A Letter from the President
Reunion at Villanova, although not in person, was acknowledged in June with a virtual Vigil and Memorial Mass officiated by University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, in a near-empty chapel.
It was an exceptional and unprecedented year for Villanova. The spring, usually a time of fast-paced activity, instead became a time of isolation, uncertainty and unsettling calm on campus.
These months of upheaval and anxiety have created challenges but also have provided many opportunities to reflect on and appreciate how special the Villanova community is.
Villanovans are driven to grow and improve, to connect and relate, to evolve and take a stand. We have emerged from this unique time with a firm resolve to become an even greater Villanova—for all.
We have found new ways to move forward as an Augustinian community—to innovate in the face of a global pandemic; to pursue wisdom in our academic ventures; and to unite in building a stronger community where all can learn, thrive and succeed.
We have achieved so much in 2019–2020 while remaining rooted in our Augustinian Catholic values. We’ve had to be nimble, adapting our academics and our traditions at a moment’s notice and staying connected as our campus became a virtual one in the spring.
We’ve made a commitment to improving in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, promises that we have already begun to act upon and will work steadfastly toward in the years to come. We’ve also continued to build on the foundation of our values of Veritas, Unitas, Caritas. Times may change, but these values never will.
This past year, I have addressed our community numerous times—at the launch of our Strategic Plan, at our history-making virtual Commencement ceremony, at live-streamed Masses, and in messages sent amidst the monumental events of 2020—and you will read some of my own words throughout this report.
In gathering my thoughts during so many moments, both celebratory and somber, I’ve been inspired by St. Augustine’s reflections on restlessness. We are called to be restless—to be highly motivated and actively driving forward, while expressing humility, momentum and promise for the journey.
At many times in recent months, we have been alone in our homes, cut off from physical contact with many of our families, friends and communities.
I firmly believe, though, that by virtue of our shared connection with the Villanova community, we never will be truly on our own.
In times of crisis and times of triumph, we will find a way to be together, to be stronger, and to be more firmly rooted in Truth, Unity and Love.
The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75