Villanovans act as unofficial ambassadors on campus and around the world



Kirsten Eversen

Traveling through a busy Newark airport in an oversized Villanova sweatshirt, I focused on little else than getting a cup of coffee after a long flight. As I stood around the baggage claim, it took me a minute to realize a woman was staring at me. Looking at my sweatshirt, she excitedly smiled and exclaimed, “Villanova! I went there. It is the best school!” 

This was two years ago, before I had even stepped foot on campus for my freshman year. I realized then how far the network of the Villanova community stretched. This woman, a stranger, proceeded to make conversation with me because of her passion for the school. 

As I learned from this encounter, all Villanova students represent the university. From wearing Villanova apparel to doing service trips to participating in off-campus programs, students act as ambassadors in shaping what the world thinks when it thinks of Villanova University. 

Villanova Ambassadors and the Blue Key Society serve as two of the most in-demand clubs on campus. Students in these groups directly influence potential students’ views of Villanova by organizing and managing events such as Candidate’s Day and campus tours. To be a part of these prestigious organizations, students endure a rigorous application and interview process in order to be honored with a position to officially represent Villanova. 

“As a Blue Key Society tour guide, you could directly impact the lives of prospective students and potentially influence their college decision, which is a responsibility Blue Key members take seriously and find very rewarding,” Blue Key Society Recruitment Chair and junior Margie Hahn explains. “I think Villanova students are drawn to Blue Key because now that they have made their decision, they want to help others find their home at Villanova.” 

While those accepted for these coveted spots experience enormous pride, others remain discouraged. Rejection always hurts, but it proves particularly painful when it pertains to the school you call your home. In spite of not being deemed an official representative through Blue Key or Ambassadors, all Villanovans contribute to portraying Villanova in a positive light.  

Wearing Villanova apparel acts as a key way to embody what it means to be a student here. When you choose to wear clothes with “Villanova” or “Wildcat” stamped across the front, you directly promote the university. People associate a face with the school and get a sense of the type of students Villanova attracts. 

Events such as St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service also serve as opportunities for students to be ambassadors. For 10 years, students have been giving back to the greater Philadelphia area by visiting over 100 locations to spend a day doing service work. While at these sites, students show what it means to be a Villanovan. Students’ enthusiastic volunteerism demonstrates a commitment to working hard and a desire to fulfill the mission of Villanova. 

With every fall, winter and spring break, students apply to partake in Service and Justice Experiences. These trips allow students to serve organizations and people locally, throughout the United States and abroad. When there, participants exhibit a desire to understand the institutional issues present within society today. By living and working alongside those in need, students emphasize Villanova as a university whose values extend beyond the academic sphere. “While on my break trip, I felt like an ambassador for Villanova because everyone knew where we were from and it made me more aware of the way I wanted our school to be portrayed,” sophomore Cathy Harwarth recalls. “I hope that my break trip group and I left the people of the community of Eastern Shore knowing how much we care about them. Villanova students want to learn and help make every community we step into a better place.” 

On Villanova’s own campus, when potential students and their families come to tour the University, they often stop and ask students for directions. They may not be a part of Blue Key or Ambassadors, but these regular students answer with a smile on their faces and try to be as helpful as possible. In many cases, these undergraduates offer a first impression of the school, which goes to show just how much of a difference one student can make.  

Beyond campus, community outreach programs further allow Villanova students to boast the ideals of Villanova. For example, NovaCANE provides local middle school students with after school engineering programs run by Villanova engineering students. 

“It is an honor to be the point of reference for such young students when they think about Villanova,” senior NovaCANE participant Paige Innamorato states. “I hope to encourage them in thinking about new possibilities they might not have otherwise thought were possible and that is what Villanova is about. The idea that possibilities are endless!” 

With basketball season soon underway, Villanova will be in the national spotlight again. While the nation will be analyzing every player’s move, the student section does not go unnoticed. Every time you step into the Pavilion for a basketball game, you take part in representing Villanova. The spirit emanating from every cheer, every chant and every fight song speaks to how much Villanova students love this university. 

When students represent Villanova well, the entire university benefits. People unfamiliar with the school think highly of it, potential employers notice us more, and a greater number of high schoolers want to become Wildcats. 

It is easy to take pride in our school and with so much love for it, every student can play a role in unofficially representing Villanova University.