Widener’s historical highlights are listed in the timeline below. For an overview of Widener’s history, refer to Widener’s vision and history.
1821 – 1868
John Bullock establishes the Bullock School for Boys, in Wilmington, Delaware, to prepare young men for “entry to college.”
Samuel Alsop becomes new headmaster of The Alsop School for Boys.
Theodore Hyatt assumes leadership of Hyatt’s Select School for Boys after Alsop, and introduces military instruction in 1858.
Hyatt’s Select School for Boys gets incorporated under the charter of the Wilmington Literary Institute as the Delaware Military Academy.
With the move to a new facility in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Delaware Military Academy becomes Pennsylvania Military Academy.
Pennsylvania Military Academy relocates to Chester, Pennsylvania, the present home of Widener University.
1892 – 1972
Pennsylvania Military Academy becomes Pennsylvania Military College (PMC), modeled after West Point, the renowned U.S. military academy. Graduates serve honorably in the U.S. Army through many military conflicts, including the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Penn Morton College, a coeducational counterpart to PMC, admits women and civilians for the first time. Eventually, both colleges become known as PMC Colleges (a combined version of the Pennsylvania Military College and Penn Morton College).
A nursing program with College of Nursing of Crozer Foundation starts. The first graduate program - engineering - is introduced.
School of Nursing is established.
1972 – 1993
PMC Colleges becomes Widener College. PMC Corps of Cadets disbanded.
Delaware Campus opens as part of merger with Brandywine Junior College.
PMC Colleges renamed Widener University.
University College program starts.
School of Hotel and Restaurant Management opens; renamed School of Hospitality Management in 1996.
Harrisburg Campus opens.
School of Human Service Professions established.
2004 – Present
Exton Campus opens.
Metropolitan Hall, a new state-of-the-art apartment-style residence hall, is added to the Main Campus. New state-of-the-art Wellness Center (added to the existing Schwartz Physical Education Center) opens to the campus community; includes a 24-foot climbing wall.
Founders Hall, a 35,000-square-foot, three-story building is added to the Main Campus to house the School of Nursing and the Oskin Leadership Institute.
Dean Fred Akl
Professor Fred A. Akl, dean of the School of Engineering, discusses his work with NASA during the STS-63 and STS-71 space shuttle missions.
At the Health Annex
Lynn Freda, a nurse and graduate student in Widener's Family Nurse Practitioner master's program, talks about her experiences working with Dr. Shirlee Drayton-Brooks, associate professor at the School of Nursing.
Dr. Marina Barnett
Dr. Marina Barnett, associate professor in the Center for Social Work Education, talks about the leadership qualities she sees in her students. Also, Dr. Barnett gives an amazing Widener rallying cry. Check it out!
Catherine Rawlings '14
Catherine Rawlings, a junior from West Chester, Pa., talks about why she participates in the AmeriCorps Community Fellows program at Widener.
Dr. Jeannette Wyatt
Assistant Professor Jenny Wyatt discusses the work and impact of the Widener Center for Violence Prevention.
Dr. Nadine McHenry
Associate Professor Nadine McHenry talks about the importance of exposing teacher candidates to schoolchildren from different contexts.
The 1821 Experience
In this pre-orientation program, you will explore how multiculturalism adds to the college experience and connect with other students on campus.
This multi-day backpacking trip, led by members of the Outdoor Adventure Club, offers incoming Widener students a chance to build self-confidence and a social network of like-minded students on campus while having fun in the Appalachian Mountains.
This student life leadership program, Enhancing Leadership Experience Via Activities, Training, and Engagement, aka ELEVATE, allows you to build or hone your leadership skills with learning tracks for emerging student leaders.
The Oskin Leaders program inspires and equips Widener undergraduates to courageously leverage their passion and leadership skills to create significant, positive change.
University College student Dale Kerns Jr. established the Little Angels Foundation, which provides financial and emotional support for children suffering from cancer, tumors, and other deadly diseases.
College of Arts & Sciences
Chemistry Major Anna Miller ‘12, from East Prospect, PA, served as site team leader at CityTeam International in Chester, where she coordinated the efforts of 10 other PSC students.
College of Arts & Sciences
Anthropology Major Sara E. McManus ’13 has been named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow, an award that recognizes inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.
Alternative Spring Break
Anthropology Major Jess Viscuso ’12 and Nursing Major Devin Weesner ’13 coordinated Alternative Spring Break efforts for 87 students and faculty and staff chaperones at six locations throughout the U.S.
Institute of Physical Therapy Education
Doctoral Student Scott Cheney serves on the board of the Society for Student-run Medical Clinics, where he is one of five national directors charged with planning the society’s international conference.
President James T. Harris III has been appointed chair of the Board Directors for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) for 2012–13. Harris has served on the AICUP Board of Directors since 2007, most recently as vice-chair.
Dr. Harry Augensen, associate dean of science and professor of physics and astronomy, helped alumnus Dominic Liberto ’08 arrange a private moment during a public viewing at the Widener University Observatory to propose to his girlfriend, Jenn. She said yes!