Walking across a very quiet Widener University campus on Friday afternoon, I noticed a red-tailed hawk perched atop the antenna extending from the dome on Old Main.
I snapped these shots before it flew away.
-- Sam Starnes, Editor
Who were the alumni from PMC who were killed in Vietnam? With Widener’s Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in front of Old Main, I thought it would be appropriate to pay tribute to the nine graduates of Pennsylvania Military College and one from Penn Morton College who did not return.
All ten are included on the web site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1980 to build a national memorial dedicated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War.
Listed below are their names and the year they graduated. Click on the name to see their listing on the VVMF page. Seven of the alumni have photos on the VVMF site, but three do not. I have included photos below of the alumni not pictured on the VVMF page – for those without photos on this page, click on the name below to see their photos on the VVMF page. Also, please note that I submitted the photos below to the VVMF site, and expect that they will be posted soon. – Sam Starnes, Editor
By Erin Sylvester ’13
If you drive down Providence Avenue in Chester, you can’t help but notice the stately Colonial Georgian building that sits on the northeast corner of East 21st Street. This classic stone structure built in the late 1800s now houses the College Access Center of Delaware County, but it wasn’t always that way.
The home was in the family of Robert Wetherill, a Chester banker and industrialist who served in official capacity for a number of local organizations. After partnering with his brother Richard in 1872 to form Robert Wetherill and Company, a successful foundry and engine building facility, he gained global recognition for his company’s achievements in the iron and steel industries.
In 2009, the Wetherills’ house was transformed into the College Access Center as the first initiative of the Chester Higher Education Council—a nonprofit organization established by the presidents of Cheyney University, Delaware County Community College, Neumann University, Penn State Brandywine, Swarthmore College, and Widener University. ”Widener was very fortunate to have such a beautiful, historic building on campus and to be able to renovate that building for a purpose that serves the people of Chester and Delaware County,” Widener President James T. Harris III said.
In recognition of the restoration of the house, The Delaware County Heritage Commission honored the Chester Higher Education Council in May with the 16th annual Leedom D. Morrison Heritage Award. This is the second time that Widener has received this award, the first time in 2010 for the digital archiving of the George Raymond Papers. That project also recently won an award from the Chester chapter of the NAACP.
For more information, see the press release.
Erin Sylvester is a senior from Brunswick, Maine, majoring in English.
I’ve been busy this week finishing up stories for the fall issue of Widener Magazine that will be due out in October, and thought I’d share one of the photographs that will go with a story about the history of athletics on campus dating back to when baseball started way back in 1866. Above is a shot of the Boardwalk Bowl in Atlantic City from 1967, Pennsylvania Military College’s last game of that season (click on image to enlarge).
In 1934, PMC played one of the earliest indoor football games on record in Convention Hall in Atlantic City, now known as Boardwalk Hall, the arch-roofed arena famous for being home to Miss America pageants until 2004. The football team played six more games in Atlantic City in the thirties.
After a hiatus, PMC returned to Atlantic City in 1961 to play the Merchant Marine Academy, more commonly referred to as Kings Point for its location in New York state. “Beat Kings Point,” became the mantra on campus. PMC played a game annually in Atlantic City until 1970.
After that, there was only one more game in Atlantic City, that in 1973 when Widener beat Fordham 49-20 in the last game of the season. It also was Billy “White Shoes” Johnson’s final game in a Widener uniform before he went on to stardom in the NFL.
–Sam Starnes, Editor
Sometimes even “Sweet Cav.”
These were nicknames used by students, faculty, and staff for Dr. Alonzo C. Cavin in his 41 years on the Main Campus of Widener. He passed away Sunday at the age of 71.
“Dr. Cavin was an inspiration to all,” said Widener President James T. Harris III. “He will be missed by the community, the university, and the students whose lives he touched.”
