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Need-Based Service and Justice Experience Funding

Fr. Ray Jackson

Fr. Ray Jackson Fund

A fund established by Fr. Ray's supporters offers financial grants to students engaged in providing direct service to impoverished and marginalized people in the US or abroad.

Funding amounts are determined by need, the number applications, the overall cost of the service experience and the fund balance. Grants range from $50 to $500 and cannot exceed 50 percent of the cost of an experience.

Elizabeth Durham

The Durham Fund

As a first-year student, Elizabeth (“Liz”) Durham was eager to experience Villanova's values of truth, unity and love. Wanting that authentic Nova experience, Liz volunteered for service trips to Habitat for Humanity in Hickory, NC, and Fort Smith, AK. Her experiences were so life affirming that she continues to regard them as some of the most important involvements of her time at Villanova. 

Liz's parents, Michael and Marilyn, recognized the passion their daughter felt and wanted to contribute a significant gift to ensure that other Villanovans would have the same opportunities in the years to come. The Durhams created a permanent endowed fund to provide financial support to students interested in participating but who may lack financial resources to do so.

The Durham Fund will provide up to half the cost of an SJE with the final allocation being dependent on student need. A strong preference is given to students participating in an SJE that requires air travel. Students who receive funds are required to write a 1,500-word reflection letter about their experience. The essay is due after the student returns from their trip.

Gorman Family

The Gorman Family Endowed Fund

The Gorman Family Endowed Fund for Service and Justice Experiences is open to all Villanova undergraduate students to provide financial support for participation in Campus Ministry SJEs. Recognizing that all students should have the ability to participate and in an effort to ease the financial burden associated with service and immersion experiences, this endowment is available to any student, regardless of financial need.

The Gorman Fund arose from a promise John Gorman ’15 made to his fraternity brother Billy Zimmermann during their sophomore year. They committed that, together, they would participate in an SJE junior year. Sadly, Billy passed away in the spring of his sophomore year. John fulfilled his promise alone, participating in a Habitat for Humanity program in Oklahoma City. In his application to the program, he wrote of his desire to fulfill his promise to Billy.

Seeing the impact this trip had on John, his parents, Tom and Lisa Gorman, together with John’s brother, Doug, decided to endow this scholarship. John and Doug grew up attending different schools on three different continents. Their parents raised them with the motto “build memories, not houses” as a way to encourage the boys to build experiences rather than accumulate material possessions. It was also the Gorman’s way of saying that learning takes place on many different levels. 

 Given the powerful impact of John’s service experience with Habitat for Humanity, this family mantra might now be better stated as “build memories, not houses—unless you’re building houses!”

A strong preference is given to students participating in a fall SJE. Students who receive funds are required to write a 1,500-word reflection letter about their experience and how it has contributed to their Villanova education. The essay is due after the student returns from the trip.

  1. Scholarships are for all students who wish to participate in the SJE program and are in need of financial assistance in order to do so. Scholarships will be allotted based on demonstrated need. Reach out to Abigail Gorman if you have any questions. 

  2. Grants may be used to assist with the cost of Mission and Ministry–sponsored SJEs.

  3. Applications are to be filled out and submitted online.

  4. A 1-2 page letter about your experience will be due within two weeks of your return to Villanova. The letter is in the spirit of St. Augustine, as you are asked to write on how the trip affected your mind and heart. Please contact Abigail Gorman for more information.