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Wollman Inauguration Speech

The World Needs Widener

President Julie E. Wollman believes in the transformative power of a Widener University education.

In fact, it is this defining distinction that she believes will make Widener a destination for excellence – a university of first choice.

“I envision that we will lead intentionally, unapologetically, decisively, in developing and implementing interdisciplinary models for addressing the world’s most vexing problems, which exist here in Chester and around the globe,” Wollman said during her inauguration ceremony May 13.

“Our students invest in Widener because they seek to be transformed into better people, better students, better advocates and leaders, better even than they dream they can be when they come to us.”

Hundreds of students, parents, alumni, staff, faculty, and area university delegates attended Wollman’s inauguration ceremony, which was held in Widener’s Alumni Auditorium. The theme of the event was “Listen. Lead. Transform.”

Graduating senior Sagar Patel called Wollman’s vision for the university “motivational” and “inspiring.”

“I love this idea of thinking globally,” said the psychology/pre-physical therapy major. “I’m excited for the change she is going to bring to campus.”

Rising sophomore Mike Costello added Wollman’s focus on the impact Widener students can have on the world really resonated with him, especially since he is studying nursing.

“I know several nurses working at CHOP that went to Widener, so when we graduate we have an immediate impact on a place like the City of Philadelphia,” he said.

“Just imagine all the places Widener students are, we provide a lot of opportunities for the world by the experience we gain here.”

In her inauguration speech, Wollman noted that Widener will continue to shine in areas like salaries earned by graduates in mid-career, a category the university ranks in the top 20 percent nationwide.

“But we also want our lives to make a difference; we want our lives to be dedicated in some way to improving the human experience,” she said.

Wollman remarked that Widener has the foundation to address systemic problems such as poverty, food insecurity, education/health inequities, and environmental distress.

 “To transform with Pride we must make boundaries permeable,” Wollman said. “We must be flexible, embracing fluidity and risk, and we must put learning to work.”

“The world needs Widener.”