Archive for August, 2010


Widener on the Move: Move-In Day, and Moving Up in the Washington Monthly National Rankings

August 25, 2010


Today is move-in day for freshman on the Widener University campus, with many upperclassmen and administration members helping new students into their residence halls.   Classes start Monday.

Students are not the only ones moving.  Earlier this week, Washington Monthly magazine’s annual College Guide announced that Widener rated in the top five in the nation in service, and 56th overall nationally.  The magazine ranks colleges and universities based on their contributions to the public interest. For more information, read the press release or visit the Washington Monthly rankings.


Veterans Not Forgotten: Widener University Earns Accolade for Serving Returning Military

August 19, 2010

As I listened to reports this morning about the U.S. military’s combat troops leaving Iraq, I thought of all the Widener alumni who served, especially the two men who were among the 4,415 American troops who died there:  Capt. Shane R. M. Mahaffee, a 1994 graduate of Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus, killed by a roadside bomb in 2006, and Capt. Nathan Raudenbush, a 2006 graduate killed by a roadside bomb in 2008.

Many other alumni from Widener’s ROTC program served in Iraq, as others are now serving in Afghanistan.  At Widener, they are not forgotten.  “We are grateful for their service while they are away, and at Widener we are prepared to care for them when they return home,” President James Harris III wrote in his message in the spring Widener Magazine, an issue that focused on the university’s history of preparing soldiers and serving veterans.

The university’s committment to serving veterans earned recognition this week as a “Military Friendly School” from G.I. Jobs magazine, placing Widener in the top 15 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide. “Your steadfast commitment to educating our great nation’s military veterans will enable the United States to prosper for generations to come,” the award read.

For more on Widener’s services to veterans, visit

— Sam Starnes, Editor


From Widener University to the Milky Way: Stargazing Nights in the Kirkbride Observatory

August 12, 2010

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 planet Jupiter's size compared to Earth

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.


Putting a Pricetag on Widener’s PA Contribution

August 3, 2010
What is Widener’s economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?   The answer is $238 million.  That’s the contribution Widener made to the state’s economy in 2009, according to a recent economic impact study conducted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania.

University Crossings, Providence Avenue, Chester

Widener President James T. Harris III said the study does not include the economic impact of initiatives such as the Widener Small Business Development Center or University Crossings, a $50 million economic revitalization initiative of Widener and Crozer-Chester Medical Center which includes an apartment complex and the first hotel, bank and convenience store in Chester in years.

“These efforts go above and beyond what is traditionally measured in economic impact studies,” Harris said. “These efforts are an important part of the university’s civic engagement mission to contribute to the vitality and well-being of the communities we serve.”  For more on the study, read the press release.