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Villanova launches Institute for Women’s Leadership

Anne Welsh McNulty


By Irish Echo Staff

It’s an idea that has long reached its time, but not yet its pinnacle.

Villanova University is looking upwards in this regard with its launching recently of the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership.

Established with a gift from Villanova alumna Anne Welsh McNulty, a native of Springfield, Pennsylvania, the institute will foster women’s advancement through education, advocacy, the collaborative creation of new knowledge, and community-building.

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“This is an exciting and important moment for Villanova University,” said Villanova’s Provost Patrick G. Maggitti.

“The launch of the McNulty Institute signals Villanova’s steadfast commitment to advancing women as leaders and to creating innovative scholarship and programs. This Institute aims to become a game changer in higher education by fostering and building inclusive environments that help enable women to flourish, reach their highest potential, and lead others toward accomplishments that positively impact our world.”

The keynote address for the event was delivered by Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America and a leading voice on the topic of equity.

In 2012, Slaughter wrote “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in The Atlantic magazine. The publication, said a release, helped spark a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine gender equality.

“The advancement of women’s leadership is at a critical moment in our world and the McNulty Institute will place Villanova at the fore through its education, scholarship and outreach,” said Teresa (Terri) Boyer, founding director of the institute.

Added the release: An innovative leader in economic and social equity for women, Boyer came to Villanova from Rutgers University, where she served as executive director of the Center for Women and Work.

“As the McNulty Institute’s inaugural director, Dr. Boyer will work to establish it as a premier, nationally recognized organization with groundbreaking scholarship and innovative programs that advance women as leaders.”

Anne Welsh McNulty, a member of Villanova’s Class of 1975, said: “When I went to Villanova forty years ago, women had only recently been admitted across all colleges at the university, and those of us on campus were ambitious and adventurous and ready to take on the world.

“We were convinced the rapid changes around us would continue and that progress would be made much more quickly than it had been.

“Now more than ever, we need to focus on how we develop and elevate women as leaders. The exceptional community at Villanova provides a strong and inclusive space to expand understanding and to promote and empower women to assume leadership roles of all kinds.

“As the Institute evolves it will serve as a platform through which Villanova can initiate and contribute to national and global conversations about women in leadership.”

Anne Welsh McNulty is co-founder and managing partner of JBK Partners, with businesses including investment management and a private philanthropic foundation.

Before starting JBK Partners, she was a managing director of Goldman Sachs and served as a senior executive of the Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies Group. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School and was valedictorian of her class at Villanova University.

Anne Welsh McNulty and her late husband, John, founded the John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation in 1985, which supports education and leadership development of individuals who strive to make a difference in the world.

Welsh McNulty served on the Board of Trustees at Villanova University for ten years years and currently serves on the Board at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Aspen Institute, the Metropolitan Opera of New York and the Child Mind Institute. In addition, she is a Trustee of the Naples Children and Education Foundation, which benefits children’s charities in Collier County, Florida.

Villanova, founded in 1842 by the Augustinian order of priests, is a Catholic university located in Radnor Township, PA, about a dozen miles north of Philadelphia.