Widener moves commencement ceremonies to the Mann Center
CHESTER » Starting in May 2019, commencement exercises for Widener University will be at the Mann Center for the Performing Art in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.
The new location provides covered seating for approximately 5,000 people, fixed lawn seating for another 2,000, and breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline. The center will be renovated this winter and features large video screens to enhance event viewing. Widener has also arranged for the facility’s ample parking to be free for the event.
Widener officials made the decision to hold commencement at The Mann after listening to concerns from students, families, faculty and staff about the challenges of holding a rain-or-shine outdoor celebration at the university, with no suitable indoor space for backup. The university explored multiple local options and determined The Mann would be an excellent partner to provide facilities for Widener’s most important annual event. The venue combines comfortable, covered seating and modern staging technologies in a setting befitting a commencement ceremony.
“I am certain the Mann is the right venue to host our Widener commencement,” President Julie E. Wollman said. “The facility hosts world-class musical events on a regular basis and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It has the capacity, amenities, professional staff, and charm to create an unforgettable event for our graduates and their families. They deserve an exceptional experience and the Mann is equipped to provide it.”
The move to the Mann does not impact commencement ceremonies planned for Widener University Delaware Law School and Commonwealth Law School.
Elizabethtown College reduces tuition rates for 2019-20
Elizabethtown College has announced plans to lower tuition 32 percent, to $32,000, for the 201920 academic year. Tuition Transparency makes Elizabethtown the first college in Central Pennsylvania to take the bold step of addressing the rising cost of college tuition.
To this point, most colleges, Elizabethtown included, subscribed to a high tuition-high discount pricing model. This means that significant financial aid is awarded to students as a means of offsetting the high cost of college tuition. While some students and their families appreciate large financial aid awards, many don’t know they are eligible for financial aid or don’t understand how financial aid structuring works.
In the past year, Elizabethown President Carl Strikwerda, the college’s senior staff and its board of trustees evaluated options for making tuition easier to understand. They centered on Tuition Transparency because it places easy-to-grasp numbers right up front, so students and their families can understand more clearly how much they will pay for college.
“There is great momentum at the College,” he said. “Addressing college tuition is central to ensuring that the momentum continues.”
PIT forms articulation agreement with Philadelphia schools
MEDIA » The Pennsylvania Institute of Technology has joined with The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) to create a transfer agreement that will allow eligible former and current high school students to transfer credits earned in career and technical education programs for college credit. Students of SDP can have their high school transcripts evaluated now for classes starting October 8.
This agreement supports students who attend high school within the SDP and wish to continue learning and earn a degree in their area of interest. PIT is granting up to 21 credits to qualified SDP students in 11 career and technical programs. Technical programs include child care, engineering, computer networking and digital forensics, exercise therapy and sports science, and more. This is the equivalent of two and a half full-time terms or the first year of college. Students benefit by getting a jump start at PIT by receiving transfer credit and saving them time and money, as well as earning a head start on their career or for further higher education plans.
“This outstanding new partnership takes advantage of the advanced technical skills the School District of Philadelphia teaches at the high school level and provides participants with the opportunity to graduate from P.I.T. sooner and to earn significant savings over our already affordable tuition,” said PIT Vice President Jack Bacon.
Diversity chief named at Widener
CHESTER » Widener University President Julie E. Wollman has named Michelle Meekins-Davis of Wilmington, Del., to serve as the Widener’s chief diversity officer. Wollman also expanded the post to a full-time position, reflecting its importance to the life of the university.
Meekins-Davis was the founding director of the university’s Multicultural Student Affairs Office, which she led for 10 years. As chief diversity officer, she will be responsible for the university’s diversity efforts including all faculty, staff and student diversity initiatives. She will assist the entire university community in reaching diversity and inclusion goals espoused in Widener’s strategic plan, including fostering a campus climate that values multiple perspectives and experiences and prepares students for success in a diverse and global society.
Meekins-Davis has more than 25 years of progressive experience in higher education administration. Through her work with the university’s Multicultural Student Affairs Office, she has served as a primary resource and facilitator for multicultural, cultural competence, social justice, equity and diversity related programs and workshops for students, faculty and staff. She has also created two programs to support and retain freshmen students.
Lebanon Valley reaches record-high new student numbers
Lebanon Valley College has again broken its own record for the most new students enrolled at its school. Eclipsing last year’s numbers, the 201819 school year is starting with 518 new students, 473 of which are first year students. Local students include Tyler Chabitnoy of Media, Joshua Gouch of Drexel Hill, Harrison Guy of Boothwyn and Bryant Leschak of Havertown.
Lebanon is home to 1,600 full-time undergraduate students and 118 fulltime faculty.
Widener honored with ‘INSIGHT’ award into diversity
CHESTER » Widener University has been awarded a 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
The HEED award is a highly competitive national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Widener will be featured in the magazine’s November issue. This is the third consecutive year the university has been honored by the magazine and it is one of just 96 institutions recognized out of several thousand across the country.
Elizabeth W. Lohr of Wallingford has been named to first honors on the Clark University Dean’s List for outstanding academic achievement during the Spring 2018 semester. To be eligible for first honors, students must have a grade point average of 3.8 or higher, of a maximum of 4.3.