Alessandro Roco

Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., the new University president, has barely had time to catch his breath these past few weeks.

From meetings with administration and faculty members during the day to inauguration celebrations to receptions with students, faculty, alumni and donors at night, Donohue’s schedule has been jam-packed from sunrise to sunset and then some.

But throughout the madness, Donohue has remained calm and has embraced the attention and spotlight he has received over the past several weeks.

Entering into the presidency on June 1, Donohue’s transition seemed easy. With no students or faculty around, the change from his office in St. Augustine Center to the charmed Office of the President in Tolentine Hall felt smooth.

Then, August hit.

“Once the faculty and especially the students came back, it just picked up,” Donohue said. “With the inauguration and other events people kept asking me to go to, there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I really wanted to go to each event, but there’s just not enough time for everything.”

Donohue has attempted to meet with the vice presidents of all the departments in the University over the past few months to assess their needs. Coupled with meetings with small groups of University staff members, such as UNIT, the Falvey Library and student development, Donohue barely has time to rest.

But since the inauguration, Donohue’s scheduled has picked up even more.

He is already booked until December, and he will spend at least two days out of the five-day work week outside the president’s office.

Last week, Donohue’s schedule consisted of a flight to Dallas on Tuesday to meet with over 50 alumni at a reception, another flight to Houston the day after to do the same thing and another flight back to Villanova on Thursday to celebrate Parents’ Weekend. Still, Donohue keeps a positive attitude.

“The support I’ve received from everyone and the amounts of letters, cards and e-mails has been overwhelming,” he said. “I’m feeling good right now about where I’m at with my position.”

Donohue said that he has already experienced several benefits from his new status. He said his position has afforded him “the opportunity to meet people, to talk them and listen to them.”

But with the rewards have come the challenges and drawbacks of having to deal with thousands of alumni, donors and faculty members.

“My biggest challenge is to continue to be physically present on campus and interact with the students,” Donohue admitted. “There are only so many hours in the day, but I really feel that I have to find a way to do it.”

With major construction already taking place on the new athletic facility, Donohue is hopeful that by the end of the year, all the major construction projects, including the new nursing school, parking facility and law school, will at least break ground.

As for the performing arts center he proposed in his inaugural address, he acknowledged that the project is “still way down the road.”

Donohue is also looking to remodel the president’s office and open the entire president’s suite up more.

While renovations take place, Donohue will work out of an interim president’s office, whose location has yet to be determined.

“I want to open the whole office up a little more,” he said. “I’d like to have the office look the way I want it.”

However, with all the new changes to the University, one thing Donohue does not want to change is the image of the University.

“I’m not looking to re-fashion Villanova, but rather help to make it be the best Villanova it can be,” he said. “What I want to do is strengthen our name and mission.”