Widener University

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Widener University
Widener Seal
Motto Mens Sana In Corpore Sano
(Sound Mind in Sound Body)
Established 1821, Preparatory school
1862, College
Type Private
Endowment $73 million (2012)[1]
President James T. Harris III
Academic staff 326 full-time
Students 6,464[2]
Undergraduates 3,204 (2,790 day, 414 evening)
Postgraduates 3,260 (1,598 law students)
Location Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Urban, 108 acres (.44 km²)
Colors Widener Blue      and Gold     
Athletics 20 varsity teams, Division III (MAC)
Nickname Pride (introduced in 2006), formerly the Pioneers and the Cadets (when PMC)
Website www.widener.edu
Widener Logo

Widener University is a private, coeducational university located in Chester, Pennsylvania. Its main campus sits on 108 acres (.44 km²), just 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Philadelphia. The university has three other campuses: two in Pennsylvania (Harrisburg and Exton) and one in Wilmington, Delaware.

Founded as The Bullock School for Boys in 1821, the school was established in Wilmington, Delaware. It became the The Alsop School for Boys from 1846–1853, and then Hyatt's Select School for Boys from 1853-1859. Military instruction was introduced in 1858 and in 1859 the school changed its name to Delaware Military Academy. It moved to Pennsylvania in 1862 and became Pennsylvania Military Academy. It was known as Pennsylvania Military College after 1892 and adopted the Widener name in 1972.

About 3,300 undergraduates and 3,300 graduate students attend Widener in eight degree-granting schools. The university offers associate's, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in areas ranging from traditional liberal arts to professional programs. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Widener as a Doctoral/Research University and a Community Engagement Institution. Widener was ranked #181 in the National Universities category by US News & World Report for 2012.[3]

History[edit]

Founded in 1821 as a preparatory school for boys in Wilmington, Delaware, the institution now known as Widener University moved to Pennsylvania in 1862 and was granted collegiate powers and privileges via universal charter by the Pennsylvania legislature in April of the same year. It was known from 1892 to 1972 as Pennsylvania Military College, though it had officially become PMC Colleges in 1966 when a nonmilitary, coeducational component was added. Graduate programs were also introduced in 1966.

In 1972 the name Widener College was adopted after the prominent Widener family of Philadelphia and the Corps of Cadets disbanded (an Army ROTC program still exists). The School of Law was acquired in 1975. In recognition of its comprehensive offerings, Widener College became Widener University in 1979. Today, Widener is a four-campus university offering more than 80 programs of study.

Architecture[edit]

Old Main

The Old Main and Chemistry Building were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[4]

Timeline[edit]

Throughout its long history, the university has undergone several name changes. The following table details the various names Widener has held over the years as well as any significant organizational changes that occurred during each period.

1821–1846 The Bullock School for Boys, founded by John Bullock in Wilmington, Delaware
1846–1853 The Alsop School for Boys
1853–1859 Hyatt's Select School for Boys
  • 1858: military instruction introduced
1859–1862 Delaware Military Academy
1862–1892 Pennsylvania Military Academy
1892–1966 Pennsylvania Military College (also known as PMC)
1966–1972 PMC Colleges (for Pennsylvania Military College and Penn Morton College, the civilian component)
  • 1966: offered nursing program with College of Nursing of Crozer Foundation; first women admitted; first graduate program introduced (engineering)
  • 1970: School of Nursing starts
1972–1979 Widener College
  • 1972: Corps of Cadets disbanded, academic programs organized into 4 schools: Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Management
  • 1975: Acquired Delaware Law School
  • 1976: Delaware Campus opens as part of merger with Brandywine Junior College
1979–present Widener University
  • 1980: University College program (undergraduate evening school) starts
  • 1981: School of Hotel and Restaurant Management opens (renamed School of Hospitality Management in 1996)
  • 1989: Harrisburg Campus opens
  • 1993: School of Human Service Professions begins
  • 2004: Exton Campus opens
  • 2006: Metropolitan Hall and the Wellness Center are added to the main facilities in Chester
  • 2011: Founders Hall is built to house the School of Nursing and the Oskin Leadership Institute
  • 2012: School of Education, Innovation & Continuing Studies created through the merger of the Center for Education and University College
  • 2013: Freedom Hall opens; Informatics, communication studies, and computer information systems have state-of-the-art technology to work with

Campuses[edit]

Widener consists of four campuses, the Main Campus in Chester, Pennsylvania, plus campuses in Wilmington, Delaware, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Exton, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1866 after the school moved to Chester, the 108-acre (0.44 km2) Main Campus consists of over 100 buildings and serves all undergraduate day students as well as Continuing Studies, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) students, and graduate students. Widener's graduate programs include business, education, engineering, nursing, social work, physical therapy, and clinical psychology.

