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Senior Joseph Santone to take over as President for a Day

Widener University appointed an undergraduate student from Blackwood, NJ as president of the university – for a day.

Just a few short months after taking over as the 10th president of Widener University, President Julie E. Wollman is passing over the reins to Joseph Santone, a senior accounting major from Blackwood, NJ.

Santone will serve as President-for-a-Day at Widener on Wednesday, April 6. He will be the 14th student president of the university, but it will be President Wollman’s first time taking on the role of a student at Widener, as she just begun her tenure at Widener this past January.

The Gloucester Catholic High School graduate was selected from three finalists who gave presentations to a selection committee based on what issue they would address if they were president of the university. Santone addressed the need to bring the Widener community together with a “Widener Pride Day.” He believes in the importance of embracing the traditions at Widener and promoting student involvement. It’s his vision to bring all students and faculty together to show them how valued they are and make sure they are fully experiencing all Widener has to offer. 

As President-for-a-Day, Santone will have the opportunity to take action on this platform. During his day, Santone will share his presentation with members of the university. He will also have the opportunity to meet with members of the executive team to learn what goes into running a university.

As if his day wasn’t busy enough, Santone will meet with a potential donor, have a stewardship meeting and review new construction and physical plant upgrades on campus.  

“I’m excited to take on this opportunity as a culmination of my Widener experience,” Santone, a pitcher for the Widener baseball team, said.

While Santone is running the university, President Wollman will assume Santone’s schedule, including his classes (but she won’t take any tests), meet with his senior project team on community business, “What a Crock”, and attend any student meetings he has that day.

According to President Wollman, the President-for-a-Day initiative gives students hands-on leadership experience and an inside look at how a university operates. For her, it will be an opportunity to see the university from an undergraduate student perspective and to engage the student population in an informal setting.

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 comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., are proud to be tobacco-free. Visit the university website,