Archive for the ‘Widener Breaking News’ Category


Spring Widener Magazine Covers Clinics

April 3, 2014


The spring issue of Widener Magazine is off the press and on the way to alumni. This issue features an in-depth piece about Widener clinics that provide medical, physical therapy, and mental health services to the community while giving students hands-on experience.

Maria Klecko, a junior majoring in English and communication studies, wrote a profile of Fred Maahs ’83, a Comcast executive and chair of the American Association of People with Disabilities who spoke at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Other features include a story about changing careers and another about the Widener Money Club, a student investment fund. Look for your copy in the mail or on campus, or go online to read it now.


New Widener Residence Hall To Open in 2015

March 28, 2014
New Residence Hall_no signs (2)

The new residence hall will be on the former site of Theatre Widener

By Maria Klecko ’15

Some Widener students soon will be living in new digs.

The university announced Friday that it will begin construction this summer on a 200-bed, $21 million-dollar residence hall on the Main Campus that is slated for completion by fall the 2015.  The residence hall will be located at 15th and Potter Streets, the former location of Theatre Widener, and will feature food service on the first floor and classrooms for Widener’s Living Learning Communities.

With increased enrollment and student retention, the university is responding to the need for new on-campus housing.  After construction of the new residence hall is finished, Widener Courts, located behind the site at 15th and Walnut Streets, will be demolished.


Food Network to Focus on Bakery Near Campus

March 25, 2014

Phatso's storefront tight editA bakery less than a mile from Widener’s campus is prepping for its national television debut. Phatso’s Bakery, famous for donuts that sell out early each day, will be featured on this week’s episode of “Save My Bakery” on the Food Network at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 26.

The bakery has been a longtime client of Widener’s Small Business Development Center. For more about Phatso’s, read a profile by Widener sophomore Brittany Kade on the Blue & Gold, Widener’s student media website.


Widener Students Take the Stage in Two Plays

October 30, 2013

Freshbaked theatre 10-30-13

By Maria Klecko ’15

Two Widener student theatre companies — one old and one new — are staging productions in November.

FreshBaked Theatre Company will present The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (rehearsals pictured above) on Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. in Alumni Auditorium.

Lone Brick Theatre Company is presenting the play Distracted in Room 1 of Kapelski Learning Center on Nov. 8, 9, 14, and 16 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 10 and 17 at 7 p.m.

This production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow features Kathryn Schultz Miller’s adaption of Washington Irving’s ghost tale bearing in mind young audiences. Families and children ages 6 and up are permitted to attend the 50-minute performance.

Distracted, by playwright and screenwriter Lisa Loomer, is a comedy that tells the story of Jesse, a 9-year-old boy who possibly has attention deficit disorder, and his mother who is searching for answers. The play raises the pertinent question of whether our information-obsessed world has made us oblivious to what actually matters. This is the new company’s first production.

“This is a fantastic show to reinvent theatre at Widener,” said Robert Reutter, director of the Lone Brick Theatre Company and a senior lecturer of English. Read the rest of this entry ?


A Widener Space to Welcome all Faiths

October 24, 2013


Widener has a new space for worship and meditation: The Interfaith Sacred Space has opened to welcome to all students and alumni who are seeking an area for quiet reflection.

The facility behind the quiet lounge in the lower level of University Center has two rooms designed to accommodate various faiths, religions, and beliefs and become a safe haven for students practicing their faith.

The first room (pictured here) is decorated with acoustic wall panels, energy-efficient LED lights, wood paneling, and beautifully recycled stained glass windows from the old Theatre Widener for prayer, worship, and meditation. The second room is a storage room and locker space prepared with a sink and foot washing station. Along the back wall, there are lockers designated for personal belongings, religious garments, paraphernalia, and statues.


Award-Winning Author Launches New Book and New Season of the Philadelphia Speakers Series

September 27, 2013

Bryson’s new book was released Thursday.

By Maria Klecko ’15

Best-selling author and humorist Bill Bryson will kick off the tenth season of the Philadelphia Speakers Series on Tuesday with visits to Widener’s Main Campus and the Kimmel Center in Center City.

His new book, One Summer: America 1927, is “an entertaining tour through a year of Jazz Age scandal and baseball heroics,” the Financial Times said, adding that “Bryson is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm.”

Bryson has earned an Aventis Award for best general science book with his A Short History of Nearly Everything, and TIME Magazine recently named his book A Walk in the Woods as one of its All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books.

He will speak in the University Center Webb Room at 12 p.m. Tuesday. This event will precede his sold-out appearance at the Kimmel Center on Tuesday night.

The lecture on Widener’s Main Campus is free and open to the public. However, space is limited. To reserve seating, call Candice Caporale at 610-499-4112 or email

The Speakers Series began nine years ago when former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger appeared. For more about the Speakers Series, see the new issue of Widener Magazine.


Widener Magazine: Fresh Like Morning Coffee

September 25, 2013

The newest Widener Magazine is hot off the press and on the way to readers. This issue’s cover story is about WU Brew, the university’s sustainable coffee project that blends student, faculty, and alumni involvement.  The cover art uses unroasted cofee beans on top of roasted coffee beans to spell out the headline “How Does Your Java Grow?”