Dr. Cavin joined the faculty of PMC Colleges in June 1969 as an associate professor of education and the founding director of Project Prepare. He was responsible for helping thousands of disadvantaged students earn college degrees. Project Prepare‘s success made it a model for other colleges and universities, and in 1971, the program inspired Pennsylvania to create the Higher Education Equal Opportunities Act. (You can visit the Wolfgram Memorial Library Digital Collections web page and read the text of an oral history with Dr. Cavin conducted in 2001.)
Dr. Cavin retired in 2002 but continued teaching as an adjunct professor. He also served the community for many years as a member of the Rotary Club of Chester, and as the chair of the Chester-Wallingford Chapter of the American Red Cross. After retiring from Widener, he continued to be involved in community service and was a member of the Council to Equalize Funding for Public Education and the C-U COPE Chester Upland Committee on Public Education.
Congo Funeral Home in Wilmington, Del., is handling the arrangements. You can read the obituary by clicking here. In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested in support of Widener’s African American Scholarship Fund. Donations can me made online.
You also can view a video of the 40th Anniversary of Project Prepare made in 2009 that includes many images of him by clicking on the image below.
1st Lt. Nicole M. Siemer ’06 will be the recipient of the university’s John L. Geoghegan Alumni Citizenship Award at the Widener-PMC Alumni Awards dinner on Saturday, April 16. Widener Magazine in spring 2010 featured her in the article “Hospitality in War Time — Widener Grad Puts Degree to Use in Iraq” focusing on her service with the Army Civil Affairs Division. Siemer (formerly Perkins) will not be able to attend the dinner because she recently has been deployed to Afghanistan.
Other winners of the 2011 Widener-PMC Alumni Association Awards are: David M. Hall, Ed.D. ‘06 for Outstanding Alumnus Award; Associate Professor John F. Mahoney, Ph.D. for the R. Kelso Carter Award; Michael S. Brady, CFP ’97, ‘00 for the Alumni Service Award; and Jonathon L. Krisko ‘11 for the John L. Geoghegan Student Citizenship Award. For more information on the awards, click here.
To attend the dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 16 in Lathem Hall on the Widener University Main Campus, register on the Alumni Weekend registration page or by calling 610-499-1154. For the full alumni weekend schedule, click here.
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
Sorry, folks, but those tickets sold out 36 years ago.
Dan Hanson, Widener’s director of public relations and a ’97 alumnus of the university’s graduate liberal studies program, recently found this reproduction of a concert poster promoting Springsteen’s 1975 performance at Widener, his second on campus in as many years.
Readers of Widener Magazine often cite Class Notes as a favorite section. If you are an alumnus with news to report, we want to hear from you. Tell us about new jobs, marriages, new children, and other noteworthy items. Let us know who you are, where you are, and what you are doing.
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 2011 magazine due out in April is January 5. You can submit your class notes and photos three ways:
1. Join or log onto the Widener Pride Network
2. Email Patty Votta at email@example.com
3. Mail to the Office of Alumni Engagement, One University Place
Chester, PA 19013
Have a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope to hear from you soon. –Sam Starnes, Editor
A 1968 graduate of Penn Morton College (the civilian counterpart of Pennsylvania Military College, Widener’s predecessor), has been assigned to direct Peace Corps efforts in two Pacific island nations — the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau.
Renwick “Ren” Nelson, a retired Florida attorney and business manager for two financial services companies from 1975 to 1997, will oversee operations in the island nations. “Peace Corps country directors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their jobs,” Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams said. “They work tirelessly and compassionately to support the work of our volunteers in the field.”
Nelson has worked for the Peace Corps since May 2007. In January 2009, the Peace Corps assigned him to Washington as the chief administrative officer for the Europe, Mediterranean and Asia (EMA) Region. Earlier, Nelson and his wife, Brenda Drew, served as volunteers in Tonga from 2000 to 2002.
Nelson earned a B.S. in Engineering from Penn Morton College while serving in the Air Force. “I was one of seven U.S. Air Force active duty personnel selected to attend Widener as part of the Air Force Airmen Education and Commissioning Program,” Nelson wrote in an e-mail. “We were all married and lived off campus. My wife and I lived in Norwood, Pa., during my attendance.”