alert Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Group 4 email out facebook fax flickr grid instagram LINK linkedin location Group 47 Group 9 Group 9 Group 47 PHONE play Group 4 " Search twitter video face_white youtube

      Story Ideas

       Send story and noteworthy ideas to Jessica Reyes,

      Commencement Speakers

      Widener Announces Commencement Speakers for 2018 Ceremonies


      Commencement 2018

      Widener University is pleased to announce the lineup of speakers for its four commencement ceremonies happening this May.

      Widener University is pleased to announce the lineup of speakers for its four commencement ceremonies happening this May.

      The main campus will host two speakers, for separate commencement ceremonies celebrating the accomplishments of its graduate and undergraduate students. Both will be held on Memorial Field.

      Graduate Commencement

      Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, will speak at the graduate student commencement ceremony Friday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m.

      Rosen also serves as a professor at George Washington University Law School, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He is a highly regarded journalist who was called “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator,” by a Los Angeles Times reviewer. His work has been published in the New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker and he is a frequent guest on NPR.

      He received the Golden Pen Award from the Legal Writing Institute. He is the author of six books, most recently a biography of William Howard Taft. Rosen and the Constitution Center partnered with Widener in November when the university launched its Common Ground Initiative. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University and Yale Law School.

      Undergraduate Commencement

      commencement speakers

      Major Heather Penney and National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen

      Major Heather Penney, best known for her heroic military service on Sept. 11, 2001, will speak at the undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m.

      Penney was part of the first wave of women who went directly into fighter planes from pilot training. She grew up around aviation and warbirds, and learned that Congress had opened combat aviation to women while she was earning her Master of Arts at Purdue University.

      She applied to the Air National Guard and earned her wings at ENJJPT, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, where she flew the T-37 and T-38. The first and only woman in the 121st Fighter Squadron, Penney deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom for initial combat operations as a night-time SCUD Hunter in the western deserts of Iraq, also supporting Special Operations Forces.

      Most widely recognized for her service on Sept. 11, 2001, Penney was deployed that morning in an F-16 fighter jet from Andrews Air Force Base, with one mission: bring down United Airlines flight 93. The nation was under attack and there was no time to load ammunition or missiles onto the jet, so her task was to use her own plane to find and bring down the hijacked commercial airliner.

      The plan to crash into the Boeing 757 was essentially a suicide mission. United flight 93 crashed on its own in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Today, she works for Lockheed Martin as director of Air Force aviation training systems, specializing in capture management, government relations, and strategic business development.

      Delaware Law School Commencement

      Delaware Supreme Court Justice and law school alumnus Gary F. Traynor ‘82 will speak at the Widener University Delaware Law School commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19 at 3 p.m. The ceremony will be held on the campus lawn.

      Traynor began his legal career at the law firm Brown, Shiels & Chasanov in Dover and went on to work for Prickett, Jones & Elliott, where he served as the firm’s managing director. He focused on general litigation including criminal defense, personal injury litigation and domestic relations disputes from 1990 to 2000 and complex corporate and commercial matters from 2000 until he left the firm in 2014 to join the Office of Defense Services.

      He was sworn in to the Delaware Supreme Court in July 2017 and is the first graduate of the law school to reach the bench on Delaware’s highest court. He holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.

      Commonwealth Law School Commencement

      Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro will speak at the Widener University Commonwealth Law School commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20 at 11 a.m. The ceremony will be held in The Forum at the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg.

      Shapiro is the sixth person to be elected to the position of attorney general in the state of Pennsylvania. The position is the Commonwealth’s top lawyer and chief law enforcement officer. Previously, Shapiro was in private practice for over a decade and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.  He also served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 153rd legislative district, from 2005 to 2012. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester and earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

      Additional Media


      whats up widener tags

      Share on