It is admittedly unusual to consider a university campus hallowed ground, but you could make that case for Woodbury.
Today, the university’s Burbank campus occupies the space that once housed the Villa Cabrini Academy (VCA), which closed in 1970. Woodbury acquired the campus in the mid-1980s, relocating from central Los Angeles, in 1987, and converted the former chapel into the university library.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, an Italian-American nun, founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a Catholic institute known for its support of Italian immigrants in the U.S. In July 1946, she became the first naturalized American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. 2017 marked the centennial of Mother Cabrini’s death.
Now, VCA alumnae are expressing the affection they feel for the Glenoaks Boulevard campus, and for Woodbury, in the form of the Villa Cabrini Academy Scholarship Fund. Linda Grant Jones, VCA Class of ’67, has taken a giant stride toward that goal by donating $30,000 to the fund, which will become endowed when it reaches $50,000.
“When I transferred to Villa Cabrini Academy in 1966, I hadn’t realized that a saint had walked these grounds,” said Grant-Jones. “I just saw a beautiful columned administration building, palm trees, and a chapel bell tower above the wide, curved driveway. I later learned about Mother Cabrini and saw that the beauty of this institution was manifested in the education and lifelong friendships it created.”
She added, “Our beloved school closed in 1970, but in 2000 Woodbury graciously invited us to have a Villa Cabrini reunion on their campus. Ever since, we have been blessed by the unfailing hospitality of the Woodbury administration, faculty, and students, and their respect for the history of this place. The opportunity to contribute to a Villa Cabrini Academy Scholarship Fund is a long-time dream come true.”
“The Villa Cabrini Academy Scholarship Fund is a living link to the past and an exciting promise to the future,” said Erik Greeny, Woodbury’s vice president for advancement. “It’s a tribute to two schools and two eras on one campus. We deeply appreciate the generosity of the VCA alumni and are proud to continue the tradition of educational excellence that VCA established on this site.”