A Message from the President - October 2013

October 2013

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

What a weekend! As we collectively catch our breath after a busy Homecoming Celebration, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.

Homecoming Weekend and Campaign Launch – Thank You!

I will say it again – what a weekend! The crisp temperatures, sunny skies and bright foliage provided the perfect fall backdrop for our Homecoming and Campaign Launch activities. While Homecoming weekend is always one of the busier weekends on campus each year, the launch of For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite to Change added an extra level of energy and activity. Despite so many events taking place, it was clear that the commitment to cooperation, collaboration and communication never wavered among everyone involved. I extend my deepest thanks to the many departments, under the leadership of University Advancement, that worked together to ensure a fun and safe experience for our guests.

Completion of Phase Three of the Transformation of the Campus Landscape

The fences are down and our walks across campus are once again unimpeded as Phase Three of the Transformation of the Campus Landscape Initiative is essentially complete. This phase featured improvements to the area between Falvey Memorial Library and Corr and Alumni Halls, and the reconstruction of the Connelly Center circle and surrounding area. The transformation is extraordinary as our campus is now connected in new ways and the wonderful architecture and character of our most central buildings come to life. While final tree planting and landscaping will be completed over the next few weeks, I would like to give you some sense of what has been accomplished over the past three years:

  • Five acres of hardscaping was installed, including more than 500,000 bricks and 19,000 bluestone pavers
  • The project features nearly 300 new and transplanted trees, 2,100 new shrubs and more than 60,000 ground cover plantings
  • Three miles of underground pipe along with 27 miles of electrical conduit and wire were routed

The results of this three year initiative were on full display this weekend and the feedback I received from alumni was overwhelmingly positive. I know that the process of Transforming the Campus Landscape caused difficulty at times but I hope that you will agree that the end product was worth the temporary changes to our pedestrian habits. I extend my sincere thanks to the staff of Facilities Management which led this project and to every member of the Villanova community for their patience as our campus was transformed in such an amazing way.

25th Anniversary Celebration of Special Olympics at Villanova This Weekend

2013 marks the 25th consecutive year that Villanova University will host the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival. Events begin this Friday, November 1 and continue through Sunday, November 3. During that time, our community will welcome more than 1,000 athletes, 450 coaches and 4,000 volunteers for an exciting weekend of competition and sportsmanship. The Fall Festival—the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world—is perhaps the greatest, most enduring example of the Villanova community’s commitment to service. With exciting competition, fun, games, and a few 25th anniversary surprises, this year's Fall Festival is sure to be the best yet. There is still time for students, faculty and staff to volunteer to help with this wonderful event. Visit the Villanova Special Olympics website for more information and to register.

With events like Homecoming, the Campaign Launch and Special Olympics, we are able to show off our University to thousands of guests. They fall in love with our campus and gain an appreciation for our Augustinian values through their interactions with you. I am grateful for a community of students, faculty and staff who are so eager to embrace large events like this and willing work hard to ensure the success of each one. Thank you for all that you do for Villanova!



Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA