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Staff Members Honored for Distinguished Service at Widener University

Pat Fleming and Julie Marenic of Delaware County were awarded the William David Eckard Jr. Award for Distinguished Service in recognition of their hard work and longtime commitment to Widener University.

A 24-year veteran of the university this September, Fleming is the assistant director of the Widener Fund and Phonathon coordinator. Marenic, a 12-year veteran, is an account specialist at Widener, who currently handles purchase orders and payroll taxes, among other duties. 

The Eckard Award was established by William David Eckard III, longtime vice president of administration and finance at Widener University and a 1966 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College. The Eckard family has a lot of connections to Widener, many members of the family attended the university and his wife, Diane used to work in the Dean’s Office in the School of Engineering. He created the award, a $3,000 cash grant, in memory of his father to help promote and reward excellence at Widener. Recipients must work for Widener on a full-time basis for at least ten years and consistently demonstrate an outstanding level of service.

According to Widener University President James T. Harris III, “Fleming, who is responsible for the Widener Fund year-long phonathon program, does an excellent job with our students.” Many of her colleagues also noted her as the unsung hero of the department. President Harris acknowledged both Fleming and Marenic’s dedication to the university. “Marenic holds a very unique position at Widener and spends her time managing three positions. She keeps the university in compliance with payroll tax reporting and payment responsibilities through her dedication.” She is the “go to” person in her department, her colleagues noted.

Fleming has already contributed a portion of the grant to Widener, and celebrated at dinner with her family. “Being nominated was an honor,” she said. “To win was even more exciting.” Both plan to treat their co-workers as well. 

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associates, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,700 students. Visit the university website,