Invested in the Future of Villanova

Martin McGuinn, Esq., ’64 CLAS, ’67 JD provides support to fuel scholarly research and boost educational access for veterans

By Marian Butcher

Martin McGuinn hands folded sitting in a chair against the backdrop of bookshelves and a fireplace
Photo: Josh Franzos

After an illustrious career in the financial services industry, Martin McGuinn ’64 CLAS, ’67 JD knows all about smart investments and the lasting impact they can have. The retired chairman and CEO of Mellon Financial Corporation (now BNY Mellon) recently gave $10 million to Villanova to expand opportunities for faculty to conduct high-impact research and to open doors for veterans to pursue their degrees.

“Villanova is thriving now under the leadership of Father Peter, and my gift is intended to support him and the new Strategic Plan, which I am convinced will take Villanova—and the Law School—to new heights,” McGuinn says.

University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS has announced that a building in Villanova’s new living-learning community, The Commons, will be named McGuinn Hall, in recognition of McGuinn’s lifetime giving to the University—totaling $15.7 million.

It’s an apt choice for an alumnus who found a home in Villanova’s community as an undergraduate and Law student. “The seven years I spent at Villanova, including receiving a first-rate education and making friends for life, have had a major impact on me,” McGuinn says.

As he rose through the ranks in the banking world, holding various leadership positions and helping to shape the global asset management and services industry, McGuinn’s Villanova experience never left him.

A good businessman always looks at the return on investment. In this case, it’s one McGuinn knows firsthand—and one that he’s dedicated to passing along to future generations.

Through his exceptional generosity, Marty has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to Villanova’s mission and our vision that is reflected in the new Strategic Plan.

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

Accelerating Academic Research

A key initiative of the University’s new 10-year Strategic Plan, Rooted. Restless., calls for increased investment in high-potential research and scholarship. Across the University, McGuinn’s gift will provide critical seed funding and support research and scholarly projects that positively impact society—and the world.

It also will provide funding to accelerate the University’s most promising research projects through targeted faculty grants, as well as create a permanent funding source for high-level, impactful research projects. “The groundbreaking research and scholarship of Villanova’s faculty has been a key factor in the University’s continued national recognition,” says Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD. “These endowed funds will propel our research enterprise forward, creating even more opportunities for our teacher-scholars to innovate and create knowledge that positively impacts the world.”

McGuinn has earmarked the majority of his gift to further support and advance the research efforts of faculty, particularly in the Charles Widger School of Law. In addition to being a proud alumnus of the Law School, McGuinn received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2013 and served as chair of the Law School’s Board of Consultors. He previously established the Martin McGuinn ’64 ’67 Endowed Scholarships at the Law School and endowed the Martin G. McGuinn Professorship of Business Law.

“We are so grateful for Marty’s continued strong connection to Villanova—and especially to the Law School,” says Mark C. Alexander, JD, the Arthur J. Kania Dean and professor of Law at the Charles Widger School of Law. “Our faculty’s scholarship is at the cutting edge of law and policy, and his investment bolsters their reach and scope, ultimately influencing our community and world for the good.”

A portion of McGuinn’s gift will support Villanova Law faculty members, providing scholarship grant awards each year to help further their research and promote awareness of their work. These grants will recognize Law School faculty whose scholarship has had a significant impact on the academy, the law, the legal profession and/or policy.

Expanding Access for Veterans

As part of its efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and to embrace a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds, the University continues to focus on helping more veterans earn their degrees at Villanova.

A veteran himself, McGuinn served for three years as a captain in the US Marine Corps, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. He allocated a portion of his gift to grow Villanova’s Office of Veterans and Military Service Members and the programming and resources the office provides to assist veterans, service members and their dependents. That includes increasing the number of veteran students at Villanova on an annual basis by expanding the Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional funding toward the cost of tuition and fees.

“Marty supports areas of the University that he feels passionately about, and, in doing so, he has helped elevate Villanova’s stature and recognition,” says Father Peter. “Through his exceptional generosity, Marty has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to Villanova’s mission and our vision that is reflected in the new Strategic Plan.”

Real-Life Impact


“The goal is for us to think, ‘How can we help faculty solve the big problems or the unanswered questions within their discipline? How do we help faculty get the resources they need to take that next big step, or bring people together who might look at a problem in a different way?’

Mr. McGuinn’s gift gives us a fantastic start to a key piece of the Strategic Plan—the Research Acceleration Fund. This will be a central bank of funds available for faculty to catalyze high-impact research initiatives and to provide seed funding for collaborative projects in all disciplines.”

— Amanda Grannas, PhD, vice provost for Research


“Veterans bring incredible diversity to our campus because of the experiences that have shaped them as human beings, and they offer valuable perspectives in our classrooms and for other students. The boost to the Yellow Ribbon Program that Mr. McGuinn’s gift really creates access points to Villanova for our veterans and their families, which supports our Strategic Plan goal of opening pathways for underserved populations.

When you introduce more veterans to our college campus, they can contribute to and benefit from our strong alumni network, and this additional funding allows them to graduate with little to zero student loan debt. Those are real opportunities, and they are life-changing.”

Michael Brown, director, Office of Veterans and Military Service Members


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