BELLOTTI: To be continued … a journey beginning



Christopher Bellotti

When I greet my family after I walk off the Villanova Stadium turf on May 17 for Commencement, I already know what my grandfather will ask:

“So, Chris, what did you learn at Villanova?”

My father, a self-described “realist,” will pessimistically think about the Murphy’s Law of Education that hangs on a poster in his office:

“Universities are full of knowledge: freshmen bring a little in, seniors take none away; therefore, knowledge accumulates.”

And as much as I hate to admit it, he is absolutely right. But don’t worry, Villanova, because this is not a typical case of “everything that can go wrong will.” In fact, ironically, it’s much more a case of “everything that can go right did.” The funny thing is that I could have predicted this outcome a week into my Core Humanities Seminar (now ACS), when we were taught about one of Socrates’ most popular quotes:

“To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.”

When I applied to and subsequently arrived at Villanova, I was told that Villanova would transform my heart and mind. And as I reflect on that promise made four years ago, it is absolutely amazing just how much Villanova changed my life and how right Socrates was.

I came to Villanova closed-minded, and am leaving with an open heart. I came to Villanova ready to voice my concerns, and am leaving ready to act on them. I came to Villanova with a sense of entitlement, and am leaving with a sense of responsibility. I came to Villanova set in my ways, and am leaving completely transformed.

So, when my comedian grandfather asks that question, I will be ready with an answer: the one thing I learned at Villanova is that there is always more to learn.

Within the proverbial walls of academia, I learned that those who are most well-equipped to understand what they have yet to know will be the most successful people in our generation. Outside of those walls, in the intangible asset that is the Villanova community, is where the official learning ended and my real learning began.

When I was an underclassman, I experienced that community. Villanova, in a way, happened to me. And I thought I had Villanova completely figured out. Then, just when I thought I knew everything, the community flipped on me and I quickly realized that the Villanova community doesn’t just happen. It’s not magic – it is created by the hard work, creativity and unfaltering passion of responsible upperclassmen.

That responsibility is not to be taken lightly because the community is the most important thing at Villanova. Because of it, I was able to transform myself into a personable and capable leader through things like the Diversity Peer Educators and the Student Government Association. I’ve seen the community change the lives of prospective students before my very eyes on Candidates’ Day as conversations with Blue Key and Ambassadors volunteers made them Villanovans forever. And I’ve seen the Villanova community prove that it is special through groups of Wildcats who never stopped believing, both on and off the Pavilion court.

Being a part of the preservation of that community has been anything but easy. It has tested me. Passing it down to the next generation of Wildcats has meant sacrificing time, energy and more than a few nights at Kelly’s. Investing in the school’s future, however, has been more than worth it, because as a freshman or an alumnus, the community is for everyone to participate in, work on and enjoy.

Having been changed by Villanova and, in turn, changing it, I have become armed with the knowledge that there is always more to learn. Just when I thought I knew everything there is to know as a senior, I have realized that my journey has just begun. So, thank you, Villanova, for a great four years.

Have I found the meaning of true knowledge? I don’t know. But what I do know is that until the twilight shadows gather, I will always fight for the blue and the white.


Christopher Bellotti is a senior accounting major from Long Island, N.Y. He can be reached at [email protected]