John Thacker is a Senior Managing Director and Founding Partner of Crestline Denali Capital, L.P., an alternatives investment management firm specializing in syndicated commercial loans and collateralized loan obligation funds. But John has enjoyed much success beyond his career in business. He and his wife Kimberly are both active in church-based ministry and community service organizations focused on alleviating homelessness and poverty. Their interest in serving others was sparked by the Augustinian ideals built into John’s Villanova experience.
As a first generation college student from a single parent family with limited means, John was able to earn some money while at college and graduated with only a small amount of debt. He notes, “A main focus of my support for the University today is so that kids like I was can still have a chance to attend Villanova and start their adult life with less student debt.” The Thacker’s generous gifts support their own scholarship fund; The Kimberly and John Thacker Restricted Scholarship as well as The Oliver Ludwig Endowed Scholarship in Undergraduate Science, the Campus Ministry Restricted Fund and the new Performing Arts Center.
In the years following graduation, John realized how well Villanova had prepared him for his career and his life. “Villanova provided an outstanding business education, but the grounding in the core liberal arts curriculum has proven just as valuable in my career as accounting or finance.” His oldest and closest friends remain from his time at Villanova and he has stayed connected to current generations of Villanovans through his active involvement with his fraternity Sigma Nu and through an annual friends’ reunion weekend organized around a Villanova Men’s basketball game.
The breadth of opportunity the University affords became even more apparent through his sons’ experiences, including academic activities, clubs and campus ministry trips. Their sons Brooks ’13 CLAS and Noah ’15 VSB, are both Villanova graduates. The Thackers look forward to the completion of the Lancaster Avenue Development project and the new Performing Arts Center, which they believe will transform not only Villanova’s appearance but its connections to the world.