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.
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.
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.
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.
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, and student residences on the south and the west campuses.
Over the history of the university, it has also served as a headquarters of the Augustinian Order 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, California, which was established in 1922 with teaching staff dispatched from Villanova.
Villanova University sits on just from Philadelphia. The campus is host to Arboretum Villanova which includes roughly 1,500 trees across campus, including the only known instance of a naturally-growing sequoia east of the Mississippi River.
There are three named areas on the campus, all within easy walking distance:
Situated behind the Chapel is Mendel Field, around which sit three major campus buildings: Mendel Hall, Tolentine Hall, and the CEER Building. Opened in 1998, the Center for Engineering Education and Research holds an engineering lab and classroom facility. Tolentine Hall houses classrooms, academic offices, and computer labs, and is connected to Villanova's monastery, St. Thomas Hall. Mendel Hall, named for pioneering geneticist and Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel, holds science labs, lecture halls, and other facilities. Mendel Hall's two large buildings are connected underground and by a second-floor indoor bridge that forms the gateway between West and Main Campus. In 1998, the college commissioned a bronze sculpture of Mendel by Philadelphia sculptor James Peniston, and installed it outside the hall's entrance.
Slightly east of Mendel Field sits The Grotto, a landscaped haven between Falvey Library and two residence halls, Corr Hall and Alumni Hall. Often home to outdoor masses and other large gatherings, the Grotto is sometimes perfect for quiet contemplation. Falvey Library, the campus's main research library, houses over 1,000,000 books, thousands of periodicals, television production studios, and quiet places for solitary or group study.
East of Corr Hall sits Kennedy Hall, which houses the Campus's bookstore. Across a small courtyard is Dougherty hall, home to "The Pit", one of three all-you-can-eat facilities on campus, as well as a few smaller eateries. Next to Kennedy is Connelly Center, the Student Union. With radically different architecture, the Connelly Center contains a variety of meeting places, areas for group study, the Belle Aire Terrace, which serves a variety of food, the cinema, as well as an ice cream shop. Between the dining halls of Dougherty and the meeting halls of Connelly is "The Oreo." A large black-and-white sculpture by Jay Dugan, some of the major campus celebrations have occurred in its circular shadow – including celebratory vandalism in the wake of the 1985 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Sitting just west of The Quad, The Awakening (as it is officially known) has served as a major meeting place at the heart of the campus for generations of Villanovans.
Still further east, The Quad is bordered by Sheehan and Sullivan residence halls, and Bartley Hall, home to the Villanova School of Business. Bartley is also situated near the other entrance to South Campus.
On November 16, 2007, the College of Engineering unveiled a new Solar Electric System atop its Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER), providing up to 4,000 watts of power to offset utility-supplied power for the CEER building.
The chapter’s inaugural project was to design and build a playground for a grade school in New Orleans following the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina. Villanova EWB was the only student organization to win an award from the regional Project Management Institute, receiving an Honorable Mention from PMI for project of the year. The most recent project involved designing and building a water treatment and distribution system which provided an orphanage and surrounding villages in northern Thailand with drinking water and irrigation for their crops. There are also plans for a variety of projects in the Philadelphia area, including K-12 outreach programs, as well as many more international projects.
National Pan-Hellenic Council Sorority
National Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternity
Villanova Times, an alumni-funded bi-weekly student newspaper, won the 2005-2006 Collegiate Network Award for Layout and Design.
WVTV (Villanova), the student-run campus television station, resides at channel 17. Starting in 1999 as the Villanova TV Production Club, the station has produced news, events, films and other programming for the Villanova community.
WXVU, the student-operated FM radio station, operates at 89.1 megahertz. With an output of 75 watts, WXVU can be heard in an radius around the campus. Since 1991, the station has supplied the Villanova community with a varied program of music, news, sports, public affairs, and specialty programming.
POLIS Literary Magazine, a student publication printed once a semester, features writing and artwork by Villanova students and professors. Each issue features creative nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, and black-and-white photography focusing on a central theme. Each issue also features articles on literature, entertainment, and dining.
Villanova University's varsity men's athletics programs include baseball, basketball, cross country running, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, and tennis, track and field. Women's varsity athletics programs include basketball, cross country running, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. Sports teams participate in the NCAA's Division I and in the Big East Conference, except for football and lacrosse. Football and Men's Lacrosse play in the Colonial Athletic Association. Women's lacrosse plays in the Patriot League. The Wildcats are also part of the Philadelphia Big 5, the traditional Philadelphia-area basketball rivalry. Their fiercest city rivalry is with St. Joseph's University which is locally called the "Holy War"
The Wildcats home venues include the on-campus 6,500 seat Pavilion for smaller attendance games, as well as the larger, 21,600 seat Wachovia Center at the Philadelphia sports complex. The February 13, 2006 meeting between Villanova and the University of Connecticut set the record for the highest attendance at a college basketball game in Pennsylvania with 20,859.
The Men's Team has produced 69 NCAA Championships, 36 Indoor and 33 Outdoor. The team has had 8 NCAA team Championships (4 Cross Country, 3 Indoor, 1 Outdoor). Villanova has produced 28 athletes who have made appearances in the Olympics, 10 of whom have medaled (7 Gold medals, 3 Silver medals). Villanova hopefuls for the 2008 Summer Olympics include alumnus Adrian Blincoe, and senior Bobby Curtis (runner). The men's team has also won 112 Penn Relay Championships, which stands as the most wins by any school. The men's current coaches include head coach, Marcus O'Sullivan, and assistant head coach, Anthony Williams.
