Penn State Honors Widener President

Widener University President James T. Harris III received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State University for his support of the university and his role in bridging Widener and the city of Chester.

The award is Penn State’s highest honor for an individual. It is bestowed to alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements and community service exemplify the university’s objectives. Recipients are selected by the board of trustees.

Harris earned his doctoral degree in higher education at Penn State in 1988. He has served as Widener’s president since 2002.

During his tenure, Widener has been named one of the nation’s top service-oriented universities by Newsweek and Washington Monthly. He oversaw the establishment of the College Access Center of Delaware County and the Widener Partnership Charter School, the state’s first university-based charter.

Harris also supported economic development in Chester by leasing university property for $1 per year to private developers to construct University Crossings, a commercial and residential initiative.



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