Widener Sees Largest First-Year Class in History, Up 67 Percent

An aerial view of the Widener University campus in Chester.
Image via Widener University.
Widener University is seeing record first-year enrollments which it is attributing to some procedure and policy changes it has made.

In a demonstration of Widener solidarity, the university president, Stacey M. Robertson, has invited all of nearly 900 new freshmen to dinner at her home, writes Susan Snyder for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

It’s a new effort at the Chester area university based on three of Robertson’s principles—recruit the largest possible first-year class, retain as many students as possible, and create a culture of belonging across campus.

Something is already working. Widener is seeing its largest first-year class ever, and its 891 freshmen represent a 67 percent increase over last year.

The increase is credited to an expansion of recruitment areas and a redesign of its on-campus experiences for prospective students.

“This is all about creating a sense of belonging,” said Robertson, 58. “Students have the opportunity to come to the president’s house, which makes them feel seen and heard and special. It’s also a chance for them to get to know each other in a different way.”

“We believe we have the plan to make that work, and we have the community to make that work,” she said.

Find out the details of what Widener’s doing about enrollment and why the Widener first-year class numbers are looking so good in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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