The School of Law, opening in 1976 on the Delaware Campus, consists of 16 buildings across 40 acres (160,000 m2) and is 12 miles (19 km) from the Main Campus. It contains the School of Law (shared with the Harrisburg Campus) as well as the Legal Education Institute. Some classes for Continuing Studies students and graduate business students are also held here. The 21-acre (85,000 m2) Harrisburg Campus, opening in 1989, contains the School of Law (shared with the Delaware Campus) and has graduate programs in nursing and social work held there. Starting in 2004, the Exton Campus was added to Widener's growing institution. It is located in a business park 25 miles (40 km) from the Main Campus. It primarily serves Continuing Studies students and contains Widener's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), which provides continuing education programs for retired adults.

Academics[edit]

Widener's comprehensive offerings range from liberal arts to professional programs and include over 50 undergraduate majors, 40 minors, and more than 30 graduate programs of study. In particular, programs in engineering, computer science, business, nursing, and hospitality management have generated the most praise from students according to a survey conducted by The Princeton Review.[5] On top of that, Widener offers a variety of majors and minors that suit everyone's educational goals, from creative writing, psychology, and physics to biology, English, and political science. Widener has an undergraduate student to faculty ratio of 12:1 with 90% of the full-time faculty having doctorates or the highest degree in their field.[2] In addition, class sizes are kept small with 60% of all classes containing less than 20 students.[6]

Organization[edit]

The university comprises the following schools:

  • College of Arts and Sciences: The largest undergraduate school at Widener provides 30 majors and 33 minors within its three divisions: Humanities, Science, and Social Science. The college is also home to pre-professional programs in law and medicine. All undergraduates within the college fulfill general education requirements in all three divisions as well as take an interdisciplinary values seminar during their junior or senior year. The college mainly consists of undergraduate programs, however a few master's programs do exist (including MPA and MALS programs). The most popular undergraduate majors within the college are psychology, criminal justice, computer science, biology, communication studies, government & politics and English.[7]
  • School of Business Administration: The School of Business Administration, accredited by the AACSB, provides undergraduate programs in management, accounting, international business, and economics as well as graduate programs in information systems, business administration, financial planning, and human resources. The school's MBA program offers dual programs in engineering (MEng/MBA with the School of Engineering), law (JD/MBA with the School of Law), clinical psychology (PsyD/MBA with the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology) and medicine (MD/MBA with Thomas Jefferson University).
  • School of Education, Innovation & Continuing Studies: The SEICS school is a collection of professional programs in education, as well as the home for Widener's Continuing Studies program, a system specifically geared to the needs of adult undergraduate students. It comprises the following academic units:
    • Center for Education: The center provides bachelor's, master's, and doctorate programs in education within a variety of areas including elementary education, special education, educational psychology, human sexuality, and school administration. The center serves as the home of the only nationally accredited doctoral program in human sexuality, having acquired the program from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.[8]
    • Continuing Studies: Continuing Studies serves part-time adult undergraduate students and offers both associate's and bachelor's degrees. Classes are held during the evenings or weekends and focus mainly on professional areas such as nursing, business, education, and information systems.
    • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI): The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute provides continuing education classes to mature adults, offering them the opportunities for intellectual development, cultural stimulation, and social interaction. OLLI educational programs are centered around classes developed and taught by its members who volunteer their time and talents to share their knowledge and interests with other members.
  • School of Engineering: The school offers ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. as well as a major in biomedical engineering (added fall 2011) and a minor in bio-engineering. Master's (MEng) programs exist in all of the same fields in addition to engineering management and dual specialization. A dual MEng/MBA program also exists with the School of Business Administration.
  • School of Hospitality Management: Widener is one of the earliest schools dedicated to hospitality management. It provides undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S.) study in areas such as hotel and resort management, private club management, tourism, and casino and gaming operations. Its facilities include fully equipped production and demonstration kitchens as well as a restaurant, the Marriott Dining Room, which is open to the public and is student run.
  • School of Human Service Professions: Founded in 1993, the Widener University School of Human Service Professions offers baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees in the fields of clinical psychology, human sexuality, physical therapy, and social work.
    • Center for Social Work Education: The center provides bachelor's (BSW), master's (MSW), and doctorate programs (PhD) in social work.
    • Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology: Founded in 1970 by Hahnemann University's medical school, the program moved to Widener in 1989 and became the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. The institute houses the second oldest PsyD program in the United States.[9] The PsyD program is accredited by the APA and allows a variety of concentrations including family therapy, forensic psychology, and organizational psychology. The institute is also home to the Neuropsychology Assessment Center and the Biofeedback Clinic and Certification Center, which provides services and treatment to the public.
    • Institute for Physical Therapy Education: The institute offers a full-time, 3-year doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program. The program is available for entry-level students as well as transitional students who are already licensed physical therapists. A pre-physical therapy program exists for undergraduates who wish to pursue the DPT degree.
  • School of Law: The school is home to an ABA accredited J.D. program and operates on two of Widener's campuses: Wilmington, Delaware and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
  • School of Nursing: Accredited by the NLN, the school has bachelor's (BSN), master's (MSN), and doctorate (PhD) programs in nursing. A part-time, evening, or weekend BSN program and accelerated programs for RNs are also available. Founders Hall, home to the nursing school, was opened in 2012, housing a state-of-the-art simulation center, where nursing students have the opportunity to work hands-on with nursing equipment and lifelike models.

