2022 Widener Wrapped
Welcome to Widener Wrapped. We’re digging into the data to shed light on the iconic moments on campus during the year that was. And we’re just going to say it – 2022 was drippy – a real whirlwind of new faces, newly renovated spaces, records made to be broken, and energy that was just there.
Truly, we were livin our best lives and it’s time to re-live it. NOW. We’re counting down the best moments, and yes, we took some artistic (and sometimes quirky) liberties with the numbers. Sorry, math was not our best subject. Don’t tell Dana Olanoff.
① New Commercial. One Pride
It’s giving 🦁. Our new commercial features the heart of the “We’re All Widener” way of life- YOU! You showed us your roar (and your dance moves) and now we’re showing it to the world. Many Roars. One Pride.
This year, Julie E. Wollman’s six-year tenure as Widener’s president came to an end and we welcomed Stacey Robertson as Widener's 11th president. Robertson hit the ground running when she arrived in July and has been inspiring a culture of belonging at Widener.
You’ve probably seen her around…well…everywhere! She and her spouse Steve Smith can often be found cheering on the Pride at sporting events or taking part in on- and off-campus activities. Oh, and their pups Lucia and Siena have been known to make appearances too (brb - crying from the cuteness 😭).
③ Days Building a Playground
This list only runs from 1 to 10, but 150 Widener students, faculty, and staff geared up and volunteered their time over three days to build a playground at Sun Village Park in Chester. The Kaboom! playground project put volunteers to work assembling playground equipment, landscaping, and creating colorful painted murals and activities on the pavement. This is just one of many community-based projects that Widener volunteers participated in this year.
④ Big Events
From Founders Day to commencement and TEDx to Homecoming, this year’s events just hit different.
A big milestone calls for a big celebration! We went all out to celebrate our 200th year with a Founders Day for the ages. 200 years down, a million more to go!
We sent the Class of 2022 off in style with two commencement ceremonies and put them on the path to greatness. The drive-through ceremony brought out their creativity (and school buses, and limos, and motorcycles), while the traditional ceremony had them walking across the stage in front of a massive crowd.
We showed our smarts by hosting the first ever TEDxWidenerUniversity featuring students, faculty, and outside speakers who are leaders in their fields.
And the vibes were immaculate at Homecoming 2022 when the entire community came together to show their Pride.
⑤ Decades Flying the W
This year marked 50 years since moving from a military college to a civilian one, taking on the name “Widener,” and competing under the blue and gold. And in this anniversary year our Pride teams were bussin, collecting the dubs and the hardware.
- Alex Kristeller ’24: National champion in weight throw at NCAA DIII Indoor Track & Field Championships.
- Women’s Cross Country: Won Middle Atlantic Conference and Metro Region championships for first time in 42-year history (woot!) and punched their first ticket to nationals 🎟️🥊
- Gabby Nye ‘24 ‘26: MAC runner of the year and Metro Region athlete of the year, a first for a Widener female athlete. This girl is on fire 🏃♀️🔥
- First time in our history that 3 (yes 3!), coaches – Logan Stroman (women’s cross country), Donovan Anglin (women’s volleyball), and Ross Liberati (men’s soccer) – were named MAC coaches of the year in their respective sports in a single season.
- Playoff appearances for nearly every Pride team in 2022 and dozens of individual honors.
202⑥ Class Welcomed, Plus Grad & Law Students
If Homecoming gave immaculate vibes, then the start of the school year served #MainCharacterEnergy with the arrival of the Class of 2026 and new cohorts of graduate and law school students. New programs, new leadership on campus, and even new facilities on campus (deets coming on 7!) positioned the Pride to slay all day, and all year.
⑦ Campus Renovation Projects
Campus beautification, capital investment projects, glow up – whatever you want to call it there’s no denying that the Chester campus is looking better and better each year. While we binged season 4 of Stranger Things all summer (oh Eddie 😍), facility crews were hard at work updating existing spaces like 503 13th Street and the Pride Rec Center and putting the finishing touches on Academic Center North (ACN) to transform it into a hub for the graduate health science programs.
We give this year’s facility updates an 11/10.
⑧ish Goats for the GOAT of All Stress Relievers
On a beautiful spring day, just before final exams, the sound of baaa, meh, and bleat wafted through the air as 8(ish) goats helped students yoga their way to serenity. We’re pretty sure most of you were more interested in goat selfies than downward-facing dog poses. But no judgment here. Goats are adorable. Period.
@wideneruniversity The GOAT stress buster 🐐Can we keep one, pretty please 🥺 #WidenerUniversity #goats #GoatYoga #GoatsOfTikTok #FinalsWeek #MentalHealthAwareness ♬ original sound - Widener University
1.⑨ Million Record-Setting Grant
When it comes to research and innovation, our faculty slay. HARD. But Anita Singh, chair of biomedical engineering, broke the mold (and the university’s record) for largest research grant awarded to a Widener faculty member to date. This record-setting $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health is not only impressive but stands to directly impact the lives of mothers and newborns during delivery.
Trust us when we say that earning recognition and funding of that magnitude is harder than navigating Ticketmaster to buy Taylor Swift tickets. (Too soon?)
⑩+ Times Widener Spilled the Tea on TikTok
We started with a controversial question – Wawa vs. Sheetz – and never looked back. This year we introduced a new TikTok / IG Reel feature called “Ask Widener?”
With mini mic in hand, we got the hot take from the Widener community on 10+ topics, from Down the Shore vs. To the Beach; What Not to Pack Advice from RAs; What You’re Studying & Your Dream Job; and What’s Jenny’s Number (that’s 867-5309 for those of you still confused over that one). Look it up kids, it’s a classic.
@wideneruniversity Welcome to Wawa country 😋 #WidenerUniversity #AskWidener #DelCo #wawa #sheetz #WawaVsSheetz ♬ original sound - Widener University
Phew, that’s quite the list. But it’s been quite the year. Top that 2023... we dare ya!
Happy New Year, Pride 🎉