The Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Directorship in Honors

Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Directorship

For the first time since the Villanova Honors Program’s founding in 1958, the Program will have its own distinguished faculty, the result of a generous donation from Ms. Anne Welsh McNulty.  Previously, Ms. Anne Welsh McNulty originated the Endowed Chair position in the Honors Program, named for her mother, Anne Quinn Welsh. The establishment of the Endowed Chair and Director of the Honors Program was made possible through the John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation. This year, Ms. Anne Welsh McNulty is providing the Program with another generous endowment to support the new Honors Faculty.

Ms. Anne Welsh McNulty graduated from Villanova University’s Honors Program in 1975 as her class Valedictorian, and went on to earn an MBA from the Wharton School. She has made a point of giving back to her alma maters and has made incredible impacts on the local and national community, as she serves on the Board of Trustees at Villanova University, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Naples Children and Education Foundation, which benefits children’s charities in Collier County, Florida. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Aspen Institute, the Metropolitan Opera of New York, and the Child Mind Institute. Her accomplishments and successes are undeniable, and she is a true representative of the values espoused by Villanova University.

Dr. Thomas Smith, the current Chair and Director of the Honors Program, is the first recipient of the Anne Quinn Welsh endowed position. The most recent endowment from Ms. Anne Welsh McNulty will allow the Honors Program to increase faculty presence in the Program.  Dr. Smith explains that “right now, Honors has to borrow its faculty from different departments around the University.  We’re able to attract a great faculty, but the endowment will allow us to name up to four faculty members as Anne Quinn Welsh Honors Faculty.”  He goes on to describe how these professors will “dedicate a portion of their teaching load to the Honors curriculum and will be expected to engage in advising and mentoring to Honors students.”  The professors, appointed to two year terms, will become integral parts of the achievements of both the Program and its students. The first two fellows were chosen this year and will begin their terms in the Fall 2013 semester – Dr. Eugene McCarraher (Associate Professor in the Humanities Department) and Dr. Scott Newbert (Associate Professor of Management and the Harry Halloran Emerging Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship). 

When asked what he is looking for in the newly endowed faculty, Dr. Smith notes that the two professors will each be teaching one course a semester in Honors, will have offices in Garey Hall, and will engage in academic advising for Honors students. In addition, they’ll participate in the leadership roles and the direction of the program by being ex officio members of the Honors Council.  Furthermore, both Drs. McCarraher and Newbert will “be expected to help run special programs, colloquia, and extracurricular activities” in conjunction with the Honors Program.  Finally, they will “act as mentors to Honors students who want to engage in independent research or apply to graduate school” – this will be especially significant considering many Honors students do choose to participate in research and apply for post-graduate opportunities as part of their Honors experience.  These specific faculty members were chosen because of their demonstrated dedication to, and innovation in, the Honors Program. They are sure to be an engaged and lively faculty presence in the Honors community. Both the students and the staff of the Honors Program cannot wait to welcome the faculty in the Fall, and their involvement in the Honors Program is sure to be influential and impactful.

by Newsletter co-editor, Nina Rizk. Nina is a junior pursuing a B.S. in Comprehensive Science and Honors.

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