Paul Morra has tripled his donation amounts in the past three years and is now responsible for almost two full scholarships. I wondered how he had become so successful and asked him about life after Villanova. His answer: What have I done since graduation? That was “59” years ago. I’m still working 2 days a week and enjoy it. I get away 4 months of the year to my Florida home. I still play golf a couple times a week.
In my business, I have helped my workers better themselves and treated all my workers with respect and have helped them when they needed it. I’ve been honorable during my years in business and in life, it must have been my good Catholic teaching at VU. I’m very honored to help these wonderful students and I hope when they succeed in business, that they’ll do the same.
My business, Crusader Candle Co., has been providing quality religious candles since 1946. Our candle company is a family owned company, providing work for local residents. We try to provide the best quality wax, colors, wick, scents and glass. We are respected in our industry and one of the leaders. You will always know our candles by looking for the Lucky Horseshoe on the bottom of the glass.
The company has been blessed with a sign from our Lady of Guadalupe. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to an indigenous man named Juan Diego on Dec. 9, 1531. The Virgin asked that a shrine in her name be built on the spot where she appeared, Tepeyac Hill, which is now in a suburb of Mexico City. Juan Diego told the bishop about the apparition and request, but he didn’t believe him and demanded a sign before he would approve construction of the church. On Dec. 12, the Virgin reappeared to Juan Diego and ordered him to collect roses in his tilmátli, a kind of cloak. Juan took the roses to the bishop and when he opened his cloak, dozens of roses fell to the floor and revealed the image of the Virgen of Guadalupe imprinted on the inside. The tilmátli with the image is on display in the Basilica de Guadalupe.
I can’t say “Thank You enough to Joe for making a job connection for our two senior Chemical Engineering majors, Matt Hughes and Sara Rose Monahan. Joe entered Villanova in September 1971 after graduating from Monsignor Bonner High School. Here is his story: The Augustinians at Bonner were influential in my decision to attend Villanova. I graduated in 1975 with a degree in History, Magna Cum Laude. During my college years I was fortunate to have a job with a National Moving and Storage Company where I worked full time in the summer and part time during the school year. Because I had a partial academic scholarship the monies I earned from the job truly helped with tuition and book payments and I left Villanova with no debt. Very fortunate.
After Villanova I entered Villanova Law School in August, 1975 and graduated in May, 1978. It was during Law School that I married Mary Pat Donohue, also a 1975 graduate of Villanova, in the Villanova Chapel in June, 1977. My wife and I are the parents of five children, one of whom is a Villanova Graduate. They are now all grown, educated and married. We were very involved in their growing up and in their activities and did a lot of things together as a family, one of which was to vacation in Ocean City NJ every summer. And that we still do. Only now we have 8 grandchildren joining the party. We have been blessed to watch our children grow to adulthood and hope we are given the time to see the same with their children. Perhaps one of them will attend Villanova. They may need the service of BWSF at that point so I hope the organization is still around and prospers. We settled down in a small home in Upper Darby. After Graduation from Law School I took and passed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam and began working for a small Law Firm in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Being a native Delaware Countian I was happy to work and live in Delaware County. Since then we lived in Havertown and now in Marple Township. My Office has been located in Havertown since 1983.
I learned a lot in the early years a practicing law ( and in many ways still learning after 40 years). One of the things that I learned was that is was very important to “give back” to your community as well as to those institutions that helped get you to where you are. I have been involved in volunteer and service work all my adult life. I was a member of the Upper Darby Rotary Club for over 20 years and served a year as President. I was on the Board of Directors of the Community Y of Lansdowne, Pa and served a year as Board Chairman and presently serve as Solicitor. I was a member of the St. Pius X Boy Scout Committee and served two years as Chair. I am active with the Delaware County Bar Association and served as President in 2012. I am an active member of the Bonner Alumni Association and played a big part in helping to keep the school open when they were slated for closure in 2012. I am presently the Chair of the Marple Township Youth Aid Panel which is a program that enables first time non-violent juvenile offenders to avoid a Court Date and keep their record clean. I have been involved with this for over 20 years. Needless to say my nights have been very busy for the past 40 years and I do not know where the time has gone.
