Skip to main content

A Message from the President: January 2018

January 16, 2018

In This Message:

  • 175th Anniversary Celebration: THANK YOU!
  • Villanova Administrative Offices Moving to the Villanova Center
  • Board of Trustees: New Members
  • Recognitions from the Vatican
  • 2018 Martin Luther King Commemoration
  • University Staff Council Awards
  • March for Life
  • Office Hours for Students

Dear Members of the Villanova Community:

Welcome back to our students! It’s wonderful to see the campus full of life and activity after a particularly cold winter break. With the new semester underway, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.

175th Anniversary Celebration: THANK YOU!

2017 was a memorable year of celebrations, events, lectures, concerts and more to highlight Villanova’s history and impact as the nation’s only Augustinian university. The demisemiseptcentennial celebration was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our rich history and gain a greater perspective on the Villanova we know today.

I want to thank and acknowledge the countless Villanovans—students, faculty, staff and alumni—who helped make this the celebration a success, particularly all the members of the Demisemiseptcentennial Committee. You created a memorable celebration that Villanovans will remember for years to come. Here’s to the next 175 years!

Villanova Administrative Offices Moving to the Villanova Center

Last year, the University undertook a space study to better understand and utilize our physical campus spaces. One of the key findings from the study noted that Villanova needs additional classroom, research and study space. As an initial step toward addressing this matter, the University has signed a 10-year lease at the Villanova Center (789 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, Pa.).

Several administrative offices will move in mid-February to this location adjacent to Main Campus. This includes the offices of Human Resources, which will have its own suite, Financial Affairs, and Government Relations & External Affairs, as well as the newly created Internal Audit department. More specific details about the move and the exact timing will be shared in early February.

Board of Trustees: New Members
The Board of Trustees serves as the governing body of Villanova University. It is composed of alumni, parents and friends who volunteer their time and expertise to provide critical oversight and guidance for the University. Three new members joined the Villanova University Board of Trustees as of Jan. 1, 2018.

  • Joseph P. Campolo ’90 VSB, President, Arbor Investments
  • Michael R. Kourey, Chief Financial Officer, Medallia
  • Susan M. Ward ’80 COE, Head of M&A and Commercial Finance, Shell Oil Company in the Americas

Joe, Mike and Susan’s vast experience and commitment to Villanova make them true assets to the University community. I look forward to working with them, and the entire Board of Trustees, to ensure Villanova’s continued success in the future.

Recognitions from the Vatican

In the past month, several Villanovans have been acknowledged by the Vatican for their efforts to serve the Church and support Catholic education.

  • Villanova University professors Thomas W. Smith, PhD, and Kevin L. Hughes, PhD, were among those recognized by Pope Francis with the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, one of the highest honors bestowed upon laypeople and clergy by the Holy Father for distinguished service to the Church. Dr. Smith and Dr. Hughes were lauded for their sustained and exceptional service to the Church and Catholic higher education.
  • The Rev. Thomas R. McCarthy, OSA, ’87, an adviser in Villanova University’s Office of First and Second Year Initiatives, has been named to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Father McCarthy will serve as the next English-language Official of the Council, which was founded by Pope Benedict XVI to spread the Gospel through modern and innovative forms of communication.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Smith, Dr. Hughes and Father McCarthy on these notable honors.

2018 Martin Luther King Commemoration
This week and next, our campus joins together to mark the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Highlighted by service, fellowship and dialogue, this annual celebration is a wonderful way for our campus to begin the spring semester and work together toward achieving Dr. King’s vision of the “beloved community.”

The 11th anniversary of this event kicked off yesterday with the Day of Service, when hundreds of Villanovans made it a day on, not a day off, by volunteering at sites throughout the region. Other events planned as part of this year's celebration include a keynote speech on Wednesday, Jan. 24, delivered by Diane Nash, leader and strategist of the student wing of the civil rights movement. On Thursday, Jan. 25, the Freedom School will offer hour-long sessions hosted by various faculty members, staff and students that relate to and extend the vision of Dr. King.

University Staff Council Awards

Each academic year, the University Staff Council (USC) oversees the distribution of three awards to members of the Villanova University staff. The Above and Beyond Award, Distinguished Service Award and Work Process Improvement Award are presented annually to outstanding members of the Villanova community.

While the nomination process varies for each award, recognition for all award recipients occurs at an awards luncheon hosted by my office in the spring. USC has created four videos that describe each honor and the requirements in an effort to better promote these awards. I hope you will take some time to review these videos and nominate any deserving colleagues. All award nominations are due on Thursday, March 1. For more information, please visit the University Staff Council webpage.

March for Life
Villanovans for Life is sponsoring a trip to Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 19, for the 45th annual March for Life, a rally in support of the right to life for all human beings, particularly the unborn. The mission of the march is “to provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person.”

If you are interested in registering for the march, please stop by the Villanovans for Life table in the Connelly Center lobby tomorrow from 4:30 to 6 p.m., or come to their meeting in Dougherty West Lounge that evening from 6 to 7 p.m. There is no cost to join Villanovans for Life for the march. For more details on the march itself, visit For more information on Villanova’s trip, please contact Villanovans for Life at

President's Office Hours for Students
I set aside time on my schedule each semester to meet with students who would like to share ideas, raise concerns or ask questions. Dates and times for the Spring 2018 semester have been posted and can be accessed online. I encourage all students to take advantage of this opportunity.

Best wishes for a productive and fulfilling spring semester!