When you ask Ron Dukes ’12 VSB why he feels so strongly about giving back to Villanova, his answer is simple: It’s the way he was raised, and it’s part of who he is as a Villanovan.
Ron wouldn’t have been able to attend Villanova without the help he received from others through financial aid and scholarships, so he sees giving as an obligation. As a recent graduate, he knows that his contribution to the Campaign to Ignite Change won’t be as big as more established donors. But that doesn’t matter. “Even if you can only give what feels like a small amount, it’s still important. And you can do other things to give back as well,” Ron says. That’s why from his first year at Villanova, he immersed himself in volunteering.
On campus, he got involved with the Office of Residence Life and Center for Multicultural Affairs, helping students adjust to college and preparing them for their careers. He also worked with Villanova School of Business faculty to help outside recruiters connect with Villanova students, opening the door for future career opportunities. Off campus, Ron volunteered for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and reached out to underrepresented high school students during college weekends.
Today, his giving doesn’t end only with his donation: He also shares what he’s learned with younger students, something he does now as a mentor. Ron believes that life is about more than earning a title and a salary; it’s about making a difference.
And that is what bonds us together as Villanovans — a passion for something greater than ourselves.