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Need-based Service and Justice Experience Funding

Fr. Ray Jackson

Fr. Ray Jackson Fund

A fund has been established by many of Fr. Ray's supporters that offers financial grants to students to help them continue in peace and justice education and direct service during their time at Villanova.  The grants are awarded to Villanova students engaged in providing direct service to impoverished and marginalized people in the United States 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-$500 and cannot exceed 50% of the cost of an Experience.

Elizabeth Durham

The Durham Fund

As a first year student at Villanova University, Elizabeth (“Liz”) Durham was eager to experience the values of Veritas, Unitas and Caritas that Villanova University is founded on. Wanting that authentic ‘Nova experience, Liz volunteered for Habitat for Humanity service break trips to Hickory, North Carolina and Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Her experiences on these trips were so life affirming, that she continues to regard them as some of the most important involvements of her time at Villanova. Her parents, Michael and Marilyn, recognized the passion their daughter felt for these break trips 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 the trip’s travel expenses, with the final allocation being dependent on student need. Grants may only be received once and strong preference is given to trips that require air travel. Student who receive funds are required to write a 1,500 word reflection of their experience.  The essay is due two weeks after the student returns from his/her trip.

Gorman Family

The Gorman Family Endowed Fund

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

The Gorman Fund arose from promise John Gorman ’15 made to his fraternity brother Billy Zimmermann during their sophomore year. They committed that, together, they would participate in a Campus Ministry Service and Justice Experience over their 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 to enable Villanova students to participate in a service experience as part of their Villanova education—regardless of cost.

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 Gormans’ 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!”

The Gormans would appreciate a short letter from recipients after completion of a service trip, reflecting on how the experience has contributed to their Villanova education. 


  1. A student must truly have a need for financial assistance in order to apply. This is the HONOR SYSTEM. The Grants are not to be considered an "easy way" to raise money for a Service Break Experience. Let your conscience be your guide in knowing that someone who may truly need financial help will be deprived of it if the monies are dispersed to those who do not have a serious need for support.

  2. Students may not apply for this grant if they have received funds from another grant source for the same Service Break Experience.

  3. Students may only receive this award once in their time at Villanova.

  4. Grants may only be used to assist with the cost of Campus Ministry sponsored Service Break Experiences.

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

  6. A 1,500 word reflection paper about your experience will be due within 2 weeks of your return to the University. The paper is in the spirit of St. Augustine asking you to write on how the trip affected your mind and your heart.

Need-Based Funding

Check back for link to new application.