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Villanova Receives $25 Million Donation, Renames Law School
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Photo courtesy of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law’s Facebook page

Summary: The Law School at Villanova University received their second largest donation in school history, prompting the school to honor the donor by renaming the school.

Villanova University is renaming its School of Law after a 1973 alumnus. The alum Charles “Chuck” Widger provided the school with a $25 million donation even though he went on to pursue a career in investment management, reports. He is the founder and executive chairman of Brinker Capital, a Berwyn investment management firm.


The school has never renamed a building after a donor until now. Widger’s donation is the second largest in school history. The majority of his donation will go towards scholarships for students that show strength in leadership and interest in business and law. The donation will also be used to endow a professor based in the school of law and for an “innovation fund” for new academic programs.

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“Giving to the law school has been on a tremendous upward momentum, and we see Chuck’s gift as the capstone that will further propel us forward, said John Gotanda, the dean of the law school, which will be now known as Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.

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Law schools are facing declining enrollment so the gift comes at a time that will greatly help the school attract students. The law school is still recovering from a scandal in 2011 involving grade inflations. Their enrollment numbers are down more than 200 students since the scandal. Their class of 2016 application numbers were up 16 percent, showing a promising future for the school.

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Widger wanted to donate to the school because of their commitment to adapting its programs by adding business courses and professional development skills. He explains, “We’re going to be making changes to be current and thereby help kids get good jobs and do well. I think that graduating well-qualified lawyers who understand how the intersection of law and business works in this country is of great value.”


Photo courtesy of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law’s Facebook page


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