Saying goodbye to Villanova

How do you say goodbye to a place that has been your home for four years? What do you do when the friends you’ve made have become your family and in a few short weeks you will all be scattered in different parts of the country?

My Villanova story has been a very fortunate one and as graduation rapidly approaches, I search for the words that will do my experience some justice. I struggle to find a way to say thank you. Perhaps the best way to do that is to tell the truth. Villanova is by no means a perfect institution, but it is a place that has a lot more good than bad. Villanova is a university rooted in great tradition. And yet, there is always room for growth and change; it is we the students who need to be the vehicle for that mobility. Many tragedies have occurred during my time here at Villanova, ranging from the death of my advisor, Professor Mine Ener, to the racial incidents that have occurred both on South and West.

It is my opinion that in these moments of sorrow we need to lean on Villanova’s mission of “Unitas, Veritas, Caritas,” and talk about what went wrong, why it went wrong and what we as a community can do to create change. Villanova has much to take pride in, from the largest Special Olympics in the fall to our phenomenal basketball team that made it to the Elite Eight. But in the areas that Villanova needs improvement, I will stand tall and criticize how badly things were handled and ask that the administration find better ways of communicating with us, the students, the life of the University, the reason for its existence.

When people ask me, “Why Villanova?” I always respond with the following, “It has a life about it, a quality so intangible yet so visible, that you only have to walk across campus to feel its vibrancy.” I wanted to write this reflection as a way to say thank you for an incredible experience that I will treasure forever. Thank you for giving me a space where I felt safe and happy, where I could grow and be challenged, and perhaps most importantly where I learned to think for myself and speak my mind: the good, the bad and the ugly. Thank you for letting me share what I love about Villanova. We have come a long way, not just the class of 2006, but the University as a whole.

And if I may say so – the future for both Villanova and the class of ’06 looks very bright indeed.