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       Send story and noteworthy ideas to Jessica Reyes, jmreyes@widener.edu.

      Pride Traditions

      Widener Traditions Take Center Stage at 2017 Homecoming

      King and Queen

      The 2017 homecoming king and queen are Ryan Kapczynski and Erin Burke.

      From the football game and tailgate to the broom drill and royal court, homecoming at Widener University is all about tradition.

      This year was no different when alumni – whether they graduated from Widener in 2007 or from Pennsylvania Military College in 1967 – made their way to campus from Oct. 12 – 14.

      The festivities began Thursday with the School of Nursing’s homecoming event and continued Friday night with the Athletics Hall of Fame and Alumni Awards celebration, both of which were held at the Springfield Country Club.

      At the Alumni Awards ceremony, five alumni and a senior administrator were honored.

      Dr. Normajean Colby ’87, ’91, ’10, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, was honored with the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Linda Durant, senior vice president for University Advancement, was honored with the R. Kelso Carter award.

      Dr. Cynthia Sarnoski ’74 and Capt. Thomas V. Chiomento, Jr. ’65 were given the Alumni Service award, and Gen. John H. Tilelli, Jr. ’63, ’96 received the Geoghegan Alumni Citizenship award. Samantha DeCapua ’17 was also awarded the Geoghegan Student Citizenship award.

      It's Game Time!

      Homecoming weekend continued Saturday with various athletic games, including Widener field hockey team’s win over Stevenson University and volleyball's win over Neumann University.

      A crowd of 4,000 fans packed the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium at 1 p.m. to watch as the university’s football team got an exciting homecoming victory 31-17 over rival Lycoming Warriors. With the win, the Widener senior class became the first group in school history to go 4-0 against Lycoming.

      At halftime, the university’s traditions were on full display. Alumni performed the annual broom drill, which goes back to the 19th century when legend has it that PMC cadets drilled with broomsticks because the governor had not yet given the school firearms.

      Crowning of the King and Queen

      Homecoming Court

      2017 Homecoming Court

      The 2017 Homecoming Court consists of Erin Burke, Cione Gonzalez, Mairead Pfeil, Elizabeth Stentzel, Brandon DeChirico, Malik Dickerson, Ryan Kapczynski and Dustin Widener.

      Also, at halftime, the homecoming court – Erin Burke, Cione Gonzalez, Mairead Pfeil, Elizabeth Stentzel, Brandon DeChirico, Malik Dickerson, Ryan Kapczynski and Dustin Widener – took the field.

      Kapczynski, a senior communication studies major, was crowned king, and Burke, a senior mechanical engineering major, was crowned queen.

      “I was beyond surprised,” Kapczynski said. “To be selected from that group of great leaders was humbling.”

      Both the king and queen are leaders in campus life.

      Kapczynski is president of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, a CREW leader, member of Student Philanthropy Council and executive board member for Public Relations Student Society of America.

      “Ryan exemplifies fraternal values in everyday life by constantly encouraging members of his organization to give back to their community and lead by example,” said Austin Duckett, assistant dean for Student Life.

      Burke is president of the Women’s Rugby Team and is a member of Alpha Omega Epsilon, a professional and social sorority for female engineering and technical science students, and Society of Women Engineers.

      When Burke walked off the field after being crowned, she was greeted by dozens of cheering rugby players, sorority sisters and friends who came to support her.

      “I couldn’t believe I was named queen,” she said. “Getting into the court was shocking enough, but then to hear this was amazing.”

      With another successful homecoming completed, attention now turns to 2018 Homecoming – when Widener’s traditions will continue on. Watch the highlights!


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