Rankings and classifications[edit]

In 2010, Washington Monthly magazine ranked Widener 56th out of all national universities in the country.[10] These rankings are based on how well a university benefits the country including such factors as promoting social mobility, scientific and humanistic research, and service, including ROTC and the Peace Corps.

In 2013, Widener was named a finalist for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Presidential award - one of only 14 institutions in the nation to receive that honor. The university has made the honor roll every year since its inception in 2006. The 2012 Best Colleges list from U. S. News and World Report ranked Widener 181st among national universities.[11] It also ranks Widener's undergraduate engineering program 79th among all programs whose highest engineering degree is a bachelor's or master's.[12] Out of the 262 national universities ranked, Widener is 55th in the category "Highest Proportion of Classes Under 20 Students".[6] The U.S. News and World Report's 2008 Best Graduate Schools ranks several of Widener's graduate programs: clinical psychology → #145,[13] health care management → #49,[14] nursing → #141,[15] physical therapy → #173,[16] and social work → #140.[17]

The Carnegie Foundation classifies Widener as a Doctoral/Research University whose undergraduate population is highly residential and selective.[18] It also one of 76 institutions classified as a Community Engagement Institution; only 2 other schools in the Philadelphia region share this classification, University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College.[19]

Notable programs[edit]

Cooperative education
The co-op program is available as an option for all undergraduate students within the School of Engineering and School of Business Administration, as well as for computer science majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. This program enables a student to earn their degree in 4 years while gaining up to 1 year of work experience.

All students in the School of Hospitality Management are required to enroll in a co-op for a single semester (16 weeks) during their junior or senior year. The co-op work is full-time and counts for course credit. The school also has its own restaurant, the Marriott Dining Room, which is open to the public and run by the students.

Undergraduate research
All undergraduate students in engineering and computer science are required to complete a year-long research and design project during their final year of school. The projects are usually done in teams with a faculty advisor and culminates in a final presentation and demonstration. Other science majors have the option to participate in research with faculty members. This research is often presented at local or national conferences and can be published in scientific journals if applicable.

Honors program
The Honors Program in General Education (HPGE) consists of approximately 200 undergraduate students and provides its students with seminar courses that fulfill the university's general education requirements. Students in the program must take at least 5 honors courses and also attend at least 8 cultural events held on campus or in the Philadelphia area. Students who complete the program are awarded a Certificate of Honors in General Education at graduation. Admission to the program is based on the student's SAT scores, high school GPA, and ranking. Students who prove their academic standing within the first year of attending Widener may be asked to join the HPGE during the summer of their freshman-to-sophomore year.

