Board of Trustees selects new chairman

Amanda Doyle

Herbert F. Aspbury was named chairman of Villanova University’s Board of Trustees last week.

He graduated from the University in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in English and has remained active in the community ever since.

 After his graduation, Aspbury worked for Manufacturers Hanover, a job that sparked his interest in finance and banking.

 “I fell into this job,” Aspbury said. “I didn’t think it would be for long.”

Aspbury graduated from the Harvard Business School Program for management development in 1980.

He went on to work for several banking companies, including Chemical Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank, and retired in 2000.

He has remained committed to and served the University in many different ways for the past few decades.

Aspbury was a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for 10 years.

He served as its president from 2001 to 2003.

Aspbury was also awarded the Alumni Medal in 1994 for his service to the University.

Most recently, Aspbury was a member of the steering committee and chair of the major gifts committee for The Campaign for Villanova, the fundraising effort that concluded in December 2007 with a $300 million endowment.

Aspbury has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1999 and the vice chairman for the past six years.

This role entails working with the President’s Office and administration.

“We act in combination with administration,” Aspbury said. “[Being a member of the Board] is a legal role, as well as one that makes sure that the organization is progressing. We are the conscience of the University.”

Aspbury was elected chairman when John G. Drosdick decided to step down after holding the position since 2001.

Dorothy Malloy, vice president and general counsel of the University, explained the process of electing the chairman of the Board.

The Trustee Committee of the Board is charged with nominating a candidate or candidates for Chair of the Board. 

The full Board votes on the candidates nominated by the Trustee Committee.

It requires a majority vote of the members present at a meeting of the full Board to elect the Chair, Malloy said.

Aspbury said he hopes to continue to better the University with the help of the student body.

“The Board has done very well in involving students in the decision-making process,” he said. “There is a student life committee on the Board. It’s not just a bunch of old men and women sitting in a vacuum. It’s the students that make the University.”

As for Aspbury’s own time at the University, he was an English major with a history minor, the latter being his true passion.

He also was involved in several clubs, including the Sailing Club and Knights of Columbus.

For the past several decades, Aspbury has put a lot into the University, being involved in everything from the SEARCH Committee that elected University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., to guest lectures on campus.

“I’ve seen [the University] evolve over the last 10 years,” he said. “What impresses me most is the caliber of the faculty and staff. Villanova has made very steady progress.”

Aspbury said that one thing he would like to see progress more is the interest international students have in the University, citing his own experience abroad.

“The University has been expanding our international outreach,” he said. “I was working in London, and my daughter was going to school there. She decided to go to Villanova and was disappointed that there were very few international students.”

Aspbury now resides in New Canaan, Conn., with his wife Victoria.

“Villanova’s a special place,” he said. “It’s a magnificent campus. It’s made a tremendous breakthrough in the past decade.”