands-on, problem-oriented and team-based learning.
The addition will include 11 flexible laboratory spaces designed for multi-disciplinary teams to work together on topical areas of research; classrooms that can adapt to various teaching and lecture formats; and a two-story Innovation Lab, which will include workspaces, tools and equipment for building, and space to accommodate large-scale project work. The University will break ground on the $125 million project in Spring 2022, with the expansion scheduled to be completed by Fall 2024. The project was designed by BLTa—A Perkins Eastman Studio and Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP.
For more information on the building expansion project, visit villanova.edu/CEERexpansion.
About Villanova University College of Engineering: Founded in 1905, Villanova University College of Engineering is committed to an educational program that emphasizes technical excellence, innovation, and a liberal arts education within the framework of the University’s Augustinian Catholic tradition. The result is rigorously educated, socially grounded, conscientious thinkers and doers who are professionally prepared to make meaningful change in the world.
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.