"All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up." This classic cinematic line comes from the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard and was uttered in reference to filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, a Widener University graduate—only he attended the institution when it was called Pennsylvania Military College. In fact, since its 1821 inception, the school has undergone many name changes before settling on the Widener moniker in 1972. Today, Widener University consists of four campuses, with the main one in Chester, Pa. The Chester area is one of the campus's drawbacks, as students often cite the surrounding neighborhood as being dangerous. However, campus safety officers counter this by having an ever-present visibility on campus. Sometimes students feel they are too present, as they tend to stand guard at doors, checking bags before letting in visitors. But even with this strong presence, students tend to appreciate that they always feel safe on Widener grounds. If students feel scared, there's a reliable campus shuttle available to take students around campus and beyond (to places like Wawa and Walmart).
In terms of academics, professors are generally thought of as helpful and provide students with manageable workloads. One of the most talked-about and impressive programs is nursing. Freshman students can begin taking nursing classes as early as their first year on campus. One of the latest facilities on campus, Founders Hall, actually caters to the nursing community and includes a nurses’ station, a hospital simulation lab, and many other state-of-the-art amenities. Overall, the facilities are pretty well maintained, except that students wish the facility hours were a little more conducive for late-night studying and hanging out, especially when there are so many active clubs and organizations on campus, including Greek life. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to meet up and fit in these obligations, and unfortunately, the building hours aren’t always helpful when it comes to these responsibilities. Overcrowding can also be a problem, so students often wish the University would consider building more places for students to go. One thing students don’t complain about too much is the weather: The Chester area experiences all four seasons in all of their beautiful glory.