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      Faces of Widener

      Malcolm Bell, Assistant Director of Donor Recognition

      Diamond Schuler, communication studies, '18

      Malcolm Bell, ‘15

      Assistant Director of Donor Recognition

      Malcolm Bell, a 2015 graduate of Widener University, is bridging the gap between the university, its donors and students through his position as assistant director of donor recognition. Having just been a student himself, he is adding a new perspective to the Office of Development.

      As assistant director of donor recognition, Bell works with the financial aid department to catalog and monitor scholarships throughout the year. He oversees the purchase and distribution of recognition pieces and awards for Widener donors who reach certain giving levels. In addition to this work, he also assists in the planning of annual and one-time events for donors and students throughout the year.

      For example, every year Bell works to plan the annual scholarship luncheon where students are able to meet their donors and present them with thank you letters. “Seeing the scholarship luncheon come together and witnessing the pure happiness on the faces of students and donors has so far been one of my proudest moments working for Widener,” he said.

      As a Widener undergraduate, Bell was a manager at the University Center Administration office from his sophomore to senior year. His position there eventually opened the door for him to be a full-time Widener employee. While working an event in conjunction with the Office of Development, he made a connection with a Widener employee who ultimately helped him land his current job. He says that he was in the “right place at the right time.”

      Bell admits that he was looking at other options before graduation that more closely related to his field of study, which was business management with minors in sports management and marketing. However, he was attracted to the development job because he saw it as a new and challenging opportunity that would take him out of his comfort zone while also leaving him satisfied with his work. Bell is a Widener track and field participant and has always enjoyed interacting with people. He says that his team mentality and people skills make him a good fit for his current role.

      Bell has now worked for the university for a little over a year and a half, and he says that the transition from student to employee has been an adjustment. For example, as a student, Bell was a resident assistant. He continues to see his residents on campus, but now their relationship is more formal. He also says that he has adjusted his view of the university.

      “When you’re a student, you see the university in one way; you stress about the expenses of school and what your money is going toward. But then, as an employee, you see how hard people are working to maximize experiences for students, and how students are really getting their pennies’ worth.”

      Bell says that he hopes to continue supporting students through his efforts in and out of the Office of Development. He frequently attends alumni events, as well as student-run events. He takes pride in both helping students reach their goals of higher education and supporting his alma mater. 

      Born in West Philadelphia and raised in North Philadelphia, Bell went to Girard College High School, a private boarding school. Bell returns to his Philadelphia home after work each day to spend time with his loving and energetic pitbull, Gemma, who he affectionately refers to as his “baby.”


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