However, my wife and I still found time to play tennis, ski and socialize with family and friends. I have of recent gotten back into the pool doing lap swimming a 3-4 times per week swimming at least a mile each time. I am still content practicing Law and have no plans for retirement. I am somewhat of a “General Practitioner” and practice in various areas which keeps things interesting. I got involved with the BWSF as I was at one time a member of the “Wildcat Club”, which eventually became the Blue-White Scholarship Fund. I have been happy to be a supporter of that fund since its inception and I am happy to see it thriving and helping students “bridge the gap”. It’s great for the Villanova Community. In addition I also contribute to the University on an annual basis. I ‘m happy that I am able to “give back” and hope the students who benefit will do the same at some point in the future. I know I am being featured for a “random act of kindness” but I do not like to think of that being anything out of the ordinary. My wife is much more kind than I am. I hope my random act bears fruit for the VU Students involved.
When I found out that I had been awarded this prestigious scholarship, I was beyond ecstatic. I was not only excited for the guaranteed reward that comes with the scholarship, but also for the opportunity to reach out to donors like yourself, and tell my story. Thank you for choosing to help me with your dona- tion. It is because of people like you who help students such as me afford to ex- perience many of the great things that Villanova offers. My name is Christopher Rura, commonly referred to as Chris. I am currently a Senior at Villanova and I am majoring in Astronomy and Astrophysics, as well as pur- suing minors in Mathemat-ics, Physics, and Peace and Justice. I am from Homer City, Pennsylvania, a small town about an hour’s drive west of Pittsburgh. While I will cherish my years at Villanova for all of my life, my family and I struggle to pay for my education at Villanova. I come from a middle-class family; my father welds locomotives for Norfolk Southern and my mother is a teacher at my local high school. My sister,
Danielle, has just completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at St. Francis University in Loretto, PA. The DPT program there consists of six years, and the final three years are graduate year-round courses and clini- cals. During this time, she worked at summer highway jobs, work study at school, and more recently, worked as a licensed official at PIAA and league basketball, volleyball, and softball, on weekends and nights. She also received several merit scholarships. She earned, with Honors, her Bachelor’s degree in 2015, and was just awarded her Doctorate degree. We are all extremely proud of her and her accomplishments. However, she ac- quired much debt of her own, and my parents, attempting to help pay her tuition, have taken out parent plus loans each year. These loans alone will be very staggering to my parents’ modest income as they begin to re- pay them. Now, as they begin to repay the plus loans for her, my parents are continuing to assist me through my undergraduate studies at Villanova by incurring additional parent plus loans. I too am seeking to apply to graduate school to continue my degree after this year. Not knowing how much more student debt I will accu- mulate with the addition of graduate school has caused many financial unknowns for my family. I tried to earn as much as feasible for the past several years, and still continue to do so. I worked two summers for PennDOT, performed work study in the public observatory at Villanova ever since I was a freshman, worked as a teaching assistant for one of my professors. Last summer and this one, I acquired a paid internship at the United States Naval Observatory.
At this point with total debt, including both my sister and I, for my family of almost $315,000, logically speak- ing, maybe my sister and I should have chosen different collegiate paths, but we picked private schools with outstanding educational credentials along with moral compasses where we felt we could achieve our goals. As a family, we accepted the inevitable outcome of being in debt. However, this is a great concern of mine. I know that my career goal will require further education, including graduate degrees and much time spent do-
ing research. I know that someday those expenses will be put solely on my shoulders to pay for. I have already accepted the fact that I will be in debt for much of my early professional life. Realistically, it will be several years until I can assist my parents with the loans that they incurred, and repay my own educational loans. I want desperately to alleviate some of their expense as well as mine by applying for and acquiring scholarship money whenever possible. I have always been grateful when I was selected for those honors, in high school and in college, and I never used the award for anything but my college expenses. While all of what I have shared so far that has obviously put myself and my family in much stress, both financial and physical, student debt is a fairly common problem in the United States. . However, this is where my story starts to diverge from a characteristic college student’s story. While all of these expenses are affecting us now, just as it is affecting so many other families in America, my family started out miles behind.
