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Meet Our Donors Archive

Raymond and Elizabeth Hanley

Raymond and Elizabeth HanleyGod blessed us with five beautiful children. While neither of us attended Villanova, four of our children chose Villanova and our youngest son will start his freshman year this fall. Each chose Villanova for different reasons, and we’ve been happy with each of their experiences. In addition to world-class academics and activities, we have witnessed the important role the Villanova experience plays in the formation of good character and strong moral values.

Strong values and principals are at the core of the Villanova’s simple, powerful motto: Veritas, Unitas, Caritas, or truth, unity and love. Wikipedia lists more than 200 mottos for U.S. colleges and universities. Many of these include references to “truth,” some to “unity,” but very few to “love.” At Villanova, we found that the difference is love.

A motto can be hollow words if it doesn’t reflect the character and essence of the institution. We’ve had many opportunities to witness Villanova as an institution that truly lives by its stated guiding principles. The core Augustinian values embedded in Villanova’s founding more than 170 years ago are very much present today—and they are evident at all levels of the organization. The University is blessed to have alumnus Fr. Peter Donohue as its Presidents, and its administration, faculty, staff and students share the values that make Villanova a welcoming place for students of different faiths and backgrounds—a place where strong, lifelong friendships are formed.

Villanova offers excellent educational opportunities and preparation for career success, and there is a vital difference in how these services are provided. We have seen firsthand that the professors are accessible to the students and truly care about them. The administrators and staff are anxious to help students. And the students themselves appreciate the difference in values that makes this such a special place.

The Villanova culture values academic achievement and, importantly, community service. While many universities have strong academic cultures, far fewer combine academics and service as successfully as Villanova does. This combination promotes formation of the whole person as service opportunities connect the student to the broader community and promote values and achievements that transcend career success.

Through these and other opportunities, Villanova produces graduates who are not only strong academically but have also experienced the profound, even life-changing experience of offering their time and talent solely for the benefit of others.

As we have come in contact with staff and students over the years, we have noted a profound Villanova difference. Veritas, Unitas, Caritas—the difference is Love. And this difference led us to support Villanova in a special way through our planned gift.


Marianne and Charles ’70 CLAS Connolly

The Connolly familyFor many families, the Villanova connection runs deep. Siblings hear stories from campus, children are raised on University traditions, and they often follow those footsteps to Villanova. In fact, 12 percent of the Class of 2018 has at least one parent who is an alumnus/alumna, and an additional 17 percent of students has a grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or other relative who attended Villanova.

The Connolly family exemplifies this Villanova tradition. Marianne and Charles ’70 CLAS Connolly Jr. have 17 direct and extended family members who hold Villanova diplomas spanning from the 1930s to today. The Connolly’s three children—Marianne ’01 CLAS, ’07 MS, Charles III ’05 VSB, ’14 MBA and Katherine ’07 CLAS—and son-in-law Pat Smith ’07 VSB (married to Katherine) are Villanova alumni, and their love of campus inspired each sibling to hold their wedding ceremonies at St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

“We all have a great appreciation for what Villanova has done for us and the relationships we built there,” Charles said. “Even after graduation, I stayed connected with two of my favorite economic professors, Dr. Ed Mathis and Dr. Keisher Thanawala. They truly cared for their students, and I saw that same passion in the faculty when my children attended.”

Marianne and Charles have been loyal supporters of Villanova for many years through annual giving and volunteer efforts, as well as holding season tickets for Villanova Basketball. But, as their multigenerational Villanova family expanded over the years, they were inspired to start making a bigger impact in honor of their unique alumni legacy.

The Connollys’ first major gift in 1997 established The Charles P. Connolly and Joseph J. Toland III ’38 Endowed University Scholarship in memory of their fathers, who were both passionate about education. Their second brought the family’s love of theatre to the forefront. Made through the Connolly Family Foundation in 2003, the gift provided an endowment for the University’s Theatre program to enhance resources for classroom education and on-stage productions.

When considering their most recent gift, Charles and Marianne wanted to give back in a way that would complement the priorities of the University’s current capital campaign, For The Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change. They consulted with their children on how the entire family could join in philanthropy to best make a difference now and into the future.

Ultimately, they decided to make a bequest with an additional cash gift to support the new Performing Arts Center, part of Villanova’s campus transformation along Lancaster Avenue. Charles recalls the impressive theatre performances he attended as a student, but the couple also recognizes the important need for a modern, dedicated space where student performers can thrive.

“Vasey Hall is the same theatre my father used. Villanova has a spectacular Theatre program but the facilities seat less than 200 people and the location is not convenient to those outside of campus,” said Marianne, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre and actively volunteers with Villanova’s program.

The new Performing Arts Center will feature multiple performance spaces, classrooms and rehearsal space, dance and art studios, a scenery shop and offices for faculty and staff.

In recognition of their extraordinary generosity, the Connollys will be inducted into The Matthew Carr Society.

