Villanova Receives Senatorial Papers from Former Senator Toomey

Lauren Armstrong, Staff Writer

There is never an hour of the day where you will not find students studying and doing work in Villanova’s Falvey Library. This semester, all the work has paid off due to a huge gift from former Senator Patrick J. Toomey, the Pennsylvania Republican senator from 2011-2023, who donated his senatorial papers for the use of Villanova students. 

Toomey grew up in Rhode Island and attended La Salle Academy in Providence. After graduating high school as valedictorian, he attended Harvard University. 

During his time post-graduation, he worked at a variety of jobs, from working on Wall Street to opening Rookie’s Restaurant in Allentown, PA with his younger brothers. From there, he was elected onto the Allentown Government Study Commission, and then decided to run for the House of Representatives in 1998. After serving three terms, he chose to run for Senate, and after losing his first election, he won in 2011 and served 12 years for the state of Pennsylvania. Toomey is well recognized across the United States as being one of the seven Republicans to vote towards convicting Trump of incitement of the insurrection during the second impeachment trial.

Toomey has espoused a variety of controversial legislative beliefs, such as a ban on same-sex marriage and not believing in women’s rights to access abortions. He does, however, believe in needing stricter background checks in order to purchase guns. 

Toomey was a well-respected and well-liked political leader in the state of Pennsylvania and it is an honor that he decided to choose Villanova as the new home for his senatorial papers. Students and staff are thrilled, as this opens up a door of research and analysis that was not granted to those at Villanova before this donation. Patrick G. Maggitti, Villanova University Provost, is thrilled about Toomey’s donation. 

We are honored that Senator Toomey has selected Villanova University to house this notable collection,” Maggitti said. “Falvey Library is an academic hub for learning and discovery, including an exceptional collection of distinctive materials and artifacts. The addition of Senator Toomey’s papers will allow the global community of scholars critical access to these important historical documents.” 

Students are equally as thrilled. Freshman political science major Marissa Bastian “is thrilled that Senator Toomey decided to donate his papers to Villanova University. As an underclassman [she is] very eager to use this as a resource during [her] time studying politics and policies at Villanova.” As happy as Villanovans are to receive these artifacts, Toomey is equally, if not more, excited to donate them to Villanova. 

“It was an honor to serve as a US Senator representing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Toomey said. “The materials from my time serving the Keystone State belong to Pennsylvanians. Villanova University diligently worked with me during my final years in office to create this archive for educational and historical purposes. It’s an honor that such a revered and respected academic institution is doing this work. Thank you to Villanova University and its staff for their tremendous efforts.” 

Alongside Bastian and Maggitti, Freshman Trisha Dineshkumar is “very excited to have these important papers and artifacts as a resource here at Villanova. It makes [her] feel very confident that [her] political science degree from Villanova will be backed up by amazing resources and opportunities presented to students.” 

Students and faculty alike are extremely happy with the decision of Senator Toomey, and are extremely grateful for his contribution to the Falvey Library as a resource for students and the greater public to use.