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Widener University Hosts Inauguration Celebration for Julie E. Wollman, Ph.D.

Julie E. Wollman

Dr. Julie E. Wollman will be inaugurated as the tenth president of Widener University.

Dr. Julie E. Wollman will formally be inaugurated as Widener University’s tenth president on Friday, May 13 at 2 p.m. during a ceremony on Memorial Field behind Old Main on the university’s Main Campus in Chester. She began her tenure at Widener University on Jan. 19.

The inauguration celebration kicks off on Tuesday, May 10 with the Inauguration Showcase of Faculty and Student Work in University Center. Beginning at 4 p.m. in the Webb Room, faculty will engage in a symposium related to the inauguration theme Listen. Lead. Transform. The showcase will then move to the Atrium from 5 to 6 p.m. for a display of faculty published work and student poster presentations that demonstrate the breadth and depth of the integration of high-impact educational practices at Widener. Student members of the university acapella group Keepin’ It Trill and the Widener Dance Company will perform throughout the hour.

Friday’s Inauguration Ceremony on Memorial Field begins with a formal processional of delegates from many Pennsylvania colleges and universities, additional institutions with which Dr. Wollman has been affiliated and Widener students representing undergraduate and graduate student groups and athletic teams. Delegates will process with Dr. Nancy Hensel, president of the New American Colleges and Universities; Dr. Daniel H. Sandweiss, regional vice president of Phi Kappa Phi; the Widener University Board of Trustees; university executive officers; faculty and deans from Widener’s eight schools and colleges; and government and community representatives. Following the formal installation, Dr. Wollman will deliver the inaugural address on the theme Listen. Lead. Transform.

“I chose these three concepts as my inauguration theme because they reflect not only my own commitments but also what makes Widener distinctive and can make it a destination—a university of first choice for students and faculty,” said Dr. Wollman. “We must be strategic, focused and relentless in achieving excellence. And to do so we must Listen Deliberately. Lead Decisively. And Transform with Pride.”

Dr. Wollman will focus much of her inaugural address on her vision for how Widener can continue to distinguish itself to become a university of first choice for both undergraduate and graduate students. She has crafted her vision after spending much of her initial time at Widener hosting formal listening sessions on all Widener campuses to enable constituents – from freshmen to veteran faculty members and alumni to trustees – to have their voices heard and to play a role in decisions that will shape the university’s future. To date, more than 500 individuals have participated in Dr. Wollman’s listening sessions at Widener.

Dr. Wollman previously served as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she introduced a campus-wide President’s Listening Initiative to update the mission, values and strategic plan through an inclusive process. She also established Porreco College, a highly successful satellite campus, offering associate degrees targeted to meet the needs of the Erie, Pennsylvania, urban population.

Prior to becoming president of Edinboro, Dr. Wollman served as vice president for academic affairs at Wheelock College in Boston. Before that, she was vice president for academic affairs at Worcester State University, and dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College, where she also co-directed the doctoral program and held rank of full professor.

A graduate of Harvard University where she majored in English and American literature and language and minored in French, Dr. Wollman earned her Master of Science in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and Doctor of Philosophy in education from New York University.

A Philadelphia native, Dr. Wollman is pleased to be back in the area with her husband, Dr. Dan L. King, who is the executive director of the American Association of University Administrators. She has two daughters.

Dr. Wollman’s Inauguration Ceremony on May 13 will be broadcast live at

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development 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 associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university website,