It’s a Widener Thing
From our role hosting preseason training camp in the 1970s, to helping dozens of students and alumni gain experience with the Philadelphia Eagles, Widener practically bleeds green… Kelly green, that is.
As the Birds prepared to compete in Super Bowl LVII, we pulled out the playbook to take a look at some of the many connections between Widener and the Philly franchise.
Go Birds! 🦅💚🏈
From 1973 to 1979, the Widener community got an up-close-and-personal look at the Iggles, including some of the greats like Ron Jaworski and local legend Vince Papale. Widener hosted preseason training camp at Memorial Stadium behind Old Main (now Memorial Field). Students and neighbors living nearby fondly recall carrying the players’ equipment for them after practice.
By day, Andrew Proctor ‘19 is a video editor for a Philadelphia-area studio. By weekend, the communications studies alum works as a freelance camera operator (for live studio shows) and videographer for Eagles Entertainment, helping to edit and produce gameday highlights.
Being connected to a Super Bowl bound team is “surreal,” he says, and notes that his Widener education “was pivotal in preparing me for the role.” The equipment Proctor used as a student in the Freedom Hall TV studio is industry standard and similar to what he works with now at the NovaCare Complex. “These hands-on opportunities gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams,” said Proctor.
Tim Furlong is no stranger to attending Super Bowl games through his work as a reporter with NBC10 Philadelphia. The Widener communications faculty member is heading to Arizona to attend his fifth Super Bowl and, hopefully, second Eagles win. “It’s always an honor for the station to send me,” shared Furlong.
After seeing the Eagles bring home the W in 2018, Furlong recounts landing back in Philly saying “I went right from the airport to Widener to teach my broadcasting production class. The students appreciated the stories from the Super Bowl trenches. They knew that less than 24 hours earlier I was under the flying confetti.”
Looking to Super Bowl LVII, Furlong “really can’t wait” to see another Eagles win!
Kyree Cofer’s ’23 passion for marching band has brought him all the way to the big field at The Linc as part of the Eagles drumline. His father saw an opening on the Eagles drumline online and shared the post with Kyree. After sending his audition tape, Kyree, a communications studies major at Widener, secured his spot and was welcomed “with open arms.”
“I honestly never expected it would have happened,” he said. “It’s exciting to be able to claim that I play for an NFL team. It’s that much more enjoyable because Philadelphia is the city I grew up in.”
While Kyree isn’t attending Super Bowl LVII in person, he will be cheering for the Birds and his fellow musicians as he watches on TV.
If Donya Moore ’24 considers Widener her second home, then the Lincoln Financial Field would be her third. The junior sport and event management major has earned some serious hands-on experiences at the beloved Linc working for both Aramark and Live Nation.
Moore credits Widener’s program and vast alumni network for both opportunities. “I was hired by a Widener alum who came to speak at one of my first-year business classes and we connected on LinkedIn afterwards,” Donya said, adding that “he was able to help me find a position in the Premium Suites on gameday.”
In addition to industry-level experience, her time at Linc has given her access to interact with the players, their families, and the fans. Those connections make cheering on the Birds even more exciting for the lifelong Eagles fan. “I often see some of the players’ families and I get to interact with amazing fans. Seeing the city and the fans’ excitement has been so rewarding.”
Super Bowl Predictions from the Widener Community
@wideneruniversity ok maybe not an impartial poll but Go Birds 🦅 💚 #WidenerUniversity #SuperBowl #GoBirds #FlyEaglesFly #ItsAPhillyThing #Eagles #delco #SuperBowlLVII ♬ original sound - Widener University