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A Message from the President

May 27, 2021

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

I am writing to share a few updates from around campus.

Juneteenth Celebration

This year marks the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth, a significant day in our nation’s history. The 19th of June, the date often referred to as the official ending of slavery in the United States, commemorates the moment in 1865 when news reached Galveston, Texas, that the enslaved people were free. The Juneteenth celebration not only marks an end to slavery, but it is also a day to reflect on the significant contributions of Black Americans to our country, our history and our culture. 

As an Augustinian, Catholic institution, Villanova is committed to ensuring that our campus and our country are free from racism and injustice. It is with this commitment in mind that Villanova University will close, and all classes are canceled, on Friday, June 18, in observance of Juneteenth. Additionally, going forward, Juneteenth will be an official University holiday.

Campus Green Renaming

This summer, the Campus Green will be officially renamed as The Rowen Campus Green. This new name recognizes the generosity and leadership of James and Diane ’86 Rowen and their children—Kaitlin, James ’16 and Megan ’20. The Rowen family has provided critical student support through scholarships and emergency funding for Villanovans impacted by COVID. Their philanthropy has also funded the renovation of lab spaces and academic facilities on the lower level of Mendel Hall—creating a safe and state-of-the-art learning and research environment for students and faculty. I am extraordinarily grateful for the Rowen family’s support of the Villanova community, and am delighted to honor their support through the naming of this campus space that plays a central role in so many Villanova experiences. 

Updates for the Fall Semester

As we look ahead to the Fall 2021 semester, we are currently planning for a more typical on-campus experience. We will continue to offer select classes online, but I anticipate that most of our on-campus programs, events and activities will resume. Over the next several weeks, more detailed information about the fall semester and returning to campus will be shared. I know many of you have questions about what that return will entail, and I assure you that in the next few weeks you will have the answers to your questions.

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, and my thoughts and prayers are with all brave and heroic Villanovans who lost their lives in service to our country.