Villanova Magazine - Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change Surges Forward

Group of students lock arms above a landscape

120,000 Alumni and 10,000 Students Keep the Momentum Going

The signs of Villanova’s forward momentum are all around—cranes and scaffolding that signal a transformation of campus spaces, banners and signs that trumpet top rankings and a national championship, and the buzz about Villanova’s national reputation for academics and innovation. You can see and feel all of these exciting developments on campus.

There are also big changes happening in the lives of students. On the next page, you’ll meet a few students who are on a path to successful and fulfilling futures because of their Villanova education and because of the support they’ve received through the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.

“What the Villanova community has achieved to this point is extraordinary, and the momentum continues to build,” says the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, Villanova’s president. “Together, we can do more.”

The campaign’s milestones have been remarkable: The University has received the three largest gifts in its history—each one worth more than $20 million— and nearly 70,000 people have been inspired to give, helping to bring the undergraduate alumni participation rate to a record 27 percent last year.

“Together we can do more."
—The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, Villanova's President

There’s still much more to do. The priorities for the remainder of the campaign include funding for campus facilities, boosting the annual participation rate to 30 percent and continuing to grow the endowment, which allows the University to devote resources to academic programs and to making Villanova accessible to the nation’s brightest students.

Current students have benefited from and been inspired by the campaign. More than half of the Class of 2017 is so committed to reaching back to help out the next generation of students that they did so before they even graduated.

“I want future Villanovans to have as great an experience as I had, if not a better one,” says Christian Mattutat ’17 VSB, a Senior Class Gift Committee member. “Future students inspire me to give back because I want to see them succeed.”

Villanova’s loyal and generous alumni, parents and friends are making life-changing opportunities possible for students.

Manny Garcia '18 VSB

Headshot of Manny Garcia

Manaury “Manny” Garcia excels at seizing opportunities. Since his first year in the Villanova School of Business, the rising senior has accrued five internships, one co-op and four job offers. A triple major in Accounting, Economics and Finance, Manny has meshed his classroom learning with formative experiences at PwC, Johnson & Johnson, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and other companies. Every placement has led to a bigger network, a more impressive résumé and a better sense of his career path.

Manny has followed these and other avenues— he is an officer in the Business and Leadership Society, a peer adviser to VSB students and a beneficiary of VSB’s Mentor Program—courtesy of the Charlotte and James V. O’Donnell ’63 Center for Professional Development. Established in 2014 with a commitment from the O’Donnells, the center consolidates and expands VSB’s emphases on curriculum-integrated professional development, experiential education, career programming, student business groups and one-on-one mentorship.

The involvement of alumni in all these areas has personalized and strengthened Manny’s experiences. “Our alumni network is an amazing resource, and it has enabled me to succeed in my internships.”

Kate Gallen '19 CLAS

Photo of Kate Gallen at computer

Despite coming from a Villanova family, Kate Gallen ’19 CLAS wanted to explore other options before following her parents, aunt and uncle to the University. That was until she set foot on campus.

“Villanova immediately felt like home,” she says.

Her decision was made easier due to the Martell Family Endowed Scholarship’s support. The scholarship helped Kate, an aspiring emergency room doctor who majors in Biology, to attend Villanova—and to seize opportunities to expand her medical knowledge. In summer 2016, the Honors student traveled to Chulucanas, Peru, for a medical mission, and then completed a two-week course in emergency and wilderness medicine in Colorado. For someone who had never even camped, both were challenging and rewarding experiences.

Perhaps equally important was her time spent volunteering recently with hospice patients. Her mother, Eileen Cassin-Gallen ’86 CON, passed away when Kate was 16, and the work allowed Kate to better understand her mother’s experience.

“Volunteering in a hospice care center was eye-opening,” she says. “It emphasized the personal aspect of being a caregiver.”

Samantha Schaefer '17 COE

Samantha Schafer on the right

Villanova Engineering Service Learning group leader and Chemical Engineering major Samantha Schafer ’17 COE (on the right in the picture) and fellow students had devised a way to repair the exterior of a 120,000-gallon waterstorage tank in a town in Panama that they would visit over this past winter break.

But when the students arrived, they found extensive damage to the tank’s interior. For 12 days, they excavated problem areas, patched cracks, and relined the walls and floor with an advanced sealant. Their watertight solution restored the tank to operation and improved the quality of life for the local people.

Robert Pizzano ’70 COE, P ’19 knows firsthand how powerful the experience of applying technical knowledge in a developing country is. After accompanying a different group of students to Panama, he was inspired to make an estate gift to the University to offset the cost of future trips.

His gift ensures that more Villanovans will be transformed as Samantha was. “My time in Panama has yielded some of my favorite memories,” she recently reflected. “My service there has made me a better student not only of engineering, but of life.”

* CampaignToIgniteChangeVMagSpr2017FinalWeb1.pdf
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