Father Peter Donohue, OSA, PhD

father peter donohue

Posted on August 11, 2023

President, Villanova University

The Reverend Peter Donohue has served as Villanova University’s 32nd president since June 1, 2006. Under his leadership, the University has charted a course of significant transformation that includes developing and initiating two ambitious ten-year strategic plans, enhancing the intellectual and scholarly climate, dramatically expanding student opportunities, initiating a vibrant physical campus renovation, and launching the University’s largest comprehensive fundraising campaign. Bolstered by this vision, the University has introduced new initiatives, become more nationally recognized for its academic prowess and broken University admission records. Father Donohue has also worked together with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents to strengthen the Villanova community and renew its commitment to the institution’s Augustinian, Catholic educational mission.
A champion of the role of service learning at Villanova, Father Donohue instituted an annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service as a way for the University community to propel its Augustinian ideals into action. Each September, nearly 5,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni take part in projects throughout Greater Philadelphia. This is just one of the many service learning opportunities at the University, which boasts more than 250,000 hours of service in the local, national and international community.
Father Donohue is a tenured professor at Villanova who served as chair of the University’s department of theatre from 1992 to 2006. He annually directed musical theatre productions on campus, earning six Barrymore Award nominations and one Barrymore Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan, Father Peter earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University in 1975 and was ordained an Augustinian priest in 1979. He has an MA in Theatre from the Catholic University of America, an MDiv from the Washington Theological Union, and a PhD in Theatre from the University of Illinois.

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