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Villa Maria College Announces Leadership Gift from Scott Bieler Family Foundation to Transform Library into Academic Resource Center

By March 13, 2024Press Release

The Scott Bieler Center for Academic Excellence is Under Construction and Will Open for the 2024/2025 Academic Year

Villa Maria College is proud to announce the creation of the Scott Bieler Center for Academic Excellence. Made possible by a generous leadership gift from the Scott Bieler Family Foundation, the Bieler Center for Academic Excellence is the next key strategic investment Villa Maria is making to advance student success. The Center will bring together critical support services such as the library, tutoring, advising, mental health counseling, career services, the Achieve Center, and more, making them quicker and more efficient to access.

“The Western New York community is a better place because of Scott and Kathy Bieler,” said Dr. Matthew Giordano, president, Villa Maria College. “Villa Maria is fortunate and blessed that Scott and Kathy recognize the impact our approach is making on so many young people and families from our region. Scott and Kathy’s generosity allows us to continue to prioritize rigorous academic focus, while supporting the whole student.”

“The vision of Villa Maria College to serve and empower students from our community, who might not otherwise be able to, is a key element in addressing disparity and equity issues,” said Scott Bieler. “Villa Maria is a unique pillar in our community. It deserves our community’s gratitude and is an organization we are proud to support.”

Villa has the most diverse student body of any local private college, including many students who are severely limited by a lack of financial resources. Villa has become the local innovator in removing barriers to education, particularly for students who come from underserved communities and under-resourced families. Villa Maria’s efforts are working: In the fall of 2023, Villa welcomed the largest incoming class in more than 25 years, retention is the highest in over a decade, and students are performing better in the classroom.

The Scott Bieler Center for Academic Excellence will:

  • Bring together the Library, Student Success Center, Counseling Center, Career & Internship Services, Achieve Center, Information Technology Services, and more, under one roof.
  • Provide new opportunities for student collaboration.
  • Create a modern and welcoming space that will attract future Vikings.
  • Support students far beyond the classroom and into every facet of life.
  • Create a state-of-the-art information literacy classroom.

The new library and academic center will complement Villa’s recently renovated dining hall, the Russell J. Salvatore Dining Commons, and will be the hub of Villa’s academic life.

For more information about Villa Maria College’s library renovation, please visit