Alumnus Gets National Award for Service on Widener Board

Mary Allen, Director of Communications
Old Main
The Old Main administration building.

A Widener alumnus who has been a champion for the university and its programs will receive a national award in connection with his service.

Paul Beideman, chairman of Widener’s Board of Trustees, whose dedication to excellence at Widener is reflected in the outstanding student experience the university provides, was named the 2021 recipient of the King Award for College and University Trustee Leadership.

Paul S. Beideman
Board of Trustees Chair Paul Beideman


The award, given this month by the American Association of University Administrators or AAUA, recognizes a college or university board member whose service exemplifies commitment to higher education, and who demonstrates the highest ethical standards in providing leadership from the trustee level.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Beideman said. “On behalf of all the dedicated trustees of Widener University, we work as a team that is committed to ensuring the university is positioned for success, so current and future students will always know the transformative power of a Widener education. It is a tremendous point of pride to be part of this board.”

A 1979 graduate who earned a Master of Business Administration, he is one of the university’s most engaged alumni and board members. He serves on the university’s Strategy Core Team and considers it among his most important work. The team is dedicated to assuring Widener is an agile institution that provides an excellent student experience and is positioned to thrive in a future of rapid change.

Beideman founded and continues to sponsor the Beideman Visiting Scholar program with his wife, Caroline. The program draws compelling speakers to campus annually, like Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity at Walt Disney, to share lessons on leadership with students, faculty and staff through the university’s Leadership Institute. 

He chaired Widener’s last presidential search committee, and as board chair attends every committee meeting, setting a standard for engagement and informed leadership.

Beideman retired this year as president of Avenue of the Arts Inc. in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he served as chairman and CEO of Associated Banc-Corp. These positions uniquely positioned him to provide the university with sound financial and operational advice, and access to professional networks for Widener and its students – all of which he shares generously. 

“Paul Beideman spends his time supporting – and provides financial assistance to – some of the university’s most important programs and initiatives,” said President Julie E. Wollman, who nominated Beideman for the honor. “When Widener looks to its board for support, Paul Beideman models what it means to step up. The university is much stronger for his selfless contributions.”

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