Villanova University is a private university located in Radnor Township, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States.
In October 1841, two Augustinian friars from Saint Augustine's Church in Philadelphia purchased the 200-acre (81 ha) "Belle Air" estate in Radnor Township with the intention of starting a school. The school, which was called the "Augustinian College of Vilanova", opened in 1842. However, the Philadelphia Nativist Riots of 1844 that burned Saint Augustine's Church in Philadelphia caused financial difficulties for the Augustinians, and the college was closed in February 1845. The college reopened in 1846 and graduated its first class in 1847. In March 1848, the governor of Pennsylvania incorporated the school and gave it the power to grant degrees. In 1859, the first master's degree was conferred on a student. In 1857, the school closed again as the demand for priests in Philadelphia prevented adequate staffing, and the crisis of the Panic of 1857 strained the school financially. The school remained closed throughout the Civil War and reopened in September 1865; since then it has operated continuously. Its prep department later moved to the Malvern, a town along the Main Line, and is still run by the order. The first great expansion of Villanova began in the late 1890s. Desiring an institution that would "rank among the best in the United States", the college built more classrooms, dormitories, and recreational facilities, and bought instructional equipment.citation needed Corr Hall from The Grotto The School of Technology was established in 1905. In 1915, a two-year pre-medical program was established to help students meet medical schools' new requirements. This led to a four-year pre-medical program, the B.S. in biology, and the founding of the sciences division in 1926.citation needed Villanova was all-male until 1918, when the college began evening classes to educate nuns to teach in parochial schools. In 1938, a laywoman received a Villanova degree for the first time. It was not until the nursing school opened in 1953 that women permanently began attending Villanova full-time. In 1958, the College of Engineering admitted its first female student; other colleges admitted women only as commuters. Villanova University became fully coeducational in 1968. During World War II, Villanova was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. After World War II, Villanova expanded, returning veterans swelling enrollments and the faculty growing fourfold. Additional facilities were built, and in 1953, the College of Nursing and the School of Law were established. Villanova achieved university status on November 18, 1953. Between 1954 and 1963, 10 new buildings were built or bought on land adjacent to the campus, including Bartley, Mendel, and Dougherty Halls. During the 1970s and 1980s, Villanova worked to become a nationally recognized university. The quality of faculty and students improved dramatically and international studies programs were introduced. Additional residential and recreational facilities were constructed, and efforts to increase the endowment were undertaken.citation needed In the 1980s, endowed chairs were established in theology, philosophy, engineering, and business; scholarship funding was increased, and the curriculum expanded and improved. An extensive building campaign created facilities for the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Commerce, and Finance, as well as student residences on the south and the west campuses. In 1985, the school also won the Men's NCAA basketball tournament, giving the school increased national exposure.citation needed Over the history of the university, it has also served as a headquarters of the Order of Saint Augustine in North America, and has provided staff to establish Catholic high schools throughout the United States, such as St. Augustine High School in San Diego, which was established in 1922 with teaching staff dispatched from Villanova.
Villanova University is a Catholic Augustinian community of higher education, committed to excellence and distinction in the discovery, dissemination and application of knowledge. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, the University is grounded in the wisdom of the Catholic intellectual tradition and advances a deeper understanding of the relationship between faith and reason. Villanova emphasizes and celebrates the liberal arts and sciences as foundational to all academic programs. The University community welcomes and respects members of all faiths who seek to nurture a concern for the common good and who share an enthusiasm for the challenge of responsible and productive citizenship in order to build a just and peaceful world.
Villanova University has produced several notable alumni. Golden Globe-nominated actress Maria Bello got her first taste of the stage in a production at Vasey Hall. Actor and Coen Brothers favorite Jon Polito has garnered both stage and screen awards, and NFL Hall of Famer, longtime FOX commentator and feature film actor Howie Long graduated in 1982. Tim Hauser, founder of Manhattan Transfer, Jim Croce, and Don McLean have all been prominent members of the musical tradition at Villanova. Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter David Rabe premiered In the Boom Boom Room at Villanova's Vasey Hall. Brian Westbrook and Michael Bradley both attended Villanova before launching their careers in professional sports. Villanova has produced several military and governmental officials, including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland, and current Second Lady of the United States Jill Biden. Wife to the governor and federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Marjorie Rendell, is also a graduate. Numerous Marine generals and Naval Admirals are products of Villanova's Naval ROTC program, including William J. Fallon, Admiral in the United States Navy and Commander of United States Central Command; George B. Crist, Marine General and the first Marine to be designated Commander in Chief, Central Command; and Anthony Zinni, retired four-star General in the United States Marine Corps. The business world, too, has had several prominent businessmen who got their start at Villanova. Robert J. Darretta, Jr. ï¿½ chief financial officer and vice chairman of Johnson & Johnson, John Drosdick ï¿½ former CEO of Sunoco, Thomas G. Labrecque ï¿½ former Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank, Francis Saul ï¿½ president of Chevy Chase (Bank), and Martin McGuinn ï¿½ former CEO of Mellon Financial Corp. have all studied at Villanova at some point in their careers. John Joseph O'Connor, Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, obtained a Masters degree in Advanced Ethics at Villanova University. John L. Hennessy, president of Stanford University earned a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering, and Deirdre Imus, Head of the Diedre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology (and wife to radio host Don Imus) is also a graduate.
Suburban, 254 acres (1.03ï¿½km2)