We are all Luis Canales.
We have all come from somewhere else to gather here at Villanova and to be shaped by this community.
Luis Canales has traveled farther than many of us. As you’ll read in this issue’s cover story, Luis fled Honduras on foot—four times—as a teenager to escape gang members who had targeted him and to seek refuge in the United States. He is now a proud US citizen, a husband, a father, an advocate for the vulnerable and, as of May 19, a Villanova Law graduate.
Luis chose the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law because he was drawn to the University’s mission and to its origin story, one that we recount frequently, especially now during our 175th anniversary year. Villanova was founded by and for Irish immigrants in 1842, a time when the Irish were marginalized and often denied access to education in Philadelphia and around the country.
Today, we continue to welcome students, faculty, staff and visitors from all over the globe to our campus. They bring the world to Villanova, sharing rich cultural and religious traditions that become woven into the fabric of this community.
As an Augustinian Catholic institution, we are called to be in service to one another, embracing our differences while also celebrating our shared goals and values. So many of our students, faculty, staff and alumni are living the Augustinian mission in their research, their professional activities and their work in local communities, and we are proud to highlight many of their stories in this magazine.
It’s no wonder that Luis Canales—who has overcome enormous challenges and courageously confronted injustice throughout his life—was drawn to this community. He saw Villanova as a place where he could be welcomed, educated and nurtured to reach his full potential. He is now going into the world as a Villanova lawyer who will ignite change and be a powerful voice for those who, like him, have faced injustice.
Luis Canales is a Villanovan.
As Villanovans, we are all Luis Canales.
The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, President