College of Engineering

Contact Information:
Cynthia Rutenbar
Sr. Director of Major Giving

The College of Engineering made record-breaking progress this fiscal year, led by four leadership gifts totaling $19.5 million in support. The cornerstone is a $13.5 million contribution—the largest ever to the College of Engineering.

Recent Campaign Highlights

  • $13.5 million commitment—a combined cash and estate gift—from Jan and Paul ’65 COE Varello to be used at the dean’s discretion.
  • $3 million gift from Denise and John P. ’72 COE Jones to construct the Student Learning Commons, part of the Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER) expansion.
  • $2.5 million gift from Nance Dicciani ’69 COE to establish the Nance K. Dicciani PhD '69 Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering.
  • $500,000 gift from Alfreda and John ’65 COE Janitz to name the Janitz Family Dean’s Suite, part of the CEER expansion.



The most critical and visible components of the College’s campaign are capital and infrastructure improvements to the Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER), our flagship teaching and research facility. We have secured 60% of the resources needed for this expansion, including funds for an Innovation Lab and Student Learning Commons. Now is the time to transform CEER into a state-of-the-art, mission-driven structure that stands as a symbol of the College’s commitment to superior engineering education.

Areas to support:


Few investments are as powerful as the ones made in supporting the College of Engineering faculty. The success of our engineering education program rests on having strong, effective leaders and mentors who inspire students to fulfill their greatest potential. Endowed faculty positions, therefore, are essential in securing and retaining this pivotal academic leadership.


Villanova is already setting the standard for student participation in research: 53% of undergraduate engineers pursue independent research opportunities or work with faculty members on research projects. With additional funding we can provide more avenues for students to earn academic recognition before graduation—a rare opportunity not readily found at other universities. The College is equally committed to enhancing research opportunities for graduate and doctoral students, so they can contribute to the wealth of knowledge and technical advancements being made in the field of engineering.


The College of Engineering’s Centers of Excellence combine theory, practice and research. These knowledge hubs define the College’s specialties, add depth to the engineering curriculum and deliver opportunities for interdisciplinary work within the College and across the University. Most importantly, they give our faculty a platform to further academic innovation and contribute to the global discourse on engineering education.

Existing and New Centers:

  • Center for Innovation in Engineering Education (CIEE)—NEW
  • Center for Advanced Communications (CAC)
  • Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC)
  • Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering (VCASE)
  • Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2)


Today’s savvy and enterprising engineering students demand a dynamic learning environment, and the College is responding to these needs by redefining how, when and where students learn.

Initiatives include:

  • Expanding the College’s highly sought-after programs, including our undergraduate minors in entrepreneurship, biomedical engineering and mechatronics
  • Introducing more “flipped classrooms” to the curriculum, building upon the College’s proven success with this alternative teaching method
  • Providing more opportunities for engineering students to learn and exercise the professional skills that will enhance their ability to be the technological leaders of tomorrow
  • Preparing students for careers that will make an impact in local communities and global markets through expanded service-learning opportunities


The Dean’s Strategic Initiatives Fund provides the flexibility to address the College’s greatest needs and pursue new opportunities that benefit Villanova engineering students. Gifts of every size are needed to support the Dean’s Fund each year.


Engineering labs require constant maintenance and frequent upgrades. A lab endowment for each of the College’s four departments will provide the essential resources to ensure that students and faculty have a cutting edge environment in which to learn and conduct research.