ROTC
The Army ROTC program traces its origins back to when the university was a military college. Today, the Army ROTC program offers 2, 3 and 4-year scholarships, as well as traditional instruction in military science. The program also sponsors students from the following local area schools: Villanova University, Penn State Abington, West Chester University, Cheyney University, Penn State Brandywine, and Neumann College. About 25% of students in the program are nursing majors. The university produced more Army Nurses than any other school in the 2006-2007 academic year.[20]

Widener students can also participate in the Air Force ROTC program at Saint Joseph's University.

Presidential Service Corps (PSC) / Bonner Leaders Program
Widener University is a member of the Bonner Foundation and is devoted to civic engagement. PSC members are undergraduates who contribute their time to the Chester community through service and are examples of Widener's civic engagement strategies. Incoming members to the PSC program are required to complete 300 hours of service each year in order to receive a $5,000 scholarship towards their tuition. Members are chosen based on academic performance in high school and civic leadership. Only 15 members out of the incoming freshman class are selected to join the program.[21]

Athletics[edit]

Widener has 20 varsity teams (10 for men and 10 for women) participating in Division III within the Commonwealth and Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC). Formally known as the Pioneers, their mascot changed to the Pride in the Fall of 2006 after a student poll.[22] Widener sports teams include:

Athletic achievements[edit]

The football team has had recent success winning the MAC championship in 2012 and an "Elite 8" appearance in the Division III Playoffs, the ECAC Southwest Bowl in 2011,[23] and the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl in 2005.[24] Its greatest success has been winning the NCAA Division III National Championship in 1977 and 1981 under long-time coach Bill Manlove and reaching the semi-finals in 1979, 1980, and 2000. Widener also reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in 2012 before losing to eventual NCAA D-III National Champion, Mount Union, by a lopsided 72-17 score.[25] Additionally, Widener football has won 17 MAC championships, the most of any team in the conference. Billy "White Shoes" Johnson played for Widener in the early 70s. He went on to be an all-pro NFL player and was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team as well as the College Football Hall of Fame.

The men's basketball team has won 15 MAC titles and appeared in the NCAA Division III Tournament 17 times, advancing to the "Sweet 16" in 1987 and 2006, the "Final 4" in 1985, and the championship game in 1978.[25] The men's lacrosse team has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 8 times since 2000 and has won 12 MAC titles since 1996.[25] The men's swimming team has won 12 MAC titles since 1994.[25]

Athletic facilities[edit]

The Schwartz Athletic Center is home to basketball, swimming, indoor track, and volleyball. It houses a newly renovated 25-yard (23 m) by 25 meter 10-lane competition swimming pool, squash/racquetball courts, and administrative offices for the athletic department. Schwartz is also home to the new Wellness Center, opened in April 2006 to provide the faculty, staff, and students with additional recreational and fitness opportunities. In addition to exercise equipment, the Wellness Center provides fitness classes and a 24-foot (7.3 m) rock climbing wall.

Opening in 1994, Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium seats over 4,000 people and has a turf playing field surrounded by an 8-lane track. The stadium houses the football, soccer, men's lacrosse, and outdoor track & field teams. In addition, Edith R. Dixon Field, opening in 2005, houses the women's field hockey and lacrosse teams. It sports an artificial turf, lighting, and a scoreboard. The field is also used for the intramural teams.

The Philadelphia Eagles held their summer training camp on Widener's campus between 1973 and 1979. The 2006 movie Invincible depicts the campus during the Eagles' 1976 summer training camp.[26] Since 2006, the Philadelphia Soul have held practices at Widener as well.

Student life[edit]

Enrollment[edit]

Widener enrolls approximately 6,300 total students including 3,600 undergraduate, 1,700 graduate students, and 1,000 law school students. Among full-time undergraduate students, the male/female ratio is nearly 1:1 (44% male, 56% female). 48% of undergraduates choose to live on the Main Campus while the remaining students live off-campus or commute. Approximately 54% of all full-time undergraduates are from Pennsylvania with 45% coming from the rest of the country (predominantly Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia), and 1% of students originating from outside the U.S.[27] The acceptance rate for undergraduate applicants in fall 2013 was 65.5%.[28]

Student clubs and events[edit]

The university has over 100 student clubs including honor societies, religious organizations, media groups, and special interest clubs. Greek Week, Spring Carnival, and Homecoming are among the popular events on campus.[29] Graduate students are currently not allowed to participate in club sports activities.

