Illustration by Peter James Field


The Path Forward

Dear Friends,

After a year when we wore out terms like “unprecedented,” “historic” and “new normal,” it is a pleasure and a relief to return to an academic year that will feel a bit more like business as usual. Every August, I look forward to seeing our students return to campus and the familiar hum of activities return as the fall semester begins—but even more so this year. The familiar is comforting, and it is gratifying to feel close and connected to one another again after so many months of distance.

For Villanovans, though, distance did not mean isolation, and quiet did not mean dormancy. What I love about this community is that we find ways to keep moving forward, no matter what. There has been a lot of discussion in the past few months about “re-emerging” into the world as the pandemic abated, but our students, faculty and staff never retreated from the world—they continued to engage.

You’ll see that spirit and constant forward progress reflected in the stories throughout this issue of Villanova Magazine. Even while dealing with challenges, Villanovans never stopped moving—finding ways to learn, grow and ignite change in ways big and small. Their generosity, innovation and compassion found a way to shine through.

We return to campus with new perspectives, new lessons learned, new opportunities and renewed faith in our resilience as a community that can withstand any challenge together. We can appreciate the return to the people, places and traditions that make Villanova special, while also acknowledging that this time has changed us—together we have grown and continue to grow. This is the journey, the journey of becoming what we are not yet.


The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS



Engineering With Purpose

New center reinforces engineering fundamentals, a commitment to lifelong learning and service to society