Time Line of the University's History: 1980's

On December 12, 2002, Holy Family College received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for a change of status to University. Even though many of the events listed in the time line occurred prior to that date, the term “University” is used in most entries.

1980s

1980-1981

Sister Francesca Onley, CSFN, was appointed assistant to the president. The Pew Memorial Trust awarded Holy Family with a gift of $100,000 for the implementation of a computer system for administrative and educational purposes. On December 13, the former Green family dwelling was razed to make room for a parking lot, and on December 22, the original St. Joseph’s Hall was demolished. In the spring, Delta Epsilon Sigma, a national scholastic honor society for students, faculty, and alumni of Catholic colleges and universities, was established at Honors Convocation on March 30. In May, Sister Lillian Budny, CSFN, resigned as president. The following month, The Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools reaffirmed Holy Family’s accreditation status.
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1981-1982

On November 22, 1981, Sister Francesca Onley, CSFN, was inaugurated fourth president of Holy Family University. The following January the Faculty Senate established a faculty development committee. The university community was hard-hit by deaths of four beloved “family” members occurring over the course of the year: S. Lillian Budny, third president; Francis S. Gregory, trustee; Rev. Dennis Mattern, OSFS, campus minister; and Sister Honoria, CSFN, circulations librarian.
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1982-1983

The Faculty Senate created its Faculty Development Committee; the Continuing Education Office assumed responsibility for all part time students; and The PDE approved Holy Family’s Early Childhood Certification Program.
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1983-1984

With the onset of the spring semester in January, the first long-range planning committee had undertaken the development of a long-range plan. The following month, Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode proclaimed February 6-11, 1984, “Holy Family College Week” - marking the 30th birthday of the college. On March 19, Phi Sigma Iota, International Foreign Language Honor Society, was established, and on April 11 and 12, Pi Gamma Mu, an international honor society for social science majors, and Alpha Sigma Lambda, a continuing education honor society, were chartered at Holy Family.
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1984-1985

During the summer, Institutional Advancement offices were relocated to Marian Hall, and, as the new school year got underway, the modular building housing Alpha House was occupied for the first time. In October, Dr. C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General of the U.S., participated in the first Critical Issues Conference. Successive conferences in November, February, March, and May featured Congressman Henry Hyde on “The United States and Central America;” The Honorable James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, on “The United States and World Trade;” Tadhg O’Sullivan, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, on “Northern Ireland – the Tragedy Continues;” and Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor, USMC, on “Our Nation’s Defense.”
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1985-1986

On October 1, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth commemorated 100 years of service in the U.S.A., and later that month, the University launched the first capital campaign in Holy Family’s history, for construction of the Campus Center.
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1986-1987

In September, Holy Family purchased Loreto Hall (subsequently sold) to be used as a family learning center, and the Academic Council was established. The following month, on October 26, ground breaking for the Campus Center took place. At their January meeting, the Board of Trustees elected Sister Francesca to a second six-year term.
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1987-1988

In conjunction with construction of the Campus Center, a new athletic field for future sports activities was developed. During the spring semester, hundreds attended the April 23rd dedication of the Campus Center.
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1988-1989

During Charter Week in February, Holy Family instituted its first annual “Awards for Teaching Excellence” with awards going to Dr. Thomas McCormick, for full-time faculty and Bernadette Balcer, for part-time faculty. Regina Hobaugh, Sister Grace Kuzawa, CSFN, and Vincent Serfilippo received honorable mentions. The University sent a contingent to Rome for the beatification of the foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Frances Siedliska - Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd - on April 23, 1989. On May 24, Holy Family held its first annual golf tournament.
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1989-1990

Holy Family initiated a community service volunteer program with the help of a $30,000 grant from ACTION, the federal government’s domestic volunteer agency, for a three-year program to encourage volunteerism. From this experience, the student club “Students at Your Service” (SAYS) was formed.
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