“So what’d you do this weekend?” is usually the most frequently asked question on a Monday morning. You naturally ignore the tedious parts – wrote a paper, went grocery shopping – and get to the juice: the crazy party you went to on Friday night. Great and horrible things can happen at those kinds of parties. You might have gotten that kiss from your crush, been written up or had a huge fight with a friend (not to mention those incriminating Facebook photos you forgot to un-tag).

An important party for the University happened last Friday night – a party that celebrated the conclusion of The Campaign for Villanova, the University’s largest fundraising effort in its 165-year history. This 800-plus-guest event was held at the swanky Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan to celebrate the $300 million that was raised during this six-year effort. Most of this money will make its way into the University’s endowment, which is a portfolio consisting of stocks, bonds, real estate, venture capital and other investments.

Even though an endowment is not spent, its total is usually a good measure of a university’s past, present and future activity as well as its reputation. Five percent of the return on Villanova’s endowment is spent to support the purpose of the fund. So if a donor endows a professorship or a chair, 5 percent of the return on that donation will be allocated annually for the professor’s or the chair’s use.

Villanova’s current $360 million endowment pales in comparison to schools like Harvard, which boasts a $35 billion endowment. Even our peer institutions like Boston College and Notre Dame claim multi-billion dollar endowments. But the administration is doing something to change this. In 1988 Villanova’s endowment was $20 million. Thanks to the efforts of past presidents and well-planned campaigns, it is now well past the $300 million mark.

The real question remains: what do parties at the Waldorf Astoria and streamers and crab cakes and tuxedos and champagne mean to the average student here at Villanova? Simply put, more money in our endowment means more opportunities. A larger endowment enables the school to rely less on tuition-generated funds. It works as collateral so that the school can borrow money at lower interest rates in order to build and renovate facilities and improve technology. It generates more money for financial aid through endowed scholarships. It gives research grants to professors. It helps the University to become stronger financially. It gets things done.

The party last Friday marked a turning point in the University’s history. Campaigns like these will occur in the coming years, with hopefully bigger parties. They will help to further the advancement and reputation of Villanova, especially on the national level – and that’s something to celebrate.