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      President's Message

      Earning a Degree, Graduating with Relationships

      President Wollman

      President Julie E. Wollman celebrates the accomplishments of Widener graduates.

      It was a soggy weekend but it was wonderful to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 1,600 graduates across our three campuses. Our graduates are on the path to success. They developed faculty-mentor relationships, assisted their professors with research, built connections and skills through co-ops, and became leaders who take initiative, make decisions, and work well in teams. Their degrees have real value, rooted in Widener’s commitment to the professional and personal success of every student, and to the values of our Common Ground Initiative.

      Consider, for example, communications studies graduate Audrey Rucker, who spent last summer doing an internship at the Lincoln Financial Group. She will report to work there next month, for a permanent position with a coveted spot in the company’s Leadership Preparation Program. Audrey underwent three serious heart surgeries as an undergraduate, but she is on her way to a successful career because of her tenacity, and because our supremely dedicated faculty and staff helped her graduate on time.

      Or, consider computer science major Jeremy Hofer, who was part of a faculty-student group that traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss their research into cancer immunotherapies with members of Congress. The experience also involved advocating with elected officials for funding to support future student research projects. Jeremy will take that experience and those contacts with him when he heads to work at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia.

      Or, consider Widener Law Commonwealth graduate Jo-Anne S. Thompson, who will begin her legal career this summer as a clerk to Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson, a Widener Law alumnus who is also Jurist in Residence at the law school. Jo-Anne enhanced her credentials by serving as editor-in-chief of the Widener Commonwealth Law Review and holding memberships in the Black Law Students Association and Federal Bar Association.

      Our graduates didn’t just leave Widener with degrees. They left with relationships. And those relationships give them an undeniable edge and access to an inside track that will help accelerate their careers and excel at further studies.

      We are already looking ahead to how we can deepen our commitment to future students. Now just three years away from our bicentennial, we continue to rise to new challenges with creative and practical strategies that reflect our discipline, drive to succeed, and well-honed purpose to shape lives of meaning and achievement.

      No matter where our students go, I know they will retain Widener’s commitment to listening, respecting diverse perspectives, and finding common ground. That lesson works in any office, or in any graduate classroom. It is a lesson that crosses professional and personal lives. It is among the most valuable lessons we impart.

      With pride,



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