Archive for the ‘Widener Breaking News’ Category

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Theater Program Strives to Unite Chester

July 24, 2014

By Khalil Williams ‘16

Widener is partnering up with arts and humanities organizations to raise the curtain on an exciting new program that uses theater techniques to bring the city of Chester together and solve problems on issues affecting it.

Widener is entering a partnership with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the city of Chester, and Chester Arts Alive! to launch a new and unique civic engagement program that seeks to influence problem solving and help rejuvenate the city.

A result of a $72,000 discovery grant given to the Pennsylvania Humanities Council by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the initiative will feature nationally known theater artists Bob Leonard and Jon Catherwood-Ginn from Virginia Tech University, who will work with Chester Arts Alive! and Gas & Electric Arts. The project uses theater techniques, such as story circles and image theater, to drive conversations among city residents, youth, seniors, preservationists, business owners, artists, and Widener to expand community engagement.

The program adds on to the proposed Chester Cultural Corridor (C3) project, which spans a one-mile long city district from Widener to the Downtown district that seeks to bring people together through arts and humanities. The conversations held through this project will help guide decisions that will advance the Arts and Culture District with Deshong Park as the centerpiece for the Corridor.

While the project is new, theater isn’t unfamiliar with the Widener community. You might remember that Widener Magazine included a story in the spring 2014 issue about the University’s own student-run theaters: the Lone Brick Theatre Company and the FreshBaked Theatre Company. The story talks about the two companies and their recent plays.

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A conceptual image provided by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council that depicts the possibilities of the Chester Cultural Corridor project.

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New Grocery Opens Near Widener Campus

July 8, 2014

??By Maria Klecko ’15

A new grocery store in walking distance of Widener’s campus opened its doors in June. Bottom Dollar Food, Chester’s first for-profit supermarket in the city since 2001, is located at 15th Street and Edgmont Avenue, next to the Widener Partnership Charter School. Widener and Crozer Chester Medical Center, formerly joint owners of the lot where the store is located, agreed to sell the 1.6-acre property to the developer last year to support plans to open the new store.

Bottom Dollar is the second new grocery store in Chester. For a dozen years, residents of the city had been without a grocery store and had few options for fresh and healthy food. That void was filled last September when Philabundance opened Fare and Square, a nonprofit grocery located on the 3100 block of West 9th Street. An award-winning story in the spring 2011 issue of Widener Magazine reported the efforts of a Center for Social Work Education program to create maps documenting the lack of food options in Chester — deemed a “food desert” by the USDA — and develop ways to fill those needs.

The Bottom Dollar’s close proximity to Widener also will mean easy accessibility for students living on or near campus. “Being able to take a walk to this market will be more convenient,” said Veronica Vasquez, a senior psychology major from Erdenheim, Pennsylvania.

Photo by Khalil Williams ’16

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Famous Faces Among Speakers Series Lineup

July 1, 2014
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Alan Alda as Hawkeye in the TV show M*A*S*H in 1975

By Khalil Williams ‘16

An actor famous for starring in a Korean War-themed TV show and a well-known film director will take the stage in  the 2014-2015 Philadelphia Speakers Series.

The series, held at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, plays host to a variety of guests and discussions on topics that affect our society. Many of the speakers are leading names in a variety of fields, including journalism, science, politics and education.

One of the upcoming speakers is actor Alan Alda of M*A*S*H fame. In addition to his acting career, which spans the course of 40 years, Alda founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science — a branch of Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism designed to educate students on communicating science to the public — and is a visiting professor there.  He will present at the Speakers Series 8 p.m. Monday, September 29.

Ken Burns — who will present November 10 — is known for making renowned documentaries, such as the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge. He is currently working on a seven-episode series titled The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, scheduled for broadcast fall 2014.

Other upcoming speakers include Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister; Olympia Snowe, U.S. Senator; David Gergen, senior political analyst; David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian; and Dan Rather, broadcast journalist.

The 10th season, which concluded in May, was honored by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter who presented an official tribute recognizing Widener’s role in making the city culture livelier. The series traces its history to October 5, 2004, when former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made an appearance at the event.

You can visit the Philadelphia Speakers Series page for more information, as well as to view the entire lineup and to get on the waiting list for tickets.

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Widener Gets Its Kicks Out of Soccer

June 19, 2014
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Widener is a sponsor of the Philadelphia Union, the area’s major league soccer franchise based in Chester. The university’s men’s and women’s soccer teams occasionally play games at PPL Park.

By Khalil Williams ’16

Soccer is the talk of town as the World Cup takes place in Brazil. The U.S. soccer team made the country beam with excitement as they scored their first win against Ghana.

Widener University also holds similar levels of enthusiasm toward the sport, hosting a bevy of soccer-related programs, games, and events.

Widener teamed up with the Philadelphia Union Foundation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation to create the Chester Upland Soccer for Success initiative, designed to give children in the Chester and Upland communities opportunities to develop positive life skills, as well as learn how to play soccer.  The program “helps keep interest in school based on the correlation between field to classroom,”  according to an article by Widener graduate Nicolina Givin ’14 on the Blue & Gold.

The program will host a Soccer for Success World Cup Watch Party for the match between the U.S. and Portugal at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 22.

In addition, North Star Sports and Talluto’s on Campus – two outfits that were organized by Widener students – also sponsor the program.  The Blue & Gold’s Autumn Heisler wrote about the collaboration between Soccer for Success and Talluto’s.

