January 20, 2016
Villanova University's law school is getting the largest gift in its history: $25 million from a grateful alum.
It's the second-largest gift ever for the university as a whole, and the law school will be renamed in honor of donor Charles Widger, who got his law degree there in 1973. Widger served as a Navy lieutenant and an assistant attorney general for the Pennsylvania Department of Justice before going on to found Brinker Capital, an investment firm in Berwyn.
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It's all part of a larger fundraising campaign started in 2013 that has raised $500 million for the Catholic university so far, out of a goal of $600 million.
Widger's business background fits in well with the school's unofficial motto of "where law meets business." Business coursework and professional development are a standard part of the Main Line school's curriculum, and Villanova retains close ties to Philadelphia-area firms to help its students find jobs.
“My investment in Villanova Law is an investment in the preservation of the two institutions that are vital to a free society, the rule of law and a market economy, both of which will enable us to flourish as a people for generations to come,” Widger said in a statement.
The money will be used for scholarships, an interdisciplinary professorship position and an "innovation fund" for strategic and academic programs.