A Message from the President - October 2012

Dear Faculty and Staff:

The storm is behind us and the campus emerged relatively unscathed. However, many others up and down the East Coast were not as fortunate. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their communities as they seek to recover from the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy.

Here on campus, advance warning of the storm and its potential impact allowed the University to create a plan and implement it quickly and effectively. Under the leadership of Dave Tedjeske, director of Public Safety, staff from Dining Services, Facilities, the Health Center, Public Safety and Residence Life were on hand around the clock to ensure that critical services were provided. Whether it is a hurricane, snow storm or other significant event that has the potential to impact campus, we are fortunate to have such dedicated staff who are willing to sacrifice time with their families to ensure the safety of our community. My sincere thanks to everyone who helped Villanova endure Hurricane Sandy so well.

As activity on campus returns to normal, I am pleased to share with you the following information and updates.

Homecoming 2012
The storm certainly was headed our way, but the weather conditions were great for a majority of this year’s Homecoming activities. Alumni and families enjoyed a range of events that showcased all aspects of the University, highlighted by the Homecoming Festival on Saturday. As with every large event we host throughout the year, collaboration among many campus departments ensured a positive, fun and safe experience for our guests. I extend my appreciation to the many members of our community who worked hard to make Homecoming 2012 a success.

Opening of the New Kennedy Ellipse
The fencing in the heart of campus finally came down Friday afternoon to reveal the new Kennedy Ellipse, the major component of Phase II of the Transformation of the Campus Landscape Initiative. This new feature helps to create a more connected campus, improves pedestrian flow and accessibility, and adds new gathering spaces for the community. I ask that everyone please observe all posted signs and restrictions as finishing work takes place and the new grass and plantings take root.  

Student Town Hall Meeting with the President - November 19
I am pleased to participate in a Student Town Hall Meeting on Monday, November 19 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Connelly Center Cinema. The Campus Activities Team and Student Government Association have worked with my office to provide this opportunity for you to ask questions and share concerns about Villanova related items. I encourage you to attend and look forward to a great conversation!

United Way Campaign
Every year at this time, employers in Southeastern Pennsylvania partner with the United Way on its annual campaign. Villanova is proud to be a participating employer and supports the United Way’s mission to improve the lives of people in our region.

If you are interested in donating to the United Way, you can access additional information and the pledge form electronically through the Human Resources website or directly through United Way. The form allows you to donate however you may prefer: payroll deduction, credit card, direct billing, or direct check. If you have any additional questions regarding this campaign, please contact Human Resources directly at 610-519-7900.

Reminder: Special Honorary Degree Ceremony Today
The special ceremony originally scheduled for Monday to confer an honorary degree on His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk will take place today at 2:30 p.m. in the Villanova Room. The entire community is invited to participate. Faculty will not process and do not need to wear academic attire.

This weekend, the University will host the annual Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival for the 24th year. Our students do an amazing job planning and executing this event, working hard for months to make sure that every athlete and family has a memorable experience. The effects of the storm may necessitate some adjustments to the schedule, but as the saying goes, “the show will go on.” I encourage you to visit campus to experience this wonderful event first-hand.

Thank you for all that you do for Villanova University.

Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.