Villanova Announces Several Alumni Donations

Kathryn Fair, Staff Writer

University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. recently announced several significant alumni donations to Villanova, discussing uses for the contributions as part of the recently developed Strategic Plan. 

A $20 million gift from alumnus Victor J. Maggitti Jr., ’56 VSB, in support of the University’s Falvey Library, was most recently announced. The University’s vision is to transform the facility into a dynamic hub to enrich the academic life of the entire campus community. 

“Villanova and the Library have always held such a special place in my life, so this gift is especially meaningful to me,” Maggitti Jr. said a the press release statement. “The Library is the heart of the academic experience, and my gift is an investment in this important University priority. Villanova shaped who I am today, and through this gift, I hope to help impact the lives of generations of Villanovans to come.”

Maggitti is the Founder and President of Vimco, Inc. He is a long standing supporter of Villanova who was recognized for his commitment with the 2006 St. Thomas of Villanova Medal—the highest honor bestowed by the Villanova University Alumni Association. Throughout the years, he has provided leadership-level support to the University’s Athletics facilities, as well as the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. 

“We are extremely grateful to Vic for his remarkable generosity,” Father Peter said. “There are few campus spaces that touch as many Villanova lives, or so powerfully set the tone for the University as Falvey Library. Vic’s gift will allow the University to advance learning and discovery, creating a place where students, faculty, staff and the global community of scholars can access, create and share knowledge.”

Second, the Office of the President announced a $10 million gift from The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation to support several significant initiatives, including the continued modernization of Falvey Library. The gift will also establish an endowed chair in the DiLella Center for Real Estate within VSB, as well as a new University-wide speaker series. A building on campus in Villanova’s newest residences, known as The Commons, will be named “Hovnanian Hall.”


“I am extremely grateful to the Hovnanian Family Foundation for this gift, which demonstrates its confidence in Villanova’s mission and desire to continue to move the University forward,” Father Peter said. “The Foundation’s generosity will have a significant impact on key priorities of our strategic plan, Rooted. Restless., and provide critical funding to our academic enterprise.”

“Through this gift, we hope to further enhance the academic experience for all Villanova students and support the University’s vision for the future,” said Siran H. Sahakian, who serves as vice president of her family’s foundation, The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation.

The Foundation was founded by the late Hirair Hovnanian ’56 COE to support charitable causes relating to Armenian culture and education, as well as organizations in the United States focused on education, healthcare and real estate development training.

Villanova also announced $13.5 million in leadership gifts towards the expansion of its College of Engineering’s primary academic building, the Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER). The University has received significant support for the project from Engineering alumni, including $5 million gifts from both John “Jack” G. Drosdick and Richard K. Faris and a $3.5 million gift from Nance K. Dicciani, PhD.

Drosdick, a ’65 College of Engineering graduate, is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Sunoco, Inc. and former chair of Villanova’s Board of Trustees. In recognition of his $5 million gift, the University will establish the Drosdick Innovation Lab, featuring a state-of-the-art, two-floor maker space that will enable students to design and build prototypes

Faris, a ’69 College of Engineering and ’70 Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) graduate, is a retired Senior VP of Product Development of Oracle Corporation’s Primavera Global Business Unit. In recognition of his $5 million gift, the College of Engineering’s structures lab was named the Richard K. Faris ’69 CE, ’70 MSCE Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory.

Dicciani is a ’69 College of Engineering graduate, CEO and co-founder of RTM Vital Signs LLC, medical device startup company and a former Villanova trustee who contributed $3.5 million to the expansion. In recognition of her gift, the Biomaterials and Polymers Lab in the new space will be named the Nance K. Dicciani PhD ’69 Biomaterials and Polymers Laboratory.

The addition will include 11 flexible laboratory spaces designed for multidisciplinary teams to work together on topical areas of research, classrooms that can adapt to various teaching and lecture formats and a two-story Innovation Lab, which will include workspaces, tools and equipment for building, and space for large-scale project work. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2024.