Part-time Studies celebrates 90 years

Stephen Vitabile

Over 4,000 students each year combine a Villanova education with other major life pursuits by attending classes on a part-time or summer basis. In recognition of the importance of these programs, the Division of Part-Time and Continuing Studies is celebrating its 90th anniversary with several events on campus throughout the calendar year.

The 90th Anniversary Celebration began last month and will conclude with a gala event in December.

The year-long celebration is meant not only to commemorate the division’s success and history but it is intended to raise awareness about the division and its faculty, students, alumni and various programs.

“We wanted to have an event to recognize the program,” said James Johnson, director of the Division of Part-Time and Summer Studies. “Many students may not know much about the program, so this is to recognize some of the alumni and adjunct faculty.”

The first official event of the celebration was the mailing of a 90th anniversary publication last month, which focused on the division’s history and significant contributions to the University, in addition to other department news on alumni and scholarships.

The publication includes information on all the events that will take place throughout the year. Also included in the publication are a brief history of the department; comments from alumni, faculty and administrators; and information on several programs offered through the Division of Part-Time and Continuing Studies.

The department also set up a special anniversary display in Falvey Memorial Library to tell the story of the history of Part-Time Studies at the University through photographs and other documents and materials. The display will remain in the library through March.

Also in January, the celebration’s first event on campus took place with a 90th Anniversary Poster Signing and Reception in the Presidents’ Lounge in Connelly Center.

The event showcased the work of Brother Jack Stagliano, O.S.A., an alumnus of the Universtiy. Stagliano has painted portraits of scenes on campus and in Philadelphia that have been featured on the covers of the department’s Summer Session catalogs. His art can also be seen on the 90th anniversary poster.

The next event of the commemoration will take place on March 1. The Division of Part-Time and Continuing Studies is hosting “Villanova Theatre Night.” It is inviting alumni and faculty to a viewing of “Baby,” the next production in Vasey Theatre, followed by a reception in Vasey Hall afterward.

On May 2, the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the University’s Mu Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, an academic honor society for adult and part-time students, will be held in the Villanova Room in Connelly Center.

At the ceremony, new members will be inducted into the society, while current members will be recognized for their achievements over the years.

A month after the ceremony, an alumni reunion weekend will take place on the weekend of June 5-7. The weekend has been planned specifically so that faculty and alumni of the division’s various programs could reconnect on campus.

The celebration will then join with the University’s St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration’s Day of Service on Sept. 20. Students and Alumni of the Part-Time and Continuing Studies programs will be invited to participate in different service opportunities along the Main Line and in the greater Philadelphia area.

The next event in the year-long commemoration will take place during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 24-26. Sponsored by the Villanova University Alumni Association, Homecoming will provide another get-together opportunity for Part-Time and Continuing Studies students and alumni.

The final event of the 90th Anniversary Celebration will be a gala on Dec. 6 in Connelly Center. University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., will be the keynote speaker for the night.

A number of tickets will be free for alumni and student of the department on a first-come, first-serve basis for the gala.

According to Johnson, the Division of Part-Time and Continuing Studies has 665 students enrolled this semester.

“That has been the average number of students [the division] has had enrolled for a few years now,” said Johnson.

In 1918, Part-Time Studies first offered courses on campus during the summer. For some years, the sessions were offered at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School in Philadelphia. As many as 70 students enrolled each summer during that time.

Now, over 3,600 students attend classes that are part of the University’s three summer sessions.

The University now offers several programs that allow nontraditional full-time day students to attain a degree or certificate.

Students may obtain an associates, bachelor of science, bachelor of arts or bachelor of interdisciplinary studies degree. Students may also enroll in courses simply to enrich their lives without gaining any credit.

A number of certificates are also offered through the department which include certificates in Project Management, Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Human Resource Management and Fundraising.

Over recent years, the Division of Part-Time and Continuing Studies has added several distance learning classes available via the Internet. Students can communicate with instructors, attend class, listen to or read lectures and complete assignments online, allowing students to obtain credit for courses without actually being on campus.