Archive for January, 2012

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Open for Service: Widener Nursing Clinic

January 26, 2012

The Widener Community Nursing Clinic at CityTeam Ministries in Chester opened its doors on the university’s day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“This clinic is a living embodiment of our mission as a university,” said Widener President James T. Harris III.

Joined by Chester Mayor John Linder, a 1976 Widener alumnus, and  Kwinn Tucker of CityTeam Ministries, Harris cut the ribbon to signify that the clinic was officially open to serve the public.  For more on the clinic, see this article in The Delaware County Daily Times, Widener’s What’s Up newsletter, or the university’s press release.  You also can view a photo slideshow of the opening.

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Underage World War II Hero Mystery Solved

January 19, 2012

Almost two years ago while researching stories about Widener and the military, I put up a post on this blog seeking information about DeSales A. Glover entitled “Search for Underage War Hero.”   Glover had been a student at Pennsylvania Military Prep School — the high school component of Widener predecessor Pennsylvania Military College — from 1945-1947.  He studied at the school after the Army discovered that the gunner who had served for two years and had flown missions over Europe had enlisted at fourteen years old. Other than a later reference to his serving in Korea in 1951, I could find nothing. I had just about given up hope of finding out what happened to him later in life.

But as luck would have it, the combination of that blog post and a high school project of Glover’s grandson solved the mystery. Peter DeSales Lynch, Glover’s 16-year-old grandson in Syracuse, N.Y., found my blog post while working on genealogy research for a class.  His mother and his aunt — both Glover’s daughters — contacted me.

Here’s the short version of the missing story:  He changed his name to Allen De Sailles Glover in 1957, making it difficult to for me locate him (an earlier name change may have to do with his underage enlistment).  According to his daughters, Lynn Lynch and Carrie Paskowksi, he reenlisted shortly after World War II and served more than 20 years in the Air Force, including serving in Vietnam.  He retired as a master sergeant in the late 1960s at the age of 40 and worked in packaging and management for Del Monte Foods in Northern California and then for Anheuser-Busch, relocating with the company to Upstate New York in 1982.

He retired in the early 1990s and he and his wife, Linda, moved to Foley, Ala., near Pensacola, Fla., in large part because he liked to be near military bases.  He died of colon cancer in 1998 at the age of 70, succumbing very soon after the diagnosis.  His widow, fifteen years younger, still lives in Alabama.  His daughters said he rarely talked about his war experience, except to proudly show where he had taken flak in his arm. He also sometimes mentioned that he had been in the same flight school class as movie star Clark Gable.  They recalled him as a very hard worker who loved jazz and big band music, the Pittsburgh Steelers (he was a native of Pittsburgh), and the Air Force, often taking his two daughters and son onto bases and to air shows.

His sister, Rhoda (Glover) Hamilton, is still alive and lives in Robertsdale, Ala., about 20 miles from Foley.  She moved from Florida to Alabama a number of years ago and was able to reconnect with her brother.

You can look for more about him in forthcoming issue of Widener Magazine, most likely in the fall 2012 issue.   – Sam Starnes, Editor

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Col. George Patten: First Engineering Professor

January 12, 2012

In researching stories for the upcoming issue of Widener Magazine due out in April, I’ve been delving into the 150-year history of engineering education at Widener.   This year marks the sesquicentennial of engineering at Widener.

One early leader I’ve been trying to find out all I can about is Col. George Patten, the first professor of engineering.  Here is what I have thus far:

Patten was an 1847 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who served as a Pennsylvania Military Academy faculty member and administrator from the 1860s through his retirement in 1881. A veteran of both the Mexican War and the Seminole Wars in Florida, he was a South Carolinian who remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War.  His appointments during the Civil War were the subject of correspondence between President Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan in 1862 (This link will download a PDF of an article with more information and text of the letters).

Prior to the Civil War, Patten worked as an agent for patents in Washington.  In Chester, he “was responsible for the development of the civil engineering curriculum which launched PMA into the field of engineering,” historian Henry J. Buxton wrote. Patten moved with the school when it relocated in 1866 to its present campus in Chester, and later served as vice president of the academy.  He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1875. The Daily Times newspaper in 1879 noted that he annually invited the first class of Pennsylvania Military Academy to his home for dinner. He died in 1890 at the age of 65 and is buried alongside his wife Emma in Chester’s Rural Cemetery, less than a mile from Widener’s Main Campus. Three years after his death alumni and ex-cadets from PMC erected a tombstone on his grave (see picture below).

If you have more information on him, or a photograph, please contact me by commenting on this blog, by e-mail at jsstarnes@widener.edu, or by phone at 610-499-4246.

If you’d like to learn more about the 150th anniversary — including information about the gala celebration scheduled on Nov. 3 at the Franlkin Institute  — visit the School of Engineering web page.

–Sam Starnes, Editor

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Widener Alumnus Earns Grammy Nomination

January 10, 2012

An album released by a record company headed by Widener alumnus Joe Reagoso ’82 has been honored with a Grammy awards nomination.  Friday Music, Reagoso’s company, released Jeff Beck’s Rock N Roll Party: Honoring Les Paul on vinyl.  The album has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Album Of The Year category, and winners will be announced on Feb. 12.

We don’t have any pictures of Reagoso with Jeff Beck, but here’s a shot of Reagoso, second from left, with the members of ZZ Top.  For more about Reagoso, read the profile of him from the 2010 fall issue of Widener Magazine.


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Last Call for Widener Magazine Class Notes

January 3, 2012

Happy 2012!  We at Widener Magazine are back at work and writing like mad to finish the first drafts of stories for the magazine.  If you are an alumnus with news to report,  we want to include it in the class notes section of the forthcoming spring magazine. Tell us about new jobs, marriages, new children, and other noteworthy items.

And don’t forget to e-mail photos as well (please send larger, higher resolution images — they reprint better that way.)

The deadline to be included in the spring 2012 magazine due out in April is this Friday, January 6.  You can submit your class notes and photos three ways:

1. Join or log onto the Widener Pride Network
at alumni.widener.edu/netcommunity/WPN
2. Email Patty Votta at pavotta@widener.edu
3. Mail to the Office of Alumni Engagement, One University Place
Chester, PA 19013

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