To our Fathers

As the University’s president’s tenure comes to a close, the Villanovan would like to take this opportunity to commend Rev. Edmund Dobbin, O.S.A., for many of his accomplishments. Villanova has truly transformed under his leadership. We hope that our next president, Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., will continue to build upon Dobbin’s legacy. To help him in his new role, we have made a few suggestions to the future president.

Dobbin always maintained a strong presence on campus. While many joke that Dobbin was like the wizard in “The Wizard of Oz” – always heard, but never seen – he did make it a point to attend every basketball game. He was visible at numerous activities, from the Special Olympics Fall Festival to the annual tree-lighting ceremony.

Dobbin was also a man of his word. In his inauguration speech, he laid out a plan for his tenure, focusing on moving more students onto campus, improving the infrastructure and raising the endowment. He managed to exceed all expectations in regards to each goal. He built new residence halls. He expanded academic programs and curriculum. He renovated buildings, and he increased the endowment from $19 million to $270 million.

We would hope that Donohue would continue Dobbin’s legacy of being visible and available to students. Donohue has lived in Burns Hall and participated in the popular dinners with students there. We would like him to remain true to his roots. Perhaps a monthly dinner with students back at Burns Hall would be a possible way to continue to stay connected with the students.

Donohue should also maintain the University’s upward trend in the national rankings. We here on campus already know how great Villanova is; now it’s time for the rest of the world to take notice. The way to do this is to focus particularly on undergraduate education, especially in the liberal arts college.

We would also like Donohue to concentrate on truly increasing the diversity on Villanova’s campus. There has been much work lately on this goal, but the fact remains that the student body and faculty is largely homogenous – white, upper-middle class Christians. Villanova should be a place that minorities (and not just those in the Philadelphia area) think of when starting the college application process. Sure, we have diversity, but much of that comes from international students. Let’s make diversity on campus real.

The University has always preserved a strong Augustinian identity, and we would like to keep that spirit strong. Make us known for something other than a great basketball team. Make us a national university, recognized for our outstanding students, service and commitment to our heritage.