Villanova University is a private university located in Radnor Township, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Named for Saint Thomas of Villanova, the school is the oldest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine, the university traces its roots to old Saint Augustine's Church, Philadelphia, which the Augustinian friars founded in 1796, and to its parish school, Saint Augustine's Academy, which was established in 1811.
Villanova University is without a formal music department; therefore, the Office of Music Activities is charged with the organization of the student performing arts groups on campus. Due to the lack of a music department, student musicians are from every school in the University. Nearly 10% of the student body participates in various music related organizations. The Villanova Band is the largest and oldest musical group at Villanova with over 100 members. The Villanova Band has five divisions: the Concert Band, the Scramble Band, the Pep Band, the Jazz Ensemble, and the Villanova Orchestra. The Concert Band plays two concerts; one at the end of each semester.
Villanova University sits on 254 acres (1.03 km2) just 12 miles (19 km) from Philadelphia. The campus was formerly known as Arboretum Villanova which includes roughly 1,500 trees across campus, including the only known instance of a naturally-growing sequoia east of the Mississippi River. Official Arboretum status has been revoked due to the university's lack of upkeep to Arboretum rules and standards such as the planting of new trees and the offering of tours. There are three named areas on the campus, all within easy walking distance:
- Main Campus contains most of the educational buildings, administration buildings, Student Center, Library, Bookstore, the Villanova Chapel, the main cafeteria along with a variety of coffee shops and eateries, the newly built Athletic Center as well as The Pavilion and Villanova Stadium, and many freshmen, sophomore and junior student residences.
- West Campus contains the Law School, St. Mary's hall (a large building for single housing, a cafeteria, classrooms, indoor swimming pool, market, etc.) some administrative buildings, and housing for juniors as well as some seniors who are permitted to live on campus. Also included are basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, volleyball courts and barbecue pits. The SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale station – Villanova is also located here. There is also the Law School parking garage in addition to apartment parking.
- South Campus contains 7 freshman and sophomore residence halls, Donohue Court (South Campus Cafeteria) and Donohue Market (South Campus Market). The SEPTA Route 100 line has a stop right behind Stanford Hall.