Generosity and Philanthropy Highlight 2017 – A Year in Review

In a world looking for good news to share, Holy Family University experienced numerous triumphs throughout 2017. The University saw growth in its academic offerings, student achievements, faculty research, University renovations, and more. The year was bookended by the School of Business Administration freshmen class making Christmas gift boxes for children overseas and closed with one of the largest individual gifts ever received by Holy Family University in its 63-year history. While the stories below are not all inclusive to the success of the University, please enjoy some of our favorite highlights below.

Philanthropy and Charitable Gifts

President S. Maureen McGarrity, Marianne Harrington, Dr. James Garvey

Holy Family University Receives $350,000 Gift from an Early Alumna

Holy Family University has received a property gift from alumna Marianne Clisham Harrington to benefit the School of Education. As a tribute to her husband, Mrs. Harrington decided to donate her Long Beach, NY, property to Holy Family on December 8, 2017, the anniversary of her late husband’s burial. The property is estimated at $350,000, which is among the largest individual gifts ever received by Holy Family in its 63-year history.

BobbyHenon FamilyCenter

HFU Family Center Awarded $3,000 Grant by Philadelphia

The Holy Family University Family Center was awarded a $3,000 grant from the City of Philadelphia in October through its 2017 Philadelphia Activities Grant. The money will be used to offset some of the costs associated with serving members of the community through the Family Center programs.


Holy Family University Donates Five Thousand Cans of Food for Puerto Rico Relief

Members of Holy Family University and the local community have contributed to a food drive to support the people of Puerto Rico who are still impacted by the results of Hurricane Maria. Coordinated by Sister Mary Ellen Gemmell, CSFN, former Principal of Academia del Carmen in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in Miramar, Puerto Rico, and Spanish instructor, the donations will be delivered to Caritas de Puerto Rico, a humanitarian group serving the needy in the area. A total of six pallets of food will be delivered, weighing around 11,000 pounds, and totaling about 5,000 cans.

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Holy Family University Athletics Donates Books to Benjamin Rush Elementary School

The Holy Family University Department of Athletics donated and presented 1,000 new children's books to Benjamin Rush Elementary School as part of its Build-A-Library initiative during an assembly on Tuesday, December 5.

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Giving Tuesday Generosity Results in $27,000 Gift

On Tuesday, November 28, Holy Family University participated for the first time in Giving Tuesday, a national and international movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy. A heartfelt thank you to the entire Holy Family community—alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, and students—for helping us successfully meet our Giving Tuesday challenge. We met and surpassed our Giving Tuesday goal by raising $17,725, and qualified for a $10,000 matching gift—a grand total of $27,725!



Morand’s Philanthropy Feeds 250 Haitian Families

When Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti in October of 2016, the results were disastrous. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 19% of the Haitian population, 2.1 million people, were affected by the hurricane and more than 12%, 1.4 million people, were in need of urgent assistance. With family roots in Haiti, Oximike Morand, a junior Management-Marketing major, wanted to help those who were still impacted by the results of the hurricane. Morand, who was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when he was six, knew what it was like to live on the island during times of distress.

New Programs


Holy Family University Announces Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Holy Family University’s School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions has announced its new Doctor of Nursing Practice program, beginning in the Fall 2017 semester. This offering bolsters the already popular undergraduate, graduate, and second-degree programs offered by the nursing school. All classes will take place on Holy Family University’s Newtown, PA site.


Holy Family University Unveils PsyD Program

In continuing to offer the best programs to its students, Holy Family University has announced its latest program—PsyD in Counseling Psychology—the first doctoral program offered by the School of Arts and Sciences. This program is also the first counseling psychology PsyD offered in the greater Philadelphia region. All classes will be offered out of Holy Family University’s Newtown, PA site.


MacLab Renovated

Communications Program Undergoes Multifaceted Renovation Projects

The Communications program at Holy Family University has begun a transformation to provide more contemporary and creative degree options to students in our Communications and Media Arts program, while also updating its facilities with a more modern flair. The Mac Lab in Holy Family Hall is currently being renovated, with a dozen new Apple computers, carpeting, couches, and an 80-inch TV set to be installed.

Holy Family University Outfitted with Energy Efficient LED Lightbulbs

During the course of the three-month project, over 5,000 lightbulbs will be replaced with LED lights. The renovations began around December 16 and will conclude sometime in April. The LED lighting project will reduce Holy Family University’s electrical energy consumption by at least 1.3 million kWh annually, reducing annual utilities cost by approximately $200,000. The University will receive a one-time rebate from PECO because of the change, which will amount to approximately $70,000.

University-wide Achievements


Nursing NCLEX-RN Pass Rate Hits 92%

Dr. Cynthia Russell, Dean and Professor for the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, announced that the pass rate for first time nursing students taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is 92.86%, according to the NCLEX Program Report from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. 


Dr. Donna Rafter Inducted into Philadelphia North Catholic Schools Hall of Fame

Dr. Donna Rafter, Associate Professor for the School of Education, is being honored at the second annual Philadelphia North Catholic Schools Hall of Fame Gala on Thursday, Oct. 26 at the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5.

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Holy Family University Ranked a Top School for Earning Potential in Pennsylvania

The United States Department of Education’s College Scorecard ranked Holy Family University the 27th Best Pennsylvania College for Earning Potential. This is Holy Family’s second designation of the year after Money Magazine named the University the 196th Best College in 2017-18.

Holy Family University Named a Money Magazine Best College in 2017-18

Holy Family University was named the 196th Best College by Money Magazine in 2017-18. Money’s list ranked the top 711 colleges and universities across the United States based on educational quality, affordability, and alumni success.

Taurai CACC

Augustin Named CACC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year

The postseason honors continue to roll in for Holy Family University junior Taurai Augustin (Castries, Saint Lucia/St. Mary's College Secondary School) as he was named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year as announced by Commissioner Dan Mara.



Holy Family University Welcomes Back Homecoming Tradition

Holy Family University welcomed back alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the local community to Homecoming 2017, held on Saturday, September 30. The event featured a food truck festival, student-run carnival games, music, and exciting men's and women's soccer matches against CACC conference rival, Concordia College.

Sister Marcella Louise Wallowicz Receives Grant to Research Employee Productivity

Sister Marcella Louise Wallowicz, CSFN, PhD, Assistant Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of Mathematics, was the recipient of a competitive grant for summer research facilitated through the generosity of the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program of The Henry Luce Foundation, which supports women majoring in the physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering fields.


Rielly-Carroll Receives Grant from PA Department of Environmental Protection

Dr. Elizabeth Rielly-Carroll, Assistant Professor of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to help purchase the necessary equipment to study the local ecology surrounding Holy Family University with her students.

SBA Freshmen Year Experience Donates Gifts to Children in Need

Thirty-nine students from the School of Business Administration’s Freshmen Experience class bought, filled, decorated, and wrapped more than 80 gift boxes, which were donated to children overseas through Operation Christmas Child.