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A Message from the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA

May 22, 2020

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

As we approach the holiday weekend and the start of the summer semester, I want to provide a brief update on some of the work taking place at the University as we look ahead to the fall.

I know you are all anxiously awaiting confirmation of our fall semester plans, particularly as other schools have begun announcing their courses of action. I ask you to continue to be patient and keep in mind that every school, and in this case, every state, is very different. While I have been in close and nearly constant contact with our peer institutions, my fellow presidents and the PA Department of Education, what works best for some schools may not be right for Villanova. At this time, we still have every intention of holding a traditional on-campus semester. I assure you that whatever direction we choose, it will be the one that is best for our community members and Villanova’s future. Ultimately, my most important objective is to ensure that we create a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff. 

As I noted in my most recent update, I intend to have a concrete plan to share with you by the beginning of July. A great deal of time, energy and effort has been put into formulating plans for the fall, with input from administrators, faculty, staff and students. We are looking at everything from instruction and research, to classroom design/capacity and audio/visual technology upgrades, as well as public health requirements regarding testing, masks, quarantining and cleaning facilities. We continue to refine these options as new information becomes available from government and public health officials. I believe we have several good options for the fall semester and look forward to sharing those details with you.

Finally, I want to congratulate and thank you for efforts to successfully finish out this highly unusual spring semester. I am very proud of our agility—moving from a residential campus to a fully online one in a matter of days. It was no easy task, but I believe we did so both quickly and fluidly. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my overwhelming gratitude and appreciation to everyone involved in planning and executing the Class of 2020 online degree conferral. The virtual ceremony, albeit different from our on-campus activities, was a memorable and very heartfelt celebration for our graduates. I have received numerous notes and messages from graduates, parents and alumni about how special the event was, especially given our current circumstances. I believe it truly captured who we are as a community and the values and traditions that Villanovans hold most dear. For that, I am extremely grateful.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, and you and your families continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.