Stories of Impact

Villanova Initiative for Engaging Women

The Villanova Initiative for Engaging Women (VIEW) is a four-year college preparatory program that seeks to enrich the lives of academically talented girls currently attending high school within the School District of Philadelphia. Funds from 1842 Day allow VIEW to provide these girls with the opportunity to visit surrounding colleges and expose them to a wide array of majors, minors, academic concentrations and higher academic settings, in addition to personalized high school tutoring. This past summer, VIEW reintroduced two staples to the program: Senior Brunch and Day at the Beach, allowing the girls to experience a level of normalcy and engage in in-person activities for the first time since Spring 2020. Funds raised this 1842 Day will allow VIEW students to access an expanded calendar of activities, including a musical production, outdoor events and additional college tours.

Villanova Athletics’ UNITAS Fund

UNITAS, Villanova Athletics' diversity, equity and inclusion initiative, is a framework to build a welcoming and supportive athletic department through constructive dialogues, educational programming and community engagement. The program began in 2017 and was revitalized in 2020, focusing on specific areas for student-athletes: race/ethnicity, women’s empowerment, Athlete Ally (LGBTQIA+), Every Mind Matters (mental health) and international students. Last year, with your support, the Wildcats participated in a Juneteenth Service Project at Olney Charter High School, took part in “Every Mind Matters” week and “Let’s Talk About It” for Athlete Ally dialogues, featured female student-athletes in social media and website spotlights, and held gender, bias and personal identity trainings for student-athletes, coaches and staff.

Fund for Villanova Law

The Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law strives to build a community that reflects the diversity of identities, abilities, sexual orientations, religious backgrounds and life experiences. Liliane Cooper ‘21 JD, a mother of six from Essington, Pa. and born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, benefitted from donor support that underpins the daily student experience—including gifts made to the Fund for Villanova Law on 1842 Day. She not only graduated during the pandemic but also continued to homeschool her one daughter and five sons. Liliane, the elected class speaker for her commencement class, also founded the Villanova Law Parent and Non-Traditional Group (VPNG), which assists those whose responsibilities make the law school journey different than most. VPNG is one of the newest student campaigns fundraising on 1842 Day this year.

Campus Ministry

Villanova’s Campus Ministry remained engaged with the local community, even when COVID-19 restrictions kept students and staff from gathering in person. Volunteers were still able to serve and help those who are most vulnerable, thanks in part to the generosity of donors on 1842 Day. During the past year, Campus Ministry purchased supplies for and assembled 360 science experiment kits for under-resourced education centers. Students and staff donated snacks, to-go food containers and reusable face masks to soup kitchens. They advertised and collected donations of clothing, diapers and sports equipment, delivering the items to area nonprofits. During the annual Thanksgiving Drive, to which Villanovans contributed nearly 200 complete holiday meals, Campus Ministry purchased boxes and supplies for organization and delivery.

Learning Support Services

In the 2020-21 academic year, Learning Support Services (LSS) conducted more than 2,000 individual appointments with students across all of Villanova's undergraduate and graduate programs, offered a variety of workshops, and developed easily accessible online resources for students seeking support. In addition, LSS met an increased need for accommodations requested by students with disabilities. Your gifts on 1842 Day contributed to Learning Support Services’ impact and adaptability during a critical time and continues to impact Villanova students today. Your continued support will help LSS bolster its training, resources and technology to help students achieve their academic goals.  

Villanova University Black Alumni

Villanova University Black Alumni (VUBA) is an alumni affinity group that works to create a welcoming and supportive environment at Villanova for Black students and alumni. In June 2021, VUBA hosted a community service event in honor of the Juneteenth holiday at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia. VUBA, along with support from Villanova Athletics and the Office of Intercultural Affairs, partnered with Olney's head basketball coach and former Villanova Men’s Basketball student-athlete Jason Lawson to make this service event a reality.  Alumni, students and staff worked together to improve Olney Charter High School for its students!  Gifts from 1842 Day will continue to support VUBA’s many programs and initiatives. 

Honors Program

The University’s Honors Program strives to support and inspire academically talented Villanovans through expanded learning opportunities. Funds raised on 1842 Day fueled the launch of the Vocare Summer Fellowship Program in Honors. The program offers summer grants to pursue unpaid summer internships at non-profit organizations or study in non-traditional countries. With your support, the Honors Program will continue to empower students to find their calling and expand their imagination when thinking about their future professional lives.

Nova Nook

The Nova Nook provides supplemental personal necessities, including food items and basic toiletries, for students in our campus community who may struggle to manage these costs on their own. This past December, funds raised for the Nook provided students, who were unable to return home for Christmas break and facing food insecurity, with gift cards to grocery stores. With your support again this year on 1842 Day, the Nook can continue to serve the individual needs of our students and remain stocked throughout the year.