Professor donates $2 million to Capital Campaign

Austin Neri

Martin Luther King, Jr., decisively professed, “Life’s persistent and most urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”. Villanova School of Business Professor Robert L. Nydick, his wife, Susan and their sons, Robert III and Gregory answered that question with their $2 million commitment to the University’s $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.” 

Specified for use within VSB, the Nydick’s donation will generate The Nydick Family Business Analytics Fund and create The Nydick Family Commons in Bartley Hall.

The University launched the public phase of its Campaign in October 2013, and to date has raised over $369 million toward its $600 million goal. 

The most ambitious fundraising goal in the University’s history, the Campaign is set to cultivate academic innovation across its schools and colleges, investing in recruiting and retaining the finest teacher-scholars, dramatically enhancing financial aid and student opportunities, and continuing to build a dynamic living-learning environment. 

The monetary allocations are as follows: Endowment ($250 million); Academic and Programmatic Priorities ($125 million); Facilities ($150 million); and Annual Fund ($75 million).

The initiation of the Nydick Family Business Analytics Fund marks the single largest donation to VSB in support of Business Analytics.

 The fund will support faculty research, recruitment and retention as VSB seeks to improve student exposure to applied analytics. On the other spectrum, VSB has completely renovated the Founders Lobby in Bartley Hall with this generous gift. This space not only serves as a signature gathering space for the VSB community, but it will soon be officially designated as the Nydick Family Commons.

“Villanova has been an important part of our lives for over a quarter of a century,” Nydick said. “It was important to us that our gift has an immediate impact on the students.” 

When asked what his personal mission statement would be, Nydick replied, “I want to make a difference.” 

“The level of generosity from the Nydick family is not only impressive, but incredibly important to the success of this Campaign,” said Michael J. O’Neill, vice president for University Advancement. “The Villanova University community in all facets—alumni, parents, faculty, students and staff—is stepping up and participating in this historic campaign, and as a faculty member, Bob is helping lead the charge.” 

Professor Nydick’s donation ignites the change that Villanova seeks to inspire within the hearts of all its constituents. 

An award winning professor and scholar, Nydick’s impact has been felt in all realms of the University since his arrival in 1987.

A Professor of Management and Operations in VSB, Nydick—who teaches courses on Business Analytics, Data Mining, Business Decision Making, and Simulation—has received both the University’s Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence and the John Tonkinson Teaching Innovation Award. 

He has also been recognized for this scholarly research, which focuses on topic ranging from the analytic hierarchy process in medical decision-making settings, to decision  support and education of management science. Villanova has also become an important place in the lives of the entire Nydick family, as the Nydick’s two sons, Rob and Greg, are both graduates of VSB. Through this gift, the Nydick family will exponentially enhance the academic experience for future VSB students.

“Bob and Sue Nydick’s investment in VSB will ensure that generations of students have access to a world class business analytics curriculum, and learn from exceptional scholars and practitioners in the field,” said Patrick G. Maggitti,  Dean of VSB. “The Nydick family is also enabling VSB to create a beautiful, functional space for the VSB community to gather and connect with one another, an aspect of Villanova that is central to the way Nydick has opened himself up and impacted thousands of students himself. We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous generosity of the Nydick family.” 

Nydick combined his passion for teaching with his passion for service after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Region in August 2005. 

He immediately began incorporating hands-on assistance for the Katrina recovery effort into his business decision-making class.  

Just weeks after the Hurricane, his class traveled to the Gulf Coast to assist disaster relief organizations in the recovery efforts. Those trips continued every semester for an astounding seven years.Following his tenure at Villanova, Professor Nydick wants to be remembered as, “someone who cared about all the students [he] interacted with over the years.” 

It goes without question that the Nydick legacy will forever rest within the hallowed Bartley Hall.