Look for your copy in the mail soon or on campus, or find it here online.



9/11 Sculpture Fragment on Display at Widener

September 11, 2013

sphere 911 image

By Autumn Heisler ’15

Part of a sculpture that sat between the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, has found its way to Widener University Center and will be on display through the end of this month.

Two years ago, the American Association for State and Local History sent out a newsletter to museums offering them the opportunity to apply to own an artifact from the World Trade Center. Rebecca Warda, the collections manager at the Widener University Art Gallery, filled out the application for the program, specifying that she wanted a small steel piece to display. In spring 2013, a piece of The Sphere, which was a sculpture that sat between the two towers, arrived at Widener’s door. “It’s really neat having the support piece that made it through,” Warda said. The shard, now entitled “Fragment of interior steel support from The Sphere by Fritz Koenig,” was rescued from the debris.

“I was able to find a picture of The Sphere online before it fell,” Warda said. She received permission to use the picture alongside a photograph taken after the buildings came down. There is a brief description of each photo, and the piece of the sculpture sits on top. Many of the pieces of the Sphere have been recovered and re-erected in Battery Park as a memorial to those lost.

The artifact display, which is owned by the university, will sit outside the Widener University Art Gallery in September while the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday.


A New Site to See on Widener’s Campus

September 3, 2013

9-3-13 coms bldg

By Rosemarie Walker ’15

To some, the smell of paint, the sound of drills, and construction workers can be a bit of a distraction. To others, like Widener communication studies, media informatics, and computer science students in the new building Freedom Hall, this environment creates excitement, motivation, and inspiration.

Being the first group of students and teachers to have classes held in the new Freedom Hall, which opened this semester, is certainly a breath of fresh air. Our communication studies program transformed from having our classes in a small confined area to having them held in spacious state-of-the-art classrooms. Many students are stopping to peer into the huge windows of Freedom Hall to catch a glimpse inside, while other students are looking out of those windows and seeing a successful year ahead. I am fortunate that all of of my classes this semester are in Freedom Hall.

While the finishing touches are being made to the new 28,500-square foot building, the feeling of excitement engulfs students, professors, and staff members.  In addition to having a new building for our programs, we have high hopes that the all new TV studio, editing suites, computer labs, amphitheater, and top-of-the-line technologies will bring out the creativity, innovation, and social engagement of all students.

Rosemarie Walker ’15 is a communication studies major from Brookhaven, Pennsylvania.


One Artist’s Multifarious Collection at Widener

August 22, 2013

By Maria Klecko ’15

A chance meeting prompted Dr. Janine Utell to orchestrate the Widener University Art Gallery’s latest exhibit. Utell, associate professor of English, was giving a talk at the Philadelphia Art Museum about Jack Kerouac’s On the Road when a member of the audience revealed that she had an aunt, Ann May Greene, who is the executor of artist Norman Rubington’s estate.

Utell was initially interested in the literary angle of Rubington’s work upon discovering that he was a writer for Olympia Press. She then became interested in his visual art and the interdisciplinary aspect of his work.

 “I’m trying to make connections through the arts and humanities between Widener and the wider world,” said Utell, who is curator of the exhibition. “Bringing the exhibit to campus seemed like a good way to build that bridge. It has a lot of variety, and we want to capture that and put it in context with his literary output. As a figure, he’s really intriguing. His writing is edgy and countercultural.”

Rubington will have his diverse collection displayed in Widener’s gallery from August 23 through October 19. The exhibition entitled From the Studio: The World of Norman Rubington will feature a cross section of art that Rubington created such as nude portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, still-lifes, and pieces pertaining to religious subjects like the Holocaust. The exhibit will also consist of artifacts including editions of his books, literary magazines, video of Rubington at work, and equipment from his studio. (Pictured is his painting Black Silk.)

As visitors walk through the various sections of the gallery, they will notice that Rubington’s pieces are organized by mode. “I really like the cityscapes, because they capture the movement of urban life,” Utell said. “I also like the still-lifes, because he takes ordinary things and infuses them with a kind of exuberance.”

Rebecca Warda, collections manager of Widener University Art Gallery, admires Rubington’s art as well. Warda highlighted Rubington’s playful nature as shown in his nude portraits. “He’s got a great sense of humor,” she said.

Utell hopes that visitors of the exhibit are able to make a connection between the visual art and literary art. Warda added that they will also learn about Olympia Press and Rubington’s time period.

The primary goal of the exhibition is to introduce the public to an artist who isn’t well known. “We want to show the breadth of his work,” said Utell. “The exhibit is a nice way to introduce more people to his art.”

The gallery will host a reception on September 25 in the Webb Room in University Center from 5 to 8 p.m. that will feature a keynote address by John de St. Jorre, author of Venus Bound: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press and its Writers. The speech, titled Norman Rubington: Graphic Pioneer, Sometime Pornographer, Lifelong Artist, will emphasize Rubington’s work for Olympia Press. For more information about the exhibition and the gallery, please visit the gallery’s website.


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