Early in my lifetime, my father became very ill. he suffered from diagnosed severe clinical depression and Ob- sessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is difficult for my family and me to share, however, it is an important part of our story. This was a dark period in my father’s life, as he and we experienced many disturbing things as he was fighting the demons in his mind. During this period in his life, he was admitted to several hospitals
and was removed from his stable job as a boilermaker. Each time that he acquired another job, his illness con- tinued to rip it away from him, causing a horrible cycle of being unemployed, admitted to another hospital, and trying to pick up the broken pieces of himself along the way. My father often told me that he would not wish what happened to him upon his worst enemy. My mother sustained our family of four while earning a teacher’s salary for the many years that my dad was unstable. During this period in her life, she had to care for my dad, and my sister and me, who were both very young. Simply paying for a house, automobile, and the routine ex- penses of day to day living, on her beginning teacher’s salary made developing a college fund for us only a dream. Thankfully, after almost a decade, my father was properly treated, put on medication, and regained enough responsibility to hold a job. I am enormously thankful and proud that my dad was able to beat (or at least, be less affected by) his illness. However, he is still receiving treatment and counseling routinely. We still feel and see the effects of it today and pray that he remains stable.
This scholarship is unique because of the many opportunities that it holds beyond the immediate reward that is promised at the awarding of the scholarship. Since this scholarship helps me with my tuition, it provides some financial relief in my efforts to attain an outstanding education and to also participate in some of the other valuable op- portunities that Villanova offers. For the last three years, in addition to The Villanova Singers and Pastoral Musicians, I have participated in the Astronomy, Physics, and Math Clubs. I also have
also been a part of both faith and service- oriented events and programs, such as the Soph- omore Service Learning Community (SLC), the
Villanova Day of Service, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the Faith and Reason Freshmen Learning Community, the Faith and Learning Scholars, and Back on My Feet. Back on My Feet entails getting up each Friday at 4:30 am to participate in a 6 am running program for persons experiencing homelessness in Philadel- phia. The warm and welcoming people in these groups have influenced me to make service a core part of my Villanova Experience. While I whole-heartedly love all the groups that I am involved with on campus, the ma- jority of the time that I spend at Villanova is spent studying. As I must carry a course load of approximately 20 hours per semester for my astronomy and astrophysics major, the time I spend studying is time that could be
used working outside of classes to help provide additional funds. My position as a teacher’s assistant to my professor is alternate means of helping to pay for my schooling.
My immediate academic plans are to continue my undergrad- uate education at Villanova and graduate with a major in Astronomy and Astrophysics with minors in Mathematics, Phys- ics, and Peace and Justice. Once I graduate from Villanova, I plan to attend a graduate school where I will continue my education and pursue the goal of attaining a Ph.D. in an Astronomy
related field. With these qualifications, I then aspire to work at either a public or private research facility for Astrono- my. This includes various NASA facilities, other governmental sites such as the United States Naval Observatory, or private
contractors such as Space-X and Orbital-Industries. My childhood and teenager dream was to become an astronaut. Who knows!!!
My name is Shelly Henling and I am a junior Computer Engineering student. I want to thank you so much for your generosity. I cannot express enough how thankful I am to be a recipient of the Blue White Scholarship. Your kindness means an immense amount to me and my family, and we appreciate it more than I can say.
I was born in Seattle, Washington and lived there all my life until I came to Villanova three years ago. Back home I have five siblings, two of which are still in college and two more who are still in high school. This scholarship is not on- ly important to me, but to my whole family as well. My parents have always been believers in quality education and have been dedicated to allowing me to go to the best schools they could afford. My dad has always worked ex- tremely hard , but with six children, it has been difficult paying for all of our college educations and there-
fore we are extremely grateful for any support from benefactors such as yourselves.
