How far is Widener’s Main Campus in Chester from Philadelphia? It’s not farther than the eye can see — as this recent aerial image shows. For the record, the shortest driving route between the Dome on top of Old Main, the highest point on the Widener campus in the bottom right hand corner of this image, and the Comcast Center, the highest building of the city skyscrapers, is 15.8 miles. But it would be shorter as the crow — or in this case, the helicopter — flies. (Click on the image above to enlarge it.)
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With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, I wanted to remember the alumni from Pennsylvania Military College and Widener University who lost their lives in service of their country. Below are the plaques from the PMC Class of 1963 memorial beside Alumni Auditorium that commemorate John “Jack” Lance Geoghegan and William “Buddy” James Stephenson. You can enlarge the images by clicking on them. To view the plaques from the memorial in front of Old Main that list of all 68 names of those from PMC and Widener who lost their lives in service of their country, click here.
The observatory atop Kirkbride Hall on Main Campus soon will open for another season of public stargazing. The university’s 12- and 16-inch computerized reflecting telescopes this fall will allow for views of the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, as well as the blue-yellow double stars Albireo and Almach, the globular star cluster M13 and the Ring Nebula in Lyra. The winter and spring season will feature planets Jupiter and Saturn, the binary stars Rigel, Cor Caroli and Izar, and the Orion Nebula and the globular star cluster M3.
The free viewings begin Sept. 10 and are held weekly on Monday nights and one Friday night a month. Click here for the Monday schedule and here for the Friday sessions. Widener astronomy professors, including Professor Harry Augensen, will be on hand to answer questions and offer assistance.
Jeff Blomquist ’06, co-author of A User’s Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes and Quantum Uncertainty is an alumnus who participated in the program when he was a Widener undergrad. We featured him in the spring issue of Widener Magazine and produced an online video about him including many photos shot in the observatory.
The Trustees of Widener University have issued a time sensitive challenge to alumni. If 500 individual alums will give any amount to the university before June 30, members of the Board of Trustees will give $25,000 to the Widener Fund. In order for the Board of Trustees to make this gift, all you have to do is visit www.widener.edu/giveonline or call 610-499-1160. If you want more information, check out the video below. To qualify for the challenge, your gift must be received by June 30.
Three plaques in front of Old Main at Widener University commemorate the names of the 68 Pennsylvania Military College and Widener alumni who “laid down their lives in service of their country.” The plaques are pictured below, and can be enlarged by clicking on each image. As President James T. Harris III wrote in his message in the spring 2010 magazine, the plaques are “a constant reminder to me that this institution, through all of its changes, is a place where graduates have always answered the call of duty for the nation.”
Coca-Cola and root beer cans normally end up in the trash or recycling bin, but Widener senior Stuart Johnson used a pile of his roommate’s empties to create “Metallic Guitar 2010.” An environmental science major, Johnson’s work pictured here is just one of many creative uses of recycled material by Widener students, faculty and staff on display in An EcoArt Exhibition: Recycle, Reuse, Re-create.
The exhibit in the Widener University Art Gallery runs through May 15. An open house will be held from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, and all are invited to attend.
Gallery hours are from Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (610) 499-1189.
In the upcoming spring issue of Widener Magazine that is due out very soon, we have a short profile of Jeff Blomquist ’06, as well as an excerpt and cartoons he drew from A User’s Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty.
Blomquist collaborated with Drexel University Associate Professor Dave Goldberg on the book published by John Wiley and Sons earlier this month. You’ll have to wait until the magazine arrives in April to read more — although, of course, you can buy the book now. Here’s a video about Jeff and his experience at Widener and the origins of this work. The clip also features some of his drawings.
In the spring issue of the Widener Magazine due out in mid-April, a package of stories will focus on Widener and its long and continuing relationship with the military in preparing soldiers and serving veterans. One story, however, that I was unable to complete is a feature story about DeSales A. Glover, a former Pennsylvania Military Preparatory School cadet from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Before he attended the high school attached to Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener) in Chester, he enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 14. From October 1942 through July 1944, he flew 31 missions, mostly over Germany, earning a Purple Heart and many other medals, before his age was discovered and he was discharged at the age of 16, the PMC News reported in October 1945.
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Demolition of Loveland Hall began Monday morning on the Widener University Main Campus.
By 9:30 a.m. Tuesday the building was half gone. Victory Hall will soon follow, and in two-to-three weeks the demolition of the two structures will be complete. All materials are being handled in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System specifications.
Beginning this summer, construction on the new academic building that will house the School of Nursing and the Oskin Institue will begin. The new building is expected to be completed and in use by January 2012.
Baseball season has started, at least in Florida and Arizona, and that hopefully means the snow mounds on the Main Campus in Chester soon will melt away and springtime will be upon us. The Phillies play their first exhibition game of the season tonight. On Sunday, March 28, the Widener University-PMC Florida West Regional Alumni Chapter will host a noon tailgate before the Phillies-Pirates spring training game in Clearwater. A block of 200 tickets are available, but alumni need to make reservations by no later than March 10. A sunset happy hour will be held at 4:30 the day before. See the Alumni Events page for more information.