The Women's team has also had a multitude of success, producing 10 Big East team Championships and 7 NCAA team Championships. They have also produced 7 Olympians including Vicki Huber, Sonia O'Sullivan, Kim Certain, Kate Fonshell, Jen Rhines, Carmen Douma, and Carrie Tollefson. Olympic hopefuls for the 2008 Summer Olympics include alumna Marina Muncan. The Women's team has won 28 Penn Relay Championships, which is the most wins by any women's team. The current women's coaches include head coach, Gina Procaccio, and assistant head coach, Anthony Williams.
At least one Villanova athlete has competed in every Summer Olympics since 1948, winning a a total of 13 medals (9 gold, 4 silver).
An adaptation of the seal of the Order of St. Augustine, the seal of Villanova University is one of the campus's most ubiquitous images, adorning everything from buildings to chairs to backpacks. A ribbon carries the University motto: Veritas, Unitas, Caritas (Truth, Unity, and Charity), virtues to which every member of the Villanova community should aspire. A book symbolizes Augustine's dedication to education and the New Testament where he found Christianity. A cincture is part of the habit worn by members of the Order of Saint Augustine. Hovering above is the flaming heart, symbol of Augustine's search for God and his love of neighbors. Behind the book is the crosier — a staff traditionally held by a Bishop — commemorating Augustine's service as Bishop of Hippo. Above and behind the book are two crosses, symbolic of Augustine's conversion and the University's commitment to Christianity. Framing the central portion of the seal is a laurel wreath exemplifying victory through the pursuit of knowledge, and 1842 is the year of the University's founding. Surrounding the seal is the incorporated fide of the University: Universitas Villanova In Statu Pennsylvaniae.
Villanova University is also home to the Liberty Bell's "Sister Bell," the replacement bell ordered from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry after the original bell cracked in 1753. This new bell was installed at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall), and attached to the State House clock. The Sister Bell rang the hours until the late 1820s, when the bell was removed during a renovation and loaned to the Olde St. Augustine Church in Philadelphia. In 1829, the bell was hung in a new cupola and tower designed by architect William Strickland. There it remained until May 8, 1844, when it was destroyed, along with the Olde St. Augustine Church, during the Philadelphia Nativist Riots. The friars of St. Augustine had the "Sister Bell" recast and transferred to Villanova University.
At the university's centennial celebration, the bell was rung by Archbishop Dennis Joseph Dougherty to open the ceremonies. In 1954, the bell was displayed as part of an exhibit at Gimbels department store in Philadelphia that focused on the growth and development of the university. The Sister Bell is currently enshrined in the Falvey Memorial Library on Villanova's campus.
A number of legends are spread around campus by students. Some of these include the existence of secret tunnels and catacombs under campus, the haunting of some of the older dormitories (sometimes linked to their use as hospitals during the Civil War), and speculation over the existence of an entire wing of St. Mary's Hall which is completely blocked off.
The three buildings most commonly discussed as being haunted are Alumni Hall (located by St. Thomas of Villanova church on the main campus), St. Mary's Hall and Dundale (both located on the west campus).
Alumni Hall dates back to 1848 and stands as one of the oldest structures on campus. The school was closed in 1861 due to the Civil War and reopened in 1865. In that time this hall is believed to have been used as a military hospital and potential evidence of that use, such as a pulley located at the top of the main stairwell for moving bodies up and down, can still be seen. The building was used as a hospital again for influenza patients after World War I. This history has led to rumors that the building is haunted.
St. Mary's Hall was built in 1962 and served as an Augustinian Seminary until 1972. Laid out with long corridors and over a thousand rooms, there is a large chapel and many partial floors, basements and sub-basements to feed the legends of blocked off wings.
The property on which Dundale Hall is located was originally purchased by an industrialist, Israel Morris II, in 1874, and was built as a mansion for his family. Purchased from his family in 1978, it has been used for a variety of meetings and is home to several offices. On more than a handful of occasions, the school's Public Safety officers have been called out late at night to investigate lights in the building coming on inexplicably.
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. David Rabe had his first premier for In the Boom Boom Room at Vasey Hall.
In addition to current Pennsylvania Governor and Democratic luminary Ed Rendell, Villanova has produced several military and governmental officials. 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 of the United States Navy, and Commander of United States Central Command and George B. Crist, Marine General, and the first Marine to be designated Commander in Chief, Central Command.
The business world, too, has had several prominent businessmen who got their start at Villanova. Robert J. Darretta, Jr. – chief financial officer and vice chairman of Johnson & Johnson, John Drosdick – CEO of Sunoco, Thomas G. Labrecque – former Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank, Francis Saul – president of Chevy Chase (Bank), and Martin McGuinn – former CEO of Mellon Financial Corp. have all studied at Villanova at some point in their careers.
John Cardinal O'Connor, 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.
Villanova University First in Market to Incorporate New PMBOK[R] Guide - Fourth Edition Into Online Project Management Programs.(Company overview)
Jan 20, 2009; Further bolstering its reputation as the worldwide leader in project management education, Villanova University is making history...
Villanova University Names Patrick Maggitti, PhD, the Helen and William O'Toole Dean of the Villanova University School of Business.
May 16, 2012; Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, announced the appointment of Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, as The...