My mom has also been sick for a large portion of my life, and it has been difficult paying for the medical treatments she requires. Last summer she spent a month in the hospital, and is sometimes unable to work for large periods of time. Also, last summer only a
month later, my dad got a new job which we were all excited for, but it didn’t last long. My Dad was bike riding and got hit by a drunk motorcyclist. He obtained a severe concussion that made him unable to work for three months, and eventually got laid off because he wasn’t able to get up to speed fast enough. I am so thankful for your generosity that makes it possible for me to attend the school of my dreams.
I am the first one in my family to come to Villanova University. I chose Villanova because I wanted to re- ceive an excellent engineering education and be able grow and expand in my faith as well. I was attracted to the Augustinian values Villanova continues to celebrate and the dedication to nurturing the whole person. It was very difficult for my family when I got into Villanova, because I knew I wanted to come here but we didn’t know if we could afford it. My experience at Villanova University has been the best three years of my life. Since
stepping foot on campus I have become enchanted with not only the beautiful campus but the kindhearted teachers and fellow classmates that are dedicated to helping me succeed. My teachers continue to inspire me on a daily basis and I have made my closest friends. I have loved every class I have taken, including the extremely challenging ones that push me to better student and more insightful engineer. If I could, I would go right back to freshman year and retake all the classes because I have loved them so much! My classes have already started my career journey. Thank you again for your generosity to me and to my family. I cannot express our thankfulness enough in this letter. You allow my dream of attending Villanova to be a reality, and I want you to know it is greatly appreciated.
My name is Andrew Camaj I’m a rising senior and currently a Finance and Business Analytics major studying in the Villanova School of Business. I grew up in Paramus NJ, a suburb on the outskirts of New York City. Soon I hope to have career working inside the “Big Apple” in the banking sector that has made New York the ﬁnancial capital of the world. I’ve chosen this career path because I want to be a catalyst for economic growth. Proper ﬁnancing is what allows corporations to continue to prosper. The strong banking sector in the
US is what has allowed US companies to grow so large and in turn has made the US into the superpower it is today.
Education has always been a focal point of my family. Both of my parents and my sister have a bachelor’s degree. I always have been thankful to attend an American University because my father attended school in the former Yugoslavia. That being said I decided to study abroad in the Czech Republic for a semester. I wanted to under- stand Finance from a global perspective. In today’s digital world economies are intertwined. So it is diﬃcult to be competitive without a ﬁrm understanding of the Financial sector in other parts of the globe. During the 2nd semes ter of junior year I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime by studying abroad. I wanted a change of pace from the American college lifestyle. I had no idea how much I would learn from studying abroad. I assumed that 4 months would seem like a small vacation, but it felt like a lifetime away from the world I’ve become so accustomed to. I chose to study abroad in Europe, because that is where my family originates from. However, I was well aware of the disparity in the cost of living in Europe. A bag of groceries in Paris France will cost much more than a bag of groceries than in Vilnius Lithuania. I wanted a balance of low cost of living and academic rigor. I settled on Charles University located in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic uses the Koruna as a currency. With an exchange rate of 1 US Dollar to 20 Koruna, it is a very aﬀordable city. When going abroad, regardless of the intention, a favorable exchange rate will allow one to do more and spend less.
Education has always been important to me. I am a double major in Finance and Business Analytics pursuing a career in the Financial sector. As the world becomes ever more global I saw studying abroad as an opportunity to be more competitive in the job market. Charles University is one of few universities to oﬀer a study abroad program speciﬁcally designed for business students. I took two Finance courses and one Economics courses alongside European students. I realized that New York is really the ﬁnancial hub of the world. The Czech Re- public, like most other Eastern European countries, has no investment banks. I always knew that the US was the land of opportunity. However, it was put into perspective when I saw students in the Czech Republic examining the US economy more than that of the EU. Most students I spoke to had internships, but they were unpaid, even in banks. They looked at me like I had won the lottery when I told them I lived in close proximity to New York city. Overall, studying abroad really made me realize that the US is in the top position in the global ﬁnancial sector.
