VSB announces Real Estate major, minor



Stephen Buszka

Villanova will formally open the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate in April of 2008.

In a Nov. 30 e-mail to the Villanova School of Business community, VSB Dean James Danko announced the creation of Villanova’s real estate program.

The development of the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate comes on the heels of VSB’s campaign to ensure that all of the school’s business centers are named.

A requisite for the creation of this and similar programs is a $5 million endowment that is intended to provide the financial resources necessary to provide each center with the learning tools and skilled professors needed to keep it on par with the rest of the No. 12 undergraduate business school in the nation.

The namesake for the school, Daniel DiLella, offered a $1 million donation, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The donation included an option for an additional $2.5 million dependent on the school reaching certain benchmarks.

DiLella, a former VSB student, graduated with a degree in finance in 1973 and since then has gone on to become president and CEO of BPG Properties, Ltd.

According to the University’s press release and The Wall Street Journal article, DiLella paid his way through college by working and pursuing numerous scholarships.

According to DiLella, his contributions reflect a pay-it-forward attitude toward success through which he hopes his contributions to VSB will enable current and future graduates to contribute to the success of others.

Although the formal opening will be in April, classes will not begin until the real estate minor is introduced in the fall 2008 semester. The Center for Real Estate will equip students with the support needed to ensure they gain the information and abilities to pursue and develop a successful career in real estate. To aid in this effort, professor Shawn Howton has been named the center director.

Howton received his PhD in finance in 1999. He currently serves as an associate professor in the Finance Department where he has been since 2003, but he has been with the University since 1999.

In that time he has been awarded a Summer Research Fellowship by Villanova twice, in 2000 and 2003.

In March 2004 he was the recipient of the Research Excellence Award given out by the Center for Responsible Leadership and Governance.

Jim Vessey, who works as a senior director for capital markets for Cushman & Wakefield, has been named the Center Business Fellow.

The Villanova School of Business has expressed excitement about the new Center for Real Estate and looks forward to the opportunities it will offer its students.