Archive for March, 2011


Thought-Provoking Lineup of Next Philadelphia Speakers Series to Start With Education Leader

March 31, 2011

Earlier this month Widener University announced the lineup for the 2011-2012 Philadelphia Speakers Series, including Michelle Rhee, an outspoken advocate for school reform featured recently on the cover of Newsweek.   Rhee, founder of The New Teacher Project which has recruited 23,000 new teachers across the country, will be the first speaker on Nov. 7.

The future of K – 12 schools is much on the minds of faculty in Widener’s Center for Education, and the topic will be the subject of the cover feature article of the spring 2011 magazine.  Look for the magazine’s release in late April.   For more information on the speakers series, see the press release and the event’s web site.


Widener Hoping to Win Second 320 Challenge

March 29, 2011

Junior Dan Sieracki drove in the first run in a 8-5 victory over Swarthmore on March 22

The 320 Challenge – the yearlong competition between Widener University and Swarthmore College in the sports shared by both schools — remains tight with only three events left.   Widener took the lead 8-7 last week when the baseball team beat Swarthmore.   The events remaining are a women’s softball game on April 26, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field MAC Championships scheduled for May 5-7.

To see all the scores and dates for upcoming events, visit


Hospitality Management to Celebrate 30 Years

March 24, 2011

Friday, April 15 at Widener this year will be much more than tax day — it’s the day the School of Hospitality Management celebrates three decades in existence with an open house at 2 p.m. in Academic Center North and a reception and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the nearby Chester Harrah’s Casino and Racetrack.  (Pictured above is Professor John Mahoney with students in 1981 on the Delaware Campus; for many more photos from the school’s history, click here.)

The forthcoming issue of Widener Magazine scheduled for late April will include an article about the 30th anniversary, but to attend the daytime or evening events you need to act now by visiting the school’s Come Celebrate With Us! page. The event coincides with Alumni Weekend that includes the Campaign for Widener Kick-Off Rally from noon-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 16 and later that evening the Alumni Awards celebration from 6-9 p.m.


Widener Charter School to Expand

March 24, 2011

The fall 2006 issue of Widener Magazine cover read:  “The Widener Partnership Charter School Opens Its Doors.”  Almost five years later, the university has received approval to take in more students through those doors, expanding the successful elementary school to extend to the eighth grade by 2013.  For more details, read the university’s recent press release and three features stories about the charter school and its programs in Widener Magazine issues from earlier this yearfall 2009 and fall 2006.


Widener Magazine Wins Headline Writing Award

March 22, 2011

A second award has been given for an article in the spring 2010 issue of Widener Magazine“The Raudenbushes — A Widener Family’s Story of Love, War, Loss, and Recovery” won a bronze award in the Creative Headlines category of the 2011 CUPPIE Awards for Creative Excellence and Marketing and Communications.   The annual award is given by CUPRAP: The Association of Communicators in Education, and was awarded last Thursday in Hershey, Pa., at the association’s spring professional development conference.  Earlier this year, the article by Widener Magazine editor Sam Starnes won a bronze medal in the best article category of the Council of Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II Accolades Awards.

Mary Allen, public relations officer at Widener Law, also won a bronze CUPPIE, earning recognition in the Media Relations Special Events category for the widely covered senate campaign debate between Sen. Chris Coons and Christine O’Donnell hosted at the Delaware Campus.   This marks Allen’s second consecutive CUPPIE — last year she won a bronze in the Feature Article category for the article “Hometown Proud,” which appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Widener Magazine.


Talking Basketball: Widener’s 1978 Final Four

March 18, 2011

Many folks this afternoon have basketball on the brain as the NCAA tournament launches into day two, so I thought it appropriate to remember the Widener’s men’s team that lost in the final game of the 1978 NCAA Division III championship.  You can link to the Pioneer ’78 yearbook to find another photo of the team with a caption listing their names. That team portrait also includes Saint Joseph’s University Coach Phil Martelli, a ’76 Widener alumnus who was a Widener assistant coach in 1978.  (He is not pictured here, but is serving as the “Alumni Coach” for Taking the Lead — The Campaign for Widener.)


Widener Work Underway on the Old and New

March 15, 2011

While work is moving along rapidly on the new academic building on Widener University’s Main Campus, the portico is being rebuilt on one of its oldest buildings.

Hyatt Hall, adjacent to the new academic building, was built in the late 1860s and acquired by Pennsylvania Military College in 1917.  It served as the home of the Pennsylvania Military Preparatory School until the school’s closing in 1956. Hyatt Hall later housed the Department of Education, and after renovations in 1999, the hall still provides the home for the university’s Center for Education.  Click here to see a photo of the building in 1890 from the Delaware Historical Society and here for the Hyatt family history.

The photo above is from 10:15 a.m. today, and you can follow progress on the new academic building that will house the School of Nursing and the Oskin Leadership Institute via a live web camera.


Widener-PMC’s Old Main: Then (1942) and Now

March 10, 2011

In putting together the recent issue of Widener Magazine focusing on Taking the Lead — The Campaign for Widener, I sorted through many aerial campus photos old and new.  Here are similar perspectives on Old Main — the first from October and the second from 1942.  (Click on these images to enlarge them.)

You can look for historic campus shots and other noteworthy items from the past to be posted on this blog near the end of every week.  Let me know in the comments field if there is something from the Widener-PMC past you’d like to see.

–Sam Starnes, Editor


Widener Graduate School Open House March 15

March 7, 2011

The back cover of last fall’s Widener Magazine featured an ad for the many graduate programs Widener University has to offer.  If you are interested in learning more about these programs, the Spring Graduate Open House from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15 presents a great opportunity.  The School of Business Administration also hosts a session at 6 p.m. on March 15.  Click here for more information and to register.


New Biography on Chester Native Ethel Waters, Groundbreaking Perfomer Once Honored at PMC

March 4, 2011

Chester native Ethel Waters —  honored here in 1972 with the dedication of Ethel Waters Park at Third and Dock Streets, a parade, and a gala tribute held at PMC Colleges  — was a prominent blues and jazz vocalist and actress who is now largely forgotten.  She made a major mark in an career spanning from 1917 to 1972 (she died in 1977), and in 1933 she was the first black actress to perform in an otherwise all white show.

A new biography, Heat Wave: The  Life and Career of Ethel Waters by Donald Bogle, tells the complex story of an “almost tyrannically ambitious artist who broke racial barriers through a delicate and treacherous combination of will and accommodation,” according to a review in The New York Times.

You can find a few images of Waters in the Wolfgram Memorial Library Digital Collections, including the one posted here.   She’s also featured in quite a few clips on


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