Spring 2021 President’s Message: “I Honor the Courage in Your Collective Perseverance”

Julie E. Wollman
New student checking into Widener and receiving an info packet from another student.
New and returning students received an enthusiastic welcome and lots of information about campus life, staying healthy, and the new testing protocol.

Welcome to the start of the spring semester!

For our new students, that includes special warm wishes as you make the Widener Main Campus your home, or enter in-person classrooms on our Chester and Harrisburg campuses for the first time. While there are still many classes operating remotely, including at both law schools, and social distancing is an ever-present necessity, it is heartening to see us carefully moving toward recapturing a slice of vibrant campus life. This is a welcome glimmer for the brighter days that await us all. 

Headshot of President Wollman

The last 10 months have presented incredibly challenging circumstances marked by disappointment and, for so many, loss. Our community has demonstrated resilience and a commitment to the university, to each other, and most importantly, to our students. As classes reconvene, I recognize how much we have endured and overcome and I honor the courage in your collective perseverance.

This display of character speaks to the We’re-All-Widener spirit. As the semester commences amid a backdrop of national unrest and ideological division, we must remain anchored in the values that define us. With respect, we care for and honor the dignity of every person in our community. With integrity, we stand courageously in thought and in action for what is ethical. With excellence, we hold ourselves to the highest standards and support others as they seek to achieve excellence in all they do.

And as always, whether in person or remote, our students’ success remains the heart of our mission. For faculty and staff, the start of the semester is an ideal time to reaffirm our dedication to serving as mentors in student research projects, providing experiential learning opportunities wherever they are possible, and sharing industry connections that will help accelerate our students’ careers. Even during such challenging times, these things have continued to set Widener apart. In fact, our undergraduate class of 2020 saw 91 percent of graduates achieve their intended career goals within six months of graduation. Their mean salary figures grew by 11 percent over the previous year’s class. The strong bonds our students forge with faculty and staff made this possible.

While the Coronavirus vaccine offers hope for a return to  more normalized in-person interactions and collaborations, we are not there yet. We must remain vigilant this semester as the virus continues to present a real and serious public health threat. I urge everyone to follow the protocols Widener has in place for testing. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance and definitely stay home if you are sick. 

Working together, we will keep the exceptional Widener experience and spirit alive.    

With Pride, 

Julie

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