Back when I was a senior in high school and was applying for different colleges, it came time for me to choose a major I was going to study for the next couple years. Many different options crossed my mind. My high school math classes had always been my favorite, and it was my dad who suggested I try computer en- gineering. Being an engineer himself, he might have been slightly biased, but we have always been very similar and therefore I trusted his judgement. I had never taken any computer science or engineering clas- ses before and was nervous I would get to school and absolutely hate it.
As soon as I started my engineering career at Villanova I started to realize that this was what I was meant
to be studying. I adjusted to my classes soon found that I had made the right decision because I couldn’t en- vision myself studying anything else. I not only loved my teachers, the atmosphere in all of my classes, but I absolutely loved what I was learning. I especially enjoyed my software engineering and computer science classes and therefore decided to minor in computer science as well.
That is not to say that there were no difficult or challenging times, or points when I wondered if the studying
or hours in the engineering building were really worth it, but I had found a place at Villanova that I loved and that pushed me to be a better student. As sophomore year came to a close, it was time for me to start look- ing for summer internships. Up until this point, I had been a nanny for the same family during the summers. The kids were getting older by this time and no longer needed a full time nanny, so I felt it was time to start my career.
I applied to many different computer science jobs in the Seattle area where I am originally from. I inter- viewed with a couple places, but unfortunately found that most companies were looking for interns that had finished at least their junior year of college. I remember the day I had an interview at AT&T. At this point I was a little disappointed and was resigned to the fact that I might have to wait until completing one more year of college before getting an internship. Sure enough, after the technical portion the interviewer and I were talking about school and they were slightly surprised I was a sophomore and told me the internship was mainly for junior students. Other than that, I felt the interview went really well, but was still slightly surprised when I was offered a second interview. A week later I received an offer to be a software development intern at AT&T’s summer internship program. At the end of last summer’s internship, I was offered a returning offer and have been interning there this summer as well.
I have loved both of my internships working at AT&T. I have received mentoring from skilled technical ex- perts and expanded my own practical knowledge of computer science. The program is designed to give in- terns experience in the industry by having them work on real projects that make an impact to the company. I am thrilled to have received an offer to return full time next year, after I graduate in 2019
At the core of the Blue & White Scholar- ship Foundation’s mission is the goal of assisting students to graduate and join the Villanova alumni with the
goal of a leaving a legacy.
One such legacy that continues to Ɵe back to and strength- en the Blue & White Foundation is that of the Seeger fami ly. Longtime Member Bill Seeger (class of ‘58) who served as the Harƞord Connecticut Chapter President throughout the late 1980’s and early 1990’s passed the baton to his daughter Karen Keegan (class of ‘88; Women’s Varsity Soc cer), Christopher (class of ‘89; Villanova Varsity Football), Michael (class of ‘90; Villanova Varsity Men’s Track) and Timothy (class of ‘94; Villanova Varsity Football), all of whom remain active in the Foundation.
Ed and the “love of his life,” Karen
Karen is the proud Mother of McKenna Keegan (class of 2020) and Caroline Keegan (class of 2019). A signiﬁcant source of pride for Mom, as well as the Foundation, is McKenna’s performance for the
Villanova Women’s Varsity Track team. Keegan emerged as one of Villanova’s top competitors in a deep middle- distance group as a sophomore this season. She advanced to the NCAA Championships after racing to a time of 2:05.16 in the ﬁrst national quarterﬁnal heat, and with her appearance in Oregon notched her ﬁrst career outdoor All-America accolade. In addition to her success in the 800 meters this season,
Keegan ran both the 400-meter leg of the distance medley relay and the third leg of the 4×800 relay at the Penn Relays, and has been a part of Championship of America titles in both races in each of her ﬁrst two collegiate seasons.
