Archive for June, 2011


A New Widener Grad Reports from Alaska

June 28, 2011

Tina Saengsouriya moved to Alaska after earning her degree in hospitality management to work as an Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) manager in Denali National Park and Preserve for ARAMARK Parks & Destinations.  (Also known as Mount McKinley, Denali is the tallest mountain in North America.) Saengsouriya sent this note to Widener hospitality management faculty earlier this month:

Hello HM Faculty!

I hope the summer season is treating you well. I thought I’d take this time to update you all. I arrived on May 18th and have been working ever since, so it has been two weeks now. I’m starting to get the hang of things and I conducted my first two inspections as a HACCP Manager earlier this week and boy, do I wish I were in HM 407 again! Everyone that I work with has been great and very supportive; they kind of remind me of you all. My boss has been with ARAMARK for many, many years and we’re much alike: loud, friendly, and passionate about our work!

On another note… ALASKA IS BEAUTIFUL!! I can’t begin to describe how happy I am being here and being given this opportunity. I am so thankful for all of your help through the years and I can assure you all that I’ve applied the knowledge I’ve learned. I am having so much fun and I have realized that I fall in love with Alaska more and more, everyday.


Looking Back to the Boardwalk Bowl

June 22, 2011

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.

You can see scores of the games online in the Widener Football media guide.  There also are oral histories with PMC alumni talking about the game accessible on the PMC Museum web page.

–Sam Starnes, Editor


A Brand New Look for Widener’s Online Archives

June 13, 2011

Browsing online in the Wolfgram Memorial Library’s Digital Collections is a newly enhanced experience.  A recent upgrade to the Widener University Archives’ web interface makes it easier to locate historical information on the university and its predecessor institutions, including Pennsylvania Military College and Pennsylvania Military Academy.

There are many exhibit categories you can browse, including alumni, athletics, buildings (including the 1883 Old Main drawing above), caps worn by PMA and PMC cadets, Chester history, school yearbooks and newspapers.

When opening a specific exhibit, be sure to click on the “Browse All” button to view it.  You can contact library archivists at if you have any questions about using the site.

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the university’s vast history — you don’t even have to leave the house.




Goodbye, Cav — Widener University Professor and Project Prepare Director Alonzo Cavin

June 8, 2011

Dr. Cavin in 1989


“Dr. C.”


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.

For a slide show of photos of Dr. Cavin, click here.

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.


Widener Alum Leading Prosthetic Care Center

June 2, 2011

Chris Dalmass, a ’90 management graduate and former starting linebacker, is celebrating the five-year anniversary of being a partner and co-founder of Prosthetic Innovations, LLC, a firm in Eddystone, Pa., near Widener’s Main Campus.

The prosthetic center specializes in advanced socket designs, bionics, gait training, and high-performance prosthetics to maximize the functional potential in amputees.   In a company press release, Dalmass described the center’s missions as “supporting our clients to realize their maximum potential and instilling in them the confidence to do everything in their life they once did.”


Widener University School of Engineering to Celebrate Sesquicentennial in 2012

June 1, 2011

Next year will mark the Widener School of Engineering’s 150th anniversary.

Jan Alexander, an archivist in the Widener University Archives in the Wolfgram Memorial Library, discovered this 1909 photo of Pennsylvania Military College civil engineering students doing fieldwork in railroad engineering.  According to the PMC class bulletin:  “In the Fall Term, First Class year, the class is organized as a corps under the Professor of Engineering, and makes a reconnaissance and preliminary survey for a railroad.”

Such hands-on experiences — often called experiential learning — today remain a primary feature of a Widener education.

Stay tuned to learn about the  School of Engineering’s plans to celebrate its history and origins dating back to 1862.