Senior ROTC Cadet Leads Widener as “President for a Day”

Emily Barrett, associate director of communications
Stacey Robertson and Vincent Starkey pose in Chester City Hall.
Vincent Starkey '23 was chosen to swap places with President Stacey Robertson for the 2023 President for a Day.

Widener welcomed in a new, and temporary, president on April 10 as part of the university’s President for a Day event. 

At the helm of the 200-year old institution was senior marking major and ROTC cadet Vincent Starkey. The Chester resident was chosen from a competitive pool of student applicants to lead the university for the day which included managing the weighty calendar of a university president complete with meetings with university leadership regarding enrollment and university finances. The annual tradition is an innovative showcase of the university’s commitment to experiential learning and leadership development. 

As part of the presidential switch, Stacey Robertson, Widener’s 11th president, started her day with a pre-dawn ROTC physical training, followed by attending Starkey’s classes and socializing with Starkey’s peers and friends at lunch and throughout the day.  

Starkey and Robertson’s calendars overlapped midday with a visit to Chester City Hall where Starkey was honored with a citation by Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland for his role as President for a Day. 

Take a look at highlights from the day

A collage shows Stacey Robertson at ROTC training doing deadlifts, pushups, and other drills.
Robertson's day started with an early morning physical training session with Widener’s ROTC Dauntless Battalion.
Vincent Starkey takes a meeting in the President's Office
Starkey held meetings with university leadership in the president's office throughout the morning.
Stacey Robertson sits in a marketing class as a student for the day.
Robertson attended a sales management class in the Quick Center.
Patrick Murphy, Vincent Starkey, and Gen. John Tilelli pose for a photo.
Starkey held a lunchtime meeting with with Patrick Murphy '99L, '09H, Board of Trustee member, former Under Secretary of the Army, and U.S. Congressman, and John H. Tilelli Jr. ’63, ‘96H, Board of Trustee past chair and General, U.S. Army (retired).


Stacey Robertson eating lunch in the Pride cafe with students.
In the Pride Café, Robertson had lunch with student peers, including ROTC cadets.
Vincent Starkey and Stacey Robertson pose with Vincent's family, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, and Lt. Matthew Berg in City Hall.
Starkey was presented a citation by Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland in a surprise ceremony held in front of family and representatives from Widener.


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