Bill’s dedication and loyalty to the Blue & White has been passed on to his son Michael, who like Bill, is a Judge for the Foundation and involved in the evaluation process to select scholarship winners for the Blue White Foundation. Strengthening the Villanova community generation after generation after generation – the legacy of the Seeger family grows as does their dedication to helping students through the Blue White Scholarship Foundation
New Board Member– Gets Blue White Designated As A Charity For His Company’s 2019 United Way Campaign
Brendan was a freshman in high school in 1985 when
Rollie Massimino led the ‘Cats to their ﬁrst National Championship against Georgetown. From that moment, Brendan became a loyal son of the University. During his time at Villanova, Brendan studied accounting and was a member of the Gamma Phi business honor society where he mentored students in business. Brendan also served a Eucharistic Minister and Resident Assistant during his Junior and Senior years.
After Villanova, Brendan began his career with Arthur Andersen in the ﬁrm’s Princeton, New Jersey oﬃce. In 2001, Brendan received an academic fellowship to pursue his MBA at the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated with honors. After Notre Dame, Brendan moved back to the East Coast, residing in Hoboken, NJ where he began his career with EY in the New York oﬃce. After 9 years in the New York area, Brendan and his family moved back “home” to Villanova, PA when he was admitted to the partnership at EY.
Through the years, Brendan has been a loyal supporter of Villanova through a variety of ways. He is a regular contributor to the Villanova Annual Giving Campaign and remains active in the Villanova Community as a member of the Accounting Advisory Committee, the lead Tax campus recruiter for EY and the MBA Mentor Program. In addition he has added on to his plate serving on the Blue White Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors and has tak- en the time and eﬀort to get the Blue White Scholarship Foundation to be a designated charity for his company’s United Way Campaign .
Township youth sports community as his children play lacrosse, soccer, baseball and basketball. Brendan also enjoys spending time at the beach with his family in his hometown of Spring Lake, NJ. Brendan has a lot of fond memories of Spring Lake, from running in the Spring Lake Five Mile Run every year since 1977 to meeting his wife, Christine over the 4th of July in 2002. Brendan ultimately lives his life by his favorite quote:
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Atƫitude determines how well you do it.” Fun Fact: Brendan sang the almamater during his MBA graduation from Notre Dame.
A note from Ray Fernandez, Class of 1986 I’m very proud to have graduated from Villanova in 1986 with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree. My four years at Villanova were unforgettable. I met amazing classmates that are my life long friends, received an incredible education, and witnessed the first of three NCAA basketball championships. Villanova is in my blood as my father graduated in 1962, and I met my wife, Sally, at Villanova. From the first time I stepped on campus as a twelve year old to watch a basketball game in the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse, I knew Villanova was the place for me. After graduation I worked for one year in Allentown, PA at Brown Boveri and then moved on to work at PJM Interconnection, the Regional Transmission Operator for the electrical grid. I’ve been at PJM for 31 years now, and I’ve had the opportunity to work in many different areas within the company and utilize the skills and knowledge I attained at Villanova. I learned about the Blue White Scholarship Foundation a few years ago. I remember what a challenge it was to get through my freshman and sophomore years at Villanova, and any student that progresses that far should never miss out on the opportunity to finish their college studies at Villanova. PJM Interconnection has a matching gift program, and my company makes it so easy with one simple form to double my donation. The extra effort it takes to get the matching gift is nothing compared to the benefit it provides scholarships to deserving students at Villanova.
We can’t say “Thank you” enough to Michael Neary, who designated Blue White Scholarship Foundation as his golf team’s Charity of Choice in the UBS Financial Services 4th Annual Charity Challenge Golf Outing.
His winning team earned $1,000 and UBS matched with a $500 contribution. The Program Book described the Blue White Scholarship Foundation Mission as follows: “The Blue White Scholarship foundation is an independent public charity composed of Villanova University
alumni and friends hoping to “pay it forward” by providing scholarships for Villanova University students. The Foundation uses charitable fundraising to help bridge the gap between student financial need and the aid given by the university. These need-based scholarships help Villanova University juniors and seniors avoid financial hardship and complete their undergraduate degrees when they might not have been able to otherwise. In addition, the Foundation pairs scholarship recipients with mentors who can help guide them
toward their desired career aspirations.” I thought that summed us up pretty well. Don’t you?