Last Thursday a crowd of distinguished faculty members, friends and family assembled in the Connelly Center to see Dr. Ronald P. Hill instated as the first ever Richard J. and Barbara Naclerio Endowed Chair in Business.
Richard J. and Barbara Naclerio donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Villanova School of Business to support research in trade, social responsibility and global business ethics.
With their donation, the Villanova School of Business created the Naclerio Endowed Chair in Business. The new position is for a faculty member who receives funding to conduct research on globalization.
The endowed chair is not a recent development, however. Richard Naclerio graduated from the business school at Villanova, formerly known as the College of Commerce and Finance, in 1954. Three of the couple’s children also attended the University. With such close ties, the Naclerios have been generous donors for many years.
As the son of an Italian immigrant, Naclerio understood the importance of globalization and fostering a mutual understanding in world business.
“Advancement in America comes through education,” he said. “And through education, we make good on our parents’ sacrifices.”
Recipient Hill taught marketing at Villanova from 1991-1996 before pursuing his academic career elsewhere. VSB Dean James Danko invited Hill back for a position, where Hill now serves as senior associate dean for intellectual strategy.
Vice President of Academic Affairs John Johannes officiated the ceremony, introducing each speaker and explaining the tradition behind the proceedings.
Before giving the opening prayer, President Emeritus Rev. Edmund Dobbin, O.S.A., recalled meeting the Naclerios 18 years ago at an event during Dobbin’s first year as president. The respective parties chatted over the years as the Naclerios mulled over the effects of making such a large commitment as an endowment.
University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., inaugurated and invested Hill as the endowed chair.
During his speech, Donohue engaged listeners and had nothing but positive comments about Hill.
“You [Hill] have given a gift that will go on for a very long time,” he said.
“This is an accomplishment of a lifetime,” Hill said.
Hill also spoke of his extensive research in local, national and global poverty. He enlightened the audience on the despair he has seen and the help he has provided. The passion with which he spoke mirrored that of Naclerio when the donor discussed the joys of his life.
Both Naclario and Hill were emotional and overjoyed, even shedding tears.
The ceremony included music provided by Villanova’s string sextet, “Les Six,” as well as the Haveners who sang the alma mater.
The Navy NROTC opened the ceremony with the posting of the guards, followed by a procession of faculty members.