It’s official, after months of waiting, Cabrini University announced the completed agreement for Villanova to assume ownership of our campus in June 2024.
In the joint release from the two schools, Villanova promised to “preserve Cabrini’s overarching legacy and mission through a variety of initiatives,” continuing our mission to be advocates of social change and justice. It also said they would look to “commemorate, celebrate, and document” the history of Mother Cabrini and our institution.
But what exactly will this look like?
The history of Cabrini’s campus is one that must be preserved. Historic buildings such as the Mansion should be left unchanged as a testament to Cabrini’s 67 years of education. Additionally, artifacts from Cabrini could be housed in the Mansion as a kind of museum, ensuring that the memories associated with them remain visible.
Here’s what we want to see: traditions on campus should return even after Villanova takes over. The Barbara and John Jordan Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence Education has hosted the Domestic Violence Symposium for 13 years, and this should continue to happen. Education on the issue of domestic violence is crucial, especially for young people. The work of Barbara and John Jordan should not have to come to a close simply because Villanova owns the campus.
Athletics have also played an integral role in the university since its inception. Cabrini hosted 20 varsity teams and holds an impressive 146 conference championships under its belt. We would like to see the athletics community honored for their accomplishments and unwavering dedication. This could be in the form of commemorative events such as alumni games, tournaments, or exhibitions to bring together past and present members of the athletics community. These events can serve as a celebration of the program’s legacy.
We would also like to see some sort of athletics exhibition on campus showcasing memorabilia, trophies, and photos from the program’s history. This allows future generations to learn about and appreciate the university’s athletic achievements.
We also hope to continue to celebrate the feast of our namesake Mother Cabrini every November with Cabrini Day, a cherished event that is occurring even now as we go to press. In the future, if students don’t present their research projects that day, at the least, bringing the community together to celebrate Mother Cabrini is paramount to keeping her mission alive after our institutional closure.
Keeping memories alive
Most importantly, we want to maintain the tradition of bringing Cabrini graduates back to campus for alumni events and reunions. This is a pivotal aspect of being a member of the Cabrini community. It’s vital to escape life’s challenges and reconnect with some of your best friends from college. We must allow alumni from across the seven decades of Cabrini’s history to get back together and reminisce about the memories from our time on campus.
Being able to reconnect with friends and classmates ensures that the community fostered at Cabrini carries on. Sharing stories and memories is a great way to keep Cabrini’s legacy alive. It also allows graduates to network with each other, which is a tremendous asset in the professional world.
Once Villanova takes over in May, the countless memories and stories of Cabrini cannot simply be left to disappear. Our school’s legacy must be preserved and treated with the highest level of dignity and respect. Not to do so would be a terrible injustice to everyone who has ever come through Cabrini’s doors and worked so hard to make it such a unique place.
So many outstanding professors and alumni have passed through this university. By commemorating our history, athletics, campus, and traditions, the Cabrini community can at least find some personal closure after the university closes its doors for good.