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A Message from Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA: Welcome Back

January 25, 2021

In this Update:

  • Surveillance Testing Resumes on Feb. 1
  • Martin G. McGuinn ’64 CLAS, ’67 JD
  • Board of Trustees: New Leadership and Members
  • Kelly Doney Named Vice President
  • Middle States Self-Study
  • President’s Office Hours for Students

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

With the spring semester officially underway, I am pleased to share the following news and updates with you.

Surveillance Testing Resumes on Feb. 1

With the Spring 2021 pre-arrival testing for COVID-19 complete, we will once again have campus-wide surveillance testing starting on Monday, Feb. 1. Surveillance testing allows our Student Health Center to make determinations about the level of spread in our community, identify asymptomatic cases for isolation and make timely decisions regarding intervention and response.

Participation in this random-sampling surveillance testing is required for faculty, staff and students. We hope this testing will allow us to continue to build on the successes of the fall and again complete a full and healthy semester on campus. Additional details will be shared later this week.

Martin G. McGuinn ’64 CLAS, ’67 JD

I am very pleased to share that Martin G. McGuinn ’64 CLAS, ’67 JD, retired Chairman and CEO of Mellon Financial Corporation (now BNY Mellon), has made a $10 million gift to Villanova to advance faculty research and to increase support for veterans attending Villanova. In recognition of Marty’s lifetime giving, a building in The Commons will be renamed McGuinn Hall. A formal dedication for McGuinn Hall is being planned for the fall. On behalf of the entire Villanova community, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Marty for his continued generosity and commitment to the University.

Board of Trustees: New Leadership and 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. I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has elected as its chair Justin G. Gmelich ’90 VSB, Partner and Head of Global Markets at King Street Capital Management; as its vice chair Beth Mazzeo ’81 VSB, Chief Administrative Officer of Bloomberg LP; and as its secretary the Rev. Francis J. Doyle, OSA, ’67 CLAS, Prior of Bellesini Friary.

Five new members also joined the Villanova University Board of Trustees as of Jan. 1, 2021.

  • The Rev. Joseph Genito, OSA, ’72 CLAS, Pastor, St. Thomas of Villanova Parish
  • Christopher Gheysens ’93 VSB, President and CEO, Wawa, Inc.
  • Christopher Hyzy ’91 VSB, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Bank of America Private Bank and Merrill 
  • Erin Scanlon ’86 VSB, Global Audit and Assurance Clients and Industries Leader, Deloitte
  • Darla Wolfe ’06 EMBA, Principal and CEO, Sweat EquitE, LLC

I look forward to working with the new leadership team, our new members and the entire Board of Trustees as we endeavor to ensure Villanova’s continued success.

Kelly Doney Named Vice President

Kelly Doney, Villanova’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has been named to the position of vice president. As vice president and CIO, Kelly is responsible for providing overall leadership and direction for the University-wide information technology program and infrastructure. Please join me in congratulating Kelly, who joined Villanova in January 2020, on her new appointment.

Middle States Self-Study

Villanova’s Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-Study Accreditation process continues, and a draft of the Self-Study Report will be shared later this week for our community to review. Virtual community forums will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 10, and Tuesday, Feb. 11, for anyone who wishes to provide feedback directly. Feedback will also be collected via a response form on the Middle States website.

The self-study was developed by seven working groups consisting of more than 140 Villanova students, faculty and staff, led by a 25-member Steering Committee. Together, they examined how well our academic programs and services fulfill our mission, accomplish the University's goals and meet the Commission's Standards—paying particular attention to student learning and achievement. Upon completion of the self-study process, the Steering Committee will summarize findings from the working groups, inclusive of community feedback, and generate a Final Self-Study Report.

The self-study process concludes with an appraisal by a team from peer institutions. These peer evaluators will review the Self-Study Report and visit Villanova from Sept. 26 to 29, 2021, to assess whether Villanova meets the MSCHE Requirements for Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation, with the ultimate goal of reaffirming our accreditation status.

I would like to thank the Steering Committee members and the working groups, as well as all those who have participated in this important process to date, and I encourage everyone to review the report, as community feedback is a critical component of the self-study process. For more information and to access the report, please visit the Villanova Middle States website.

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 2021 semester have been posted and can be accessed online. I want to encourage all students to take advantage of this opportunity.

Best wishes for a productive spring semester!