Archive for April, 2012


Widener-PMC Alumni Association Awards

April 25, 2012

Winners of the Widener-PMC Alumni Association Awards were on campus recently to accept their honors on Alumni Weekend. Pictured from left to right, the winners and their award category are as follows:

Donald E. Devilbiss of West Chester, Pa., acting dean of University College at Widener, received the R. Kelso Carter Award, presented annually to a non-Widener graduate who has brought honor to the university through their acts or accomplishments.

Barry L. Purvis of Chambersburg, Pa., the award-winning principal at Chambersburg Area Senior High School, received the John L. Geoghegan Alumni Citizenship Award, which is given annually in memory of Geoghegan, a member of the class of 1963, to an alumnus or alumna who has brought honor to the university through leadership and community service.

Sheldon “Shelly” A. Schwartz of Greencastle, Pa., a graduate of the class of 1960, received the Alumni Service Award, presented for volunteer service to the university. He was instrumental in planning the 50th reunion of his graduating class of Pennsylvania Military College.

Anna Miller, a senior chemistry major from East Prospect, Pa., received the John L. Geoghegan Student Citizenship Award which is given annually in memory Geoghegan, a member of the class of 1963, to a student who has brought honor to the university through academic achievement, leadership and community service.

Michael S. Scales of Cape May County, N.J. is the recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus Award. As associate professor of business studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Scales has been a strong proponent of civic engagement. He created several group service learning projects for students including Hospitality Helping Homeless, for which his class received the Atlantic City Hometown Hero Award; A Taste for New Orleans, a dinner and auction that raised money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund; and Feast for Families, an annual fundraiser for The Alcove Center for Grieving Children in Northfield, N.J.

For more information, read the press release.


New Fiction by Widener Faculty Member

April 19, 2012

When referring to Michael Cocchiarale, an associate professor of English, students in Widener’s creative writing program often shorten his eleven-letter surname name to simply “Dr. Cosh.” Short is apropos because Cocchiarale is a skilled writer of short stories. His new book, Still Time, was released this week by Fomite Press and is available through Amazon and in the Widener Bookstore.

The collection includes twenty-five short stories — some as short as two pages,  a style known as flash fiction — while others run a more traditional length of several thousand words.  A number of his stories featured in the collection have been published online, including “Opposites,” an evocative flash fiction piece, and  “Retroactive Special,” a funny yet poignant story about the passing of time.


New Widener Magazine: 150 Years of Engineers

April 9, 2012

The spring issue of Widener Magazine is off the press and on the way to readers.  The cover and feature stories focus on the 150th anniversary of the study of engineering on campus.  Please look out for the magazine and come back to the blog to let us know your thoughts and share your stories.  The Widener School of Engineering has set up dynamic pages about the sesquicentennial at  Be sure to check those out, especially the nifty video in the gallery section.


Titanic Exhibit To Feature Widener Family

April 3, 2012

George Dunton Widener

When the Titanic went down almost 100 years ago — the centennial of the epic maritime disaster is April 14 — two members of the family for whom Widener was later named perished with it. The bodies of George Dunton Widener, and his son, Harry Elkins Widener, were never recovered (the body of their valet, Edwin Keeping, was recovered and was buried at sea). George’s wife and Harry’s mother, Eleanor Elkins Widener, was also on the ship but survived, as did her maid.

The prominent family’s photos and many replicas of the their belongings, including a pearl necklace that was insured for $100,000, as well as George’s and Harry’s cenotaphs — memorials erected at a gravesite when the remains are elsewhere — will be part of an exhibit opening April 10 at the Widener University Art Gallery.

The exhibit,  curated by J. Joseph Edgette, PhD, professor emeritus of education and folklorist emeritus at Widener, also includes information on other Philadelphians who perished, as well as dogs on the ship.  The exhibit also explores the impact the Titanic has had on popular culture, the company that built the Titanic, the details about the ship, the recovery efforts following the tragedy, and how families memorialized members who lost their lives.

The exhibit will run through May 12.  A reception will be held on April 14, the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the gallery. For more information, see the press release, and for more on the Widener family, visit the Widener Family History page in the Wolfgram Memorial Library Digital Collections.