Media is big on Widener's campus. The Blue&Gold: Widener University's Student Media Site was established in spring 2013. This outlet for student reporting has been growing ever since, telling the news and giving students a voice on campus. TV Club is Widener's student-run television program. WDNR is the student-run campus radio station that plays a variety of music including hip-hop, rock, metal, and punk.

Greek life[edit]

Widener has six fraternities and five sororities.[30] Approximately 12% of all undergraduates are members.[29] Widener's Greek organizations include:

Community[edit]

Widener is one of only 22 colleges that is a member of Project Pericles, an organization promoting social responsibility and addressing civic apathy among students. It is also one of only 76 institutions classified as a Community Engagement Institution by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Only two other schools in the Philadelphia region share this classification - University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College.[19]

Widener has several initiatives aimed at benefiting the surrounding community. These include:

Charter school[edit]

In 2006, the university established a new charter school near the Main Campus in Chester to serve local residents from kindergarten to grade 5. Named the Widener Partnership Charter School, the school utilizes the university's programs in education, social work, nursing, and clinical psychology. This collaboration involves the participation of Widener faculty and students to not only provide educational support but also provide additional assistance outside of school through counseling and health services.

Classes in the charter school started in September 2006, enrolling 50 students in both kindergarten and grade 1. The school continued to add a new grade each year until grade 8 had been reached, surpassing the initial expectations of the project.

Chester revitalization project[edit]

A $50 million revitalization project was started in 2007. The project, named University Crossings, included the addition of a hotel, bookstore, coffee shop, restaurant, and apartments. The project is expected to have an overall economic impact of $1 million to Chester, as well as creating 60 new jobs.[31]

Notable alumni or attendees[edit]

As of 2011, there are 59,018 total living alumni.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As of June 30, 2012. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012" (PDF). 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. 
  2. ^ a b c "Quick Facts". Widener University. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  3. ^ USNews.com: America's Best Colleges 2012: National Universities Rankings
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Widener University: What Widener Students Say About Academics". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2007-03-10. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b "America Best Colleges 2010: National Universities: Highest Proportion of Class Under 20". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  7. ^ "Widener University". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  8. ^ "Widener University: Graduate Programs in Human Sexuality". Widener University. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  9. ^ "The degree that almost wasn't: The PsyD comes of age". APA Monitor on Psychology. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  10. ^ "The Washington Monthly 2010 College Guide". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  11. ^ "America Best Colleges 2012: National Universities". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  12. ^ "America Best Colleges 2011: Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  13. ^ "America Best Graduate Schools 2008: Health: Clinical Psychology". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  14. ^ "America Best Graduate Schools 2008: Health: Healthcare Management (Master's)". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  15. ^ "America Best Graduate Schools 2008: Health: Nursing (Master's)". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  16. ^ "America Best Graduate Schools 2008: Health: Physical Therapy". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  17. ^ "America Best Graduate Schools 2008: Health: Social Work (Master's)". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  18. ^ "Institutions:Widener University-Main Campus". The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  19. ^ a b "Carnegie Selects Colleges and Universities for New Elective Community Engagement Classification". The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Archived from the original on 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  20. ^ "Widener University: Army ROTC Nursing". Widener University. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  21. ^ http://www.widener.edu/civicmission/psc.asp
  22. ^ "Widener University Announces New Mascot". Widener University. Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  23. ^ "Widener Tallies 14-7 Victory for Southwest Championship". Eastern College Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2007-03-10. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Widener Wins ECAC South Atlantic Championship Bowl". Eastern College Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2007-03-10. [dead link]
  25. ^ a b c d "Conference Champs and Postseason Appearances". Widener University. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  26. ^ "Reel deal for these longtime Iggles fans". Delaware County Daily Times. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  27. ^ "Widener University: Student Body". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  28. ^ http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/widener-university-3313
  29. ^ a b "Widener University: Extracurriculars". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  30. ^ [hhttp://www.widener.edu/campus_life/clubs/greek/default.aspx "Widener University – Greek Life"]. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  31. ^ "Ground broken on $50M University Crossings project". Delaware County Daily Times. Retrieved 2007-10-13. [dead link]
  32. ^ David Lane Powers, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed September 9, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°51′39″N 75°21′18″W / 39.860703°N 75.355117°W / 39.860703; -75.355117