They are especially proud to continue to engage in philanthropy with their family of Villanovans. “It’s a statement of our love and loyalty to the University—and a dividend provided back for future generations,” Charles said.


Mary and Stephen '73 VLS Ford

Mary and Stephen ’73 VLS Ford"Steve Ford exemplifies what it means to be a Villanova lawyer—a successful corporate leader who remains dedicated to serving the greater good," said John Y. Gotanda, dean of the Villanova University School of Law. Stephen D. Ford '73 VLS and his wife, Mary, have committed a $1 million planned gift to the law school, through a life insurance policy. The gift further endows The Stephen D. and Mary C. Ford Scholarship, established by the couple in 2010 to support an incoming first-year student from New England who is deserving of assistance because of academic merit and/or financial need and who demonstrates an interest in public interest legal work. "Through the further support of this scholarship, Steve and Mary are helping to ensure that future Villanova lawyers have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps, continuing the Villanova tradition of leadership through service," said Dean Gotanda.

"My experiences at Villanova Law School—especially with Deans Reuschlein and O'Brien, the faculty, and my classmates—impressed upon me that hard work would pay dividends. As a recipient of financial support as a law student, it was only fitting that I give back in a way that enables others to pursue their dreams," said Ford.

A dedicated alumnus, Ford has been a master in the Villanova Law J. Willard O'Brien American Inn of Court, served as co-chair of the Leadership Gifts Committee for the Campaign for Villanova Law and volunteered in many other capacities. He and Mary are also members of the 1842 Heritage Society.


Helene and Terry Delaney CLAS '83

Helene and Terry Delaney LAS '83An avid marathoner, Terry Delaney has learned the value of pace, balance and long-term results, and he now applies those principles to his philanthropy. Through the use of a life insurance policy, Terry is extending the impact of his contributions so tomorrow's Villanovans can benefit from a gift that wouldn't be possible today. A former member of the track and cross-country teams, Terry reflects on his time at Villanova with great pride and gratitude. "Villanova had a massive impact on my life, and it especially influenced the trajectory that I took in my career," he says.

He credits his teammates, friends, professors and the overall Villanova community with helping to shape him into a confident and assured professional. But most importantly, he is mindful of those who supported Villanova while he was on campus. Those individuals inspire him to give back today.

"There are people before me who gave up their time and money for me to have a great experience at Villanova, and now I'm that guy," he says.

Terry was making annual contributions to Villanova, but he decided to step up his support in honor of his 30th Reunion. After some discussion with his reunion gift officer and the Office of Planned Giving, Terry took a clever approach to giving that provides both immediate and long-term support.

Terry made a 5-year pledge and divides the support between the Annual Fund, which would address the University's most pressing needs, and a life insurance policy that will provide what Terry calls an "impact gift" in the future.

A life insurance gift was something Terry had never previously considered, but once he learned about the benefits and how he could fund a policy that would pay out six times the amount he put in, he knew it was the right move. "I hope the University perpetuates itself," he says. "If my annual giving can get us to 200 years, then I hope my legacy gift will bring us another 250 years."

Watch Terry talk about why he gives to Villanova here.


Mary-Helen '08 LAS, '12 VLS and Tim '14 VSB McCulloch

Mary-Helen '08 LAS, '12 VLS and Tim '14 VSB McCullochAs a young married couple, Mary-Helen and Tim McCulloch have done a lot of thinking about their future, including their decision to make a planned gift to Villanova. The couple is leading the way for those in their generation to take advantage of this approachable form of giving.

It's fitting that a couple so committed to Villanova met at a Villanova basketball game. Tim was there selling Villanova corporate sponsorships; Mary-Helen was there to cheer on the Wildcats, and they sat just a few rows apart. A fateful blizzard kept other fans at home, so the two began chatting. Two years later, the couple wed at St. Thomas of Villanova Church on the University's campus.

As the couple began their life together, they looked for ways to give back to the University that held such an important role in their lives. A dedicated member of the Young Alumni Circle, Mary-Helen gives back to Villanova each year. Her annual contributions provide consistent support for Villanova's most pressing needs, but when she married Tim, the couple decided to build upon that foundation with additional forms of giving. After considering their options, they decided to make a gift of retirement funds, designating a portion of their savings to go to Villanova upon their death. "Many people, especially young alumni, are not aware of how easy it is to make this kind of gift," Tim said.

The planned gift will extend the life of Mary-Helen and Tim's philanthropy, yet it costs nothing upfront. At the same time, the couple enjoys immediate benefits like networking opportunities and special events that are exclusive to members of the 1842 Heritage Society."Villanova has given us some of the most positive academic and social experiences of our lives," Mary-Helen says. "A gift from our retirement account was the easiest and most impactful way to give back to the school that continues to be such an important place to us."


eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Villanova University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Villanova University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 800 Lancaster Avenue Villanova, PA 19085, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the University or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the University as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the University as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the University where you agree to make a gift to the University and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.