Tolentine remodeled in 10 years: What this ranking means for Villanova



Katelynn Tiongson

On September 6, Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. was sent an “embargoed list” that showed that the University had been ranked in the top 50 “Best Colleges” in the “National Universities” category for 2017 by U.S News and World Report. Donohue and a group of select individuals celebrated this monumental time in the University’s history covertly.

“I had a little cocktail party at my house,“ Donohue told The Villanovan. “I kept them all in there until the news broke.”

Donohue then sent a message to Jay Wright saying, “You were a part of this. Thank you very much.”

A National Championship just one month before the peer evaluation surveys were dispersed allowed the University to receive 1.2 billion dollars worth of national advertising and media attention. 

This ranking comes at a time when the University is on the cusp of making major changes to its population of students and its academic buildings. Within the next 10 years, through “stra-tegic planning,” the University hopes to create a more diverse community of students on campus and renovate some of the academic buildings.

“We made a strategic decision to lessen the number of people we were accepting from the East Coast, in favor of people from the Midwest, West, Southwest so the population began to change in terms of the University,” Donohue said. “There is about 45 percent of the student body that does not come from the Northeast corridor.”

Pulling students from all over the country will allow for a more diverse student body and widen the number of applicants, which will allow for a stronger applicant pool.

A secondary effect of this will be applicant pool growth and make the selectivity rate of the school lower, increasing that portion of our national ranking score.

“Focusing on our academic facilities, something that has lagged behind that it is now time to focus on is Mendel Hall, and, this building, Tolentine, and an expansion of CEER, potentially, to make sure that we have the types of facilities that behoove a National University,” Provost Maggitti said. Although, “we would never play to the rankings” as Maggitti said.

“These things are dubious and they are controlled by an editor in a magazine who is deciding the weightings and the things that go into them,” Maggitti said, in reference to the national ranking.

The University has already been implementing this “strategic planning” system by improving the living systems and community areas on campus. These include improvements to the Exchange and the cyber lounge in the Connelly Center, the addition of Cafe Nova, updates to Sheehan and Sullivan, addition of central air-conditioning units on Southwest campus, and brick pavers around campus.

The University is focusing on creating a social and academic environment that will allow its students and faculty to thrive, while also continuing to better our new national ranking. 

“Ten years from now Tolentine will be renovated because if I don’t do it, I’m hoping the person after me does it,” Donohue said.