Archive for May, 2013


Fifty Years Ago at PMC

May 31, 2013

It was half a century ago today that President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Pennsylvania Military College for a luncheon in his honor, a military review of the cadets, a ceremony in which he bestowed awards, and a reception.

“In my wildest dreams, I never dreamed I would get that close to a president,” said retired Gen. John Tilelli, a graduate of the 1963 class who shook Eisenhower’s hand that day and would go on to earn the rank of a four-star general. An article in the spring issue of Widener Magazine goes into much more detail.

You can see an online photo slideshow of 23 images from Eisenhower’s visit that are held by the Widener University Archives, and the video below features the former president and five-star general on campus.


Presidential Photographs by Morris Martel

May 23, 2013

While researching the story of President Eisenhower’s 1963 visit to Pennsylvania Military College for the recent Widener Magazine, a number of fascinating color photos jumped out at me in the University Archives in Widener’s Wolfgram Memorial Library. All were taken by Morris Martel, a Delaware County supermarket owner who became an excellent photographer in his retirement. PMC hosted an exhibit that included Martel’s photos in 1967.

Martel took many pictures of Eisenhower on campus in 1963. The first one below features Robert Lofts, a junior cadet, standing behind President Eisenhower who sits between PMC President Clarence Moll and Maj. Gen. William Sheppard Biddle, PMC’s commandant of cadets. Martel, a resident of Haverford, also photographed Eisenhower’s return to campus to speak to the Greater Chester Foundation in 1965. I also found photos he took of President John F. Kennedy. The backs of these prints are stamped November 1963, the month Kennedy was assassinated. I haven’t been able to discover the backstory to the images, but if you know more about these, please post a message in the comments field.

–Sam Starnes, Editor

Ike with frame

Martel 1Kennedy


A Symbolic Tribute for Widener Nursing Alumnae

May 20, 2013

11806_widener_fallmag2012 cover72dpiThe fall 2012 Widener Magazine featured a cover image of fingers raised in what is often interpreted as either a peace or victory sign. At Widener’s commencement this past Saturday, however, the raised fingers stood for persistence as practiced by Rula Al-Saffar, a 2000 master’s nursing graduate who was imprisoned in her home country of Bahrain for treating protestors injured during the Arab Spring.

Al-Saffar, who recieved an honorary doctorate in public service, asked graduates to raise their fingers with her in the symbol she has used in the struggle for democracy and medical neutrality in Bahrain. For more about commencement, read the press release; for more about Al-Saffar, read the award-winning profile by Dan Hanson ’97, Widener’s director of public relations.

Rula grad 2


Widener University One of Three Candidates for NCAA Recognition of Special Olympics Support

May 13, 2013

80s_special_olympics DOME“More than Gold,” an article in the spring 2012 issue of Widener Magazine, focused on Widener’s longstanding support of the Special Olympics, a tradition that dates back on campus to 1985 (photo at left from the ’80s).  This April, 480 athletes from the Delaware County Special Olympics competed on campus with the assistance of 132 Widener student-athletes. The NCAA is now hosting an online poll to choose the Special Olympics story of the month for its Division III web pages. You can help to have Widener highlighted on the NCAA site by voting here, and you can read more about it on the Athletics Department web site.



Widener Students Shine a Light in Panama

May 9, 2013

Sowing the Seeds of Electricity,” a feature article in the spring 2012 Widener Magazine, focused on a project started five years ago by the university’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders to bring power to a rural Panamanian village. This March they completed that mission – flipping a switch to see electric light in the jungle village of Ella Drua for the first time. For the full update, read the press release.

ella drua


Widener Biology Degree: A 75-Year Tradition

May 2, 2013

By Allyson Roberts

Pennsylvania Military College offered its first biology degree to John Frederick Rhoades on June 7, 1938, making this year’s class the 75th in program history. To mark this special anniversary, science faculty and students gathered outside of their Kirkbride Hall home for a celebratory picnic.

The graduating biology majors include Victor Abadom, Garrett Abadom, Mike Colgan, Janelle DelBuono, Alexandra Taratuski, Karen Levy, Kelsey Fisher, Greg Millio, Stacey Lytle, Christina Henderson, Josh Koble, Robert P. Kelly, Amanda Guy, Keith F. Davis, Samina Martin, Dhan Thomas, Laya Thomas, Lisa Shiels , Lauren Campion, Nicole Gezzi, Kendra Sohara, and Gabrielle Long.

 seniors cropped1