The John F Scarpa Foundation has made a gift of $15 to the Charles Widger School of Law at private catholic Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

In recognition of Scarpa’s lifetime giving of more than $20 million to Villanova, the Law School building will be named John F. Scarpa Hall.

A core element of gift is the creation of an endowed faculty position dedicated to entrepreneurship. Housed in the Charles Widger School of Law, the John F Scarpa endowed professor in entrepreneurship will be Villanova’s resident expert in entrepreneurship, focusing on the law of entrepreneurship and the development of markets.

The university stated that this individual will “pursue scholarship, teach and serve as a teacher-scholar, thought-leader and change-agent in entrepreneurship and innovation”.

The gift is the largest-ever made by the foundation and is in addition to a previous $5 million gift from Scarpa, former co-chairman and founder of American Cellular Network Corporation and co-founder of Unitel Wireless Communications Systems, and his wife, Jana. That 2015 gift established the John F Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship in the School of Law, which serves as a hub for academic and practical discussions about entrepreneurship and law, and hosts dozens of speakers from law and business each year.

Scarpa said: “More than ever, we need innovative leaders to tackle challenging issues with bold solutions. As a long-time supporter of Villanova and its mission, this new investment will foster an entrepreneurial mindset across campus.

“I believe in Villanova University and in its law school and know that, together, we can inspire tomorrow’s leaders who will change the world for the better. If the law school is ‘where law meets business,’ then the Scarpa Center is ‘where law meets innovation’.”

University president, the Peter M Donohue added: “The entrepreneurial spirit has driven the economic success of our nation, and Villanovans are known for their enterprising aptitude. This transformational gift will encourage the next generation of Villanova entrepreneurs by expanding their opportunities in the law school and across the entire university.

“I cannot think of a more fitting way to honour John than to name the law school building in honour of his steadfast commitment to cultivating the entrepreneurship mindset in the study of law and other disciplines across our campus.”

Date published: 13 November 2020

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