February 16, 2022

Explore 150 Years of WCU’s History Through Ongoing Live Zoom Lecture Series

150