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From the Archives: TBT Commencement

Congratulations to the Class of 2023. In honor of this weekend’s commencement is a #TBT of commencement ceremonies of years past.

And did you know former U.S. President Grover Cleveland received an honorary degree at Villanova?


More commencement and student life photographs can be in found in the Distinctive Collections Digital Library.


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Photo Friday: Chair-ish The Memories

Image of a reception style layout (with chairs, tables, tablecloths, and flowers) located on the campus green.

Campus is beautiful every spring, but this week it always seems to exude a certain charm. The excitement radiating from graduates travels from all corners of the University. From Commencement weekend preparations (shown above) to seniors donning their academic regalia for one more photo in front of the St. Thomas of Villanova Church, the days leading up to graduation are truly special. Grads, cherish these final moments as a Villanova University student.

Congratulations to the Class of 2022! Falvey Library wishes you all the best in your future endeavors. Be sure to come back and visit—Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat!

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 











Foto Friday: Commencement Ignites Graduates’ Big Dreams




If you are on campus for Commencement this weekend, take notice of the Villanova University Alma Mater hung next to the Community First: Caritas Commitment Banner on Kennedy Hall. Written by Irving R. Leshner under the pen name Les Irving and copyrighted in 1948, one of the original copies of the sheet music can be accessed through Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital Library.

Below, find the lyrics that will resound in the hearts of our graduating seniors as they cross the stage to receive their diplomas Saturday.

When the twilight shadows gather
Out upon the Campus green,
When the blue and purple night
Comes stealing on the scene
Loyal heirs of Villanova
Sing a hymn of praise
To our dear old ALMA MATER
And our College days.
Villanova, Villanova
When we leave your shelt’ring walls,
We shall leave an echo ringing
Through your treasured halls
We will will leave an echo ringing
In the silent night
While our memories are singing
Of our Blue and White
When the last big game is over
And the last roll call is heard
When the oldest pedagogue
Has had his final word
We shall come to ALMA MATER
In our dreams again
With a prayer for Villanova
And a sweet amen.


TBT: In 1985, Villanova Welcomes Journalist Ed Bradley as Commencement Speaker

Villanovan Article on Ed Bradley as Commencement Speaker


Happy Commencement Week, Villanova seniors! To celebrate your graduation, we throwback to 1995 when Commencement featured 60 Minutes Co-Editor and journalist Ed Bradley (1941-2006.) Bradley, a respected journalist, won 19 Emmy Awards in addition to a Peabody Award for his investigative report on the AIDS crisis in Africa.


An Open Letter to the Class of 2020


Dear students of Villanova University’s Class of 2020,

Our University community often talks about the idea of “the Villanova Experience.” And as I reflect on your time at Villanova over the past four years, I am awed by the threads that have become the fabric of your class’s shared memories.

When the men’s basketball team won the national title in 2016, you were still in high school and likely watched it from afar. Maybe you even texted your friends and told them, “Did you see that shot? That’s where I’m going to school! Villanova!!”

2018, though? That was your team. You had been on campus for two years, mastered both college classes and college adulting, and when the team won the championship, it felt like you did, too. Everyone rushed outside to celebrate, and you were right there. Together as a community. It was an unforgettable night that lasted until early in the morning. You shouted until your voice was hoarse and hugged your friends and classmates until you literally began hugging everyone you could find, even people you only remember from orientation. Thank god, Father Peter didn’t make you go to class that day or the day of the parade.

This spring was supposed to be your time. A celebration of all the late nights and tough finals you bested on your way to earning a bachelor’s degree. At commencement, all your friends, family, and classmates would be together to cheer your accomplishments as a Villanova student.

You know, the typical graduation—”Pomp and circumstance” and shifting your tassel. A sip of champagne and more than a few tears. And you’d be doing that hugging everybody thing again. It would mark the end of one adventure and the start of your next one. First, you’d say goodbye to your favorite study spot in Falvey. You’d promise to stay in touch with the many close friends you met in the clubs, sports, and residence halls. Then you’d be on your way.

Instead, your time turned out quite differently than you expected.

It was spent mostly away from your familiar Villanova home, learning how to Zoom, catching up with friends on Instagram, and hanging out for an unprecedented amount of time with your family. You found the best Zoom background ever. You picked up that one hobby you’d always meant to try. (And probably gave it up just as fast.) You also learned that your one professor has a super affectionate cat and terrible taste in wall art.

Since we never had the farewell any of us imagined, I truly hope that as new alumnae/i you’ll return to Villanova often. Drop in on your favorite professors. Have a coffee in Holy Grounds. Say that belated goodbye to your favorite study spot in Falvey.

But no matter where your next adventure takes you—whether you end up working in an ICU in California, an engineering firm in London, or starting your own business in New York City—know you’ll always be a Villanovan. Because, even when our community cannot be together, we’re never truly apart.

Cheers to you, Class of 2020. You. Are. Unforgettable.


Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.




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#TBT: Commencement in Convention Hall

Photo courtesy of University Archives.

Throwback Thursday

Villanova graduates gathered in Convention Hall in Philadelphia on May 12, 1969, for commencement. The ceremony featured remarks from University President the Reverend Robert J. Welsh, OSA, and commencement speaker the Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. of the United States District Court.



Last Modified: May 16, 2019

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