Villanova mourns the loss of three alumni who have left a legacy of impact and leadership that's far-reaching
“All will recall that Father Stack was a larger-than-life personality in this community who had a positive impact on generations of Villanovans.”
Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS
“Father Riley's knowledge brought wisdom, his humor brought joy and his dedication brought inspiration to so many. ”
“Joe's outstanding leadership and immense impact on our University will be felt by Villanovans for generations to come. ”
The Rev. John P. Stack, OSA, ’71 CLAS, ’77 MA, who as dean of students and then vice president of Student Life was a leader and mentor for generations of Villanovans, died on Oct. 13, 2022.
During Father Stack’s tenure, campus life expanded to include a more robust residential student experience, as well as more student-oriented events and programming. He was instrumental in the formation of the Villanova Parent and Family Engagement program and founded the Center for Peace and Justice Education.
Known for his wit, warmth and tireless advocacy on behalf of Villanova students, Father Stack lived in the residence halls for more than 40 years and regularly led Sunday evening Masses on campus. Friends and colleagues, many of whom were former students, remembered him as a trusted adviser and selfless leader. “He nurtured in me the spirit of care and concern for others, to do small things to make a big difference in the lives of others,” says Kathleen J. Byrnes, JD, ’82 CLAS, ’06 MA, who succeeded Father Stack as vice president for Student Life.
A fixture at Villanova for more than 65 years as a professor, adviser and administrator, the Rev. George F. Riley, OSA, PhD, ’58 CLAS, ’61 MA passed away on Sept. 16, 2022. Father Riley worked under seven presidents at Villanova, most notably as vice president for University Relations, during which time he led the University’s first two capital fundraising campaigns. The space that now houses University Advancement on campus is named for him.
Father Riley was renowned for his ability to network and make friends wherever he went. In addition to his work on Villanova’s campus, he also served the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova in a variety of administrative roles, and the province’s fund to support the care of elderly and infirm friars also was named in his honor.
“Villanova is a better place for Father Riley being a part of it,” says the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, University President. “His knowledge brought wisdom, his humor brought joy and his dedication brought inspiration to so many.”
Joseph P. Campolo ’90 VSB, a generous and dedicated alumnus who had served on the University’s Board of Trustees since 2018, died on Oct. 24, 2022. The recipient of an honorary doctoral degree from the University in 2022, Campolo devoted years of service to his alma mater.
Passionate about creating opportunities for Villanova students by growing the endowment, Campolo was chair of Villanova’s Investment Committee. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of Villanova Athletics, and Campolo Field at the Higgins Soccer Complex on West Campus is named in his honor.
“Joe’s outstanding leadership and immense impact on our University will be felt by Villanovans for generations to come,” says the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, University President.
Campolo was the co-founder and retired vice chairman of Arbor Investments, a Chicago-based private equity firm. His survivors include his wife, Angie, three daughters and numerous friends and relatives.