To learn more about Widener’s varsity soccer programs, visit the Athletics Department page at widenerpride.com.

 

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Widener Partnership Charter School Graduates to Receive Scholarships to Further Educations

June 10, 2014
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Widener Magazine’s fall 2006 cover

By Khalil Williams ’16

It’s always exciting to witness the dewy eyes of joyous parents as they watch their children graduate to the next level of their education. However, as parents of the inaugural class of the Widener Partnership Charter School ­(WPCS) – Pennsylvania’s first university-based charter school ­– sat down to watch their children graduate from the eighth grade last week, many probably couldn’t help but wonder how they would be able to financially secure an academic future for them.

It was a worrisome thought that was soon put to rest after announcements were made by Widener University President James T. Harris III and Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS) Executive Director Bill O’Brien: All WPCS graduates will receive $100,000 undergraduate scholarships if they attend Widener, and 25 of the students will receive full-ride scholarships to Philadelphia-area Catholic high schools.

The school’s history traces back to 2006. A story covering the school was featured on the cover of the Autumn 2006 issue of Widener Magazine, which further explains the school’s beginnings. The graduation also received extensive news coverage, including a front-page article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Widener Online Exhibit Features Sunken Ship

June 4, 2014

By Khalil Williams ’16

A little-known fact about the City of Chester is that a ship named in its honor sank in 1888 near San Francisco. The full story of the SS City of Chester can now be viewed in the Digital Collections of the Widener University Archives.

The ship sank following a collision with another passenger-cargo ship­ — the RMS Oceanic — in San Francisco Bay on August 22, 1888. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in April found the shipwreck of the SS City of Chester, a cargo ship made in the city by shipbuilders John Roach and Sons in 1875, under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The tragedy occurred at a time when there were severe racial tensions between U.S. citizens and Chinese immigrants, exacerbated by the Exclusion Act of 1888. It was initially thought that the Chinese crewmen of the Oceanic were negligent in helping the drowning passengers of the City of Chester, but later investigations concluded that they were in fact heroic and saved many passengers.

Posted by Wolfgram Memorial Library Assistant Archivist Jill Borin, the online exhibit features pictures of the ship, as well as the story of the collision and access to newspaper articles published from 1888-1894.

Khalil Williams ’16 is a communication studies major from Chester.

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A Tale of Two Commencement Ceremonies

May 19, 2014

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Heavy downpours pushed Widener’s first ever graduate commencement ceremony indoors on Friday (above), but undergraduates walked under clear blue skies on Saturday (below).

For more news and pictures, visit the following:

And on social media, be sure to check out and contribute to the hashtag #Widener2014. 

undergrad commencment 14

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Widener Commencement Ready Rain or Shine

May 14, 2014

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Widener’s two upcoming commencement ceremonies — 9 a.m. Friday for graduate students and 9:45 a.m. Saturday for undergraduates — will go on even in the case of heavy rain. If skies are clear, the traditional site of Memorial Field behind Old Main, pictured above, will host the ceremonies, but in case of bad weather, the Field House at Schwartz Athletic Center, pictured below, is ready to go.

The determination to follow the inclement weather procedure will be made as early as possible and no later than three hours before the start of the ceremonies.  Check Widener’s home page for updates.  You also can call the university’s information line (610) 499-4600, and KYW News Radio 1060 will broadcast the announcement. For additional information, visit the Commencement page.

Schwartz center chairs 2014

 

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Share Widener Commencement Pride Online

May 1, 2014

By Maria Klecko ’15

Widener 2014 graduates and their families and friends, as well as Widener faculty and alumni, can share their pride on social media.

Using the hashtag #Widener2014, members of the university’s community can show support when posting thoughts, well wishes, memories, and commencement-related photos and videos on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.

Widener also has a variety of graphics for graduates, parents, and other members of the university to use on Facebook and other social media to celebrate this year’s grads. The images on the commencement web page are available to download for personal use on social networks.

Throughout the month of May, Widener will share videos daily of members of the class of 2014 recalling their favorite “Widener Moments” to count down to commencement. These videos will be available on the university’s YouTube channel and its Facebook and Twitter pages.  The first video featuring senior Jackie Korang, a biology major from Delran, N.J. went online today.

 

 

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Two Commencement Ceremonies for Widener

April 25, 2014
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Widener’s commencement in 2013

By Maria Klecko ’15

For the first time, Widener University will split its Main Campus commencement into two ceremonies—one for undergraduates and another for graduate students.

Due to growing enrollment and increased retention, the university has decided to hold separate ceremonies. More than 500 graduate students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees on Friday, May 16, while approximately 800 undergraduate students will receive associate’s and bachelor’s degrees on Saturday, May 17. Both ceremonies will take place in the Bown Dome Sculpture Garden behind Old Main.

Widener alumnus and President and CEO of Philadelphia Avenue of the Arts, Inc. Paul Beideman will deliver the commencement address to the graduate students. He earned a master’s in finance from the university in 1979 and is a member of the Widener Board of Trustees.  He and his wife, Caroline, gave a gift of $500,000 in 2011 to establish the Beideman Visiting Scholar program as part of the Oskin Leadership Institute.

Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi will deliver the address at the undergraduate ceremony. He is a lifelong resident of Chester, who since 2002 has served Pennsylvania’s ninth district, including areas in Delaware and Chester counties. Pileggi has been the senate majority leader since 2006.

Students, alumni, parents, faculty, and staff can participate in the university’s social media campaign leading up to commencement using the hashtag #widener2014.

Visit the commencement page for more information.

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