The Reverend Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A.
The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. became the 32nd president of Villanova University on June 1, 2006. As president, Father Donohue has worked together with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents to strengthen the Villanova community and renew its commitment to the institution’s Catholic, Augustinian, and educational mission.
Under Father Donohue’s leadership, Villanova has engaged in a strategic planning process to identify academic and programmatic priorities and a campus master planning process to help guide the University as it considers how its physical plant can best be used to meet current and future needs. He also has spearheaded the University’s environmental sustainability efforts, highlighted by his signing of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in June 2007, which pledges that the University will work to achieve climate neutrality.
Father Donohue believes strongly in the important role that community service plays in the Villanova educational experience and has instituted an annual Day of Service each September as a way for the University community to put its Augustinian ideals into action. More than 2,000 students, faculty, staff, and alumni take part in projects throughout Greater Philadelphia, making it one of the largest single-day service initiatives in the region.
Father Donohue serves as the chair of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Regional College and University Presidents’ Council, a consortium of leaders in higher education that meets regularly to share ideas and discuss issues facing the more than 90 colleges and universities located throughout Greater Philadelphia. Father Donohue also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Villanova University, the Board of Trustees for the Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, Pa., and the Board of Directors for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Born in Bronx, N.Y., and raised in Royal Oak, Mich., Father Donohue earned a B.A., with a concentration in theatre and communication arts, from Villanova University in 1975 and was ordained an Augustinian priest in 1979. He holds an M.A. in theatre from the Catholic University of America, a M. Div. from the Washington Theological Union, and a Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While pursuing his doctorate, Father Donohue taught theatre at the University of Illinois, where he received honors for outstanding teaching. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society.
Father Donohue is a tenured associate 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.
Father Donohue served with the Merrimack College Board of Trustees from 1995-2003.