Villanova can’t help itself. It promises students that learning will be a lifelong project, and it makes good on its word whenever alumni return to campus. During Reunion Weekend 2016, thanks to the initiative, planning and outreach of the College of Professional Studies, Villanovans were able to take advantage of a magical opportunity. CPS hosted two sessions of the prestigious Disney Institute. The programs outlined the global company’s proven approach to leadership excellence and explained how that approach could be customized for any enterprise.
Disney’s reputation inspired Gene Ontjes ’80 MS, an owner of Chick-fil-A franchises for more than 40 years, to enroll and learn about how Disney is able to remain a phenomenon in the marketplace. Villanova’s offering of such exceptional events is, Ontjes says, “hugely beneficial for students and for professionals. It gives them access to world-class organizations to learn what they do, how they do it and what qualifies them to do what they do. It provides ‘back-stage tours’ of leadership of high-performing companies.”
After the institute’s successful presentations, CPS Dean Deborah Tyksinski, PhD, drew parallels between Disney and the University. “Like Disney, Villanova’s culture is built upon shared values, behaviors, traditions and symbols. Through Disney, I realized that Villanova’s culture is also shared through storytelling, and reinforced by our beautiful campus and the care we take in fostering enduring traits in our students.”
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