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.