Archive for February, 2011


Famous Alumnus Henry Clay Robinett Featured in Civil War Society Magazine

February 28, 2011

A piece written by Pennsylvania Military College alumnus Bill Speer ’72 for the current issue of North & South (Vol. 12, number 6), the official magazine of the Civil War Society, examines the life and tragic death of Henry Clay Robinett.   Speer’s research on Robinett, an 1860 graduate of Delaware Military College (a predecessor to Pennsylvania Military College and Widener), was featured in the January 2010 issue of Postscript.

An adjunct instructor at American Military University, Speer also wrote an in-depth study of Robinett, Broomsticks to Battlefields, available at He is currently finalizing research on another Delaware Military College alumnus, David Vickers Jr. (1861). Speer blogs about his research at


George Saunders at Widener University

February 24, 2011

Writer George Saunders spent two days on campus this week as part of the creative writing program’s Distinguished Writers Series.  Here is a short clip of him talking with students about the role of fiction writing in American culture.


Tough Night for the Widener Basketball Teams

February 24, 2011

Both the men’s and women’s teams lost Wednesday night in the Commonwealth Conference tournament, but both are to be congratulated.  The women’s team  completed one of the best seasons in school history, tying the record for wins in a season with 19 and competing in the conference tournament for the eighth time in nine years.  The men overcame a six-game mid-season losing streak with a four-game winning streak to make the tournament on the last weekend of the regular season and finish with a .500 record.  For more information, see


Talking Basketball — Widener Men’s and Women’s Teams Begin Conference Tournaments

February 21, 2011

With a thrilling double-overtime win on Saturday, the Widener men’s basketball team sealed a berth in the Commonwealth Conference Tournament, joining the women’s team in their respective tournament.  On Saturday, the women recorded a 19-6 season, tying the university’s record for the most wins.

Kate Dellinger

The women’s team on Wednesday travels to Grantham, Pa., to face second-seeded Messiah at 7 p.m.  The men will face second-seeded Lebanon Valley in the conference semifinals on Wednesday, beginning at 8 p.m. in Annville, Pa.   Visit for regular updates and more information.

In the spring magazine due out in April, you’ll find a story about Widener athletes who succeed in the classroom.   I’ll be spending part of the day today with Kate Dellinger, a star on the women’s team who led them in scoring with 17.9 points a game, for a day-in-the-life of a Widener athlete feature for the fall issue.  An excellent student named recently to CoSIDA second team Academic All-District, she has four classes today followed by practice tonight.

–Sam Starnes, Editor


In Search of PMC Textbooks, Circa 1960s

February 18, 2011




1969 PMC Yearbook

Dr. Walter L. Tamosaitis, a ’69 engineering graduate of PMC Colleges, contacted Widener University’s Wolfgram Library with an intriguing request we could not answer, but that alumni from the 60s may be able to assist:

I would like to obtain a copy of the book(s) I used in Military Science 101 and 102 in my freshman year. I think there was only one book, but maybe there were two.  I think the book  had a blue cover and was over one-inch thick, but after nearly 45 years my memory is fading (so is the book cover).  I’m sure the book was used for years at PMC.

This may sound funny but the only courses I failed at Widener were these two military science courses.  I would like to re-read the books.  It is kind of a personal goal.  Would you have  a copy for sale or know where I can purchase one?

Another book I am interested in is the book  used in Psychology 101 in my sophomore year.  I remember  the course being taught in Kirkbride Hall.

Thank you very much,

Dr. Walter L. Tamosaitis, Class of ’69

If you know the titles of these books or where to find them, please post a note in the comments field below or respond on Facebook.

It should be noted the performance in Military Science classes did not hinder Dr. Tamosaitis’ academic career.  He later obtained an MS and PhD in systems engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and now lives on the West Coast.


Renowned Writer to Read at Widener University

February 17, 2011

About ten years ago a friend recommended I read George Saunders’ book of stories Civil War Land in Bad Decline. I found the title story about a collapsing war-themed amusement park  both hilarious and wildly thought-provoking, and have been a fan ever since.   (A few years later I was lucky enough to see him give one of the funniest literary readings I’ve ever attended.)

So I was particularly happy to learn that Saunders will be reading at Widener University’s Main Campus at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in Room 1 of the Kapelski Learning Center.  The reading is free and open to the public.

To learn more about Saunders, you can watch his appearances on The David Letterman Show from September 2007 or the Colbert Report from October 2007, and read an interview with him on The New Yorker magazine’s blog and his short story “Escape from Spiderhead” that was published in the Dec. 20 issue of The New Yorker.

Don’t miss your chance to see him on campus.

— Sam Starnes, Editor


DeMille’s Granddaughter Praises Article About Legendary Filmmaker in Widener Magazine

February 14, 2011

After the release of  fall 2010 issue of Widener Magazine, I sent a few copies to the DeMille Office of the Motion Pictures Associates and thanked them for allowing us the rights to reprint a few historic photos free of charge.  I was thrilled to open the mail last week and find a letter from Cecilia deMille Presley about the article “Cecil B. DeMille: Iconic Hollywood Director Grew From Widener-PMC Roots.” It read:

Dear Mr. Starnes:

With great joy and nostalgia, I read your article on the man who raised me, my Grandfather, Cecil B. DeMille.  I say nostalgia because Grandfather so often talked about Pennsylvania Military College and the wonderful times and education he received there.

Your article caught his spirit and depth of his career; he was honored to be presented with an honorary doctorate from the college in 1931.

1931, isn’t that amazing.  His accomplishments and his films live on.  Thank you for your wonderful article.


Cecelia deMille Presley

(Click on the image to the right to see a scan of the letter).  Thank you very much, Ms. Presley!

–Sam Starnes, Editor