OK class, let’s break the word down:
- Centennial = 100 years
- Septcentennial = seven * 100 years = 700 years
- Semiseptcentennial = one-half of 700 years = 350 years
- Demisemiseptcentennial = one-half of 350 years = 175 years
That’s how old Villanova University is this year, and tonight was the opening night of a series of events celebrating the anniversary.
The evening began with a great fireworks display, followed by a special dinner.
The dinner featured first and second course followed by a desert course—all served family style. The menu featured recipes from 1842 that the amazing Villanova Dining Services staff discovered in Philadelphia’s City Tavern‘s recipe book (City Tavern first opened for business in 1773 and is still in operation).
During each course, Villanova history professors shared stories about the Augustinians, the United States and Philadelphia around the time that Villanova was founded.
It was a wonderful evening, filled with good food, good friends, and a look back at what life was like 175 years ago.
The celebration continues tomorrow, with carriage rides around campus, arcade games and a photo booth, musical entertainment, and a pop-up “ice”skating rink. Thankfully the events do not start until after classes are finished for the day, otherwise attendance would be minimal (speaking for my classes, that is).
There are more events planned for the rest of the year, and if 175 years is not enough to celebrate, the University just announced another milestone.
Three years ago, the University President announced the launch of Villanova’s $600 million comprehensive capital campaign—For the Greater Great®: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change. The campaign, the most ambitious in Villanova’s 175-year history, was intended to fortify the ambitious plans for Villanova’s future. Last week, the President announce that the campaign has officially crossed the $600 million milestone and now stands at more than $620 million, nearly 17 months ahead of schedule!
This is just another in a string of high-profile wins for the school, including:
- the men’s basketball team wins the national championship, and is currently ranked the number one team in the country
- the Villanova School of Business is currently ranked the number one undergraduate business school by Bloomberg Businessweek
So it’s a great time to be at Villanova, and to be both part of its history (I am in my 31st year), as well as part of its future.
I am confident that the next 175 years (the semiseptcentennnial anniversary) will be just as productive, enjoyable, and life-changing for all Villanovans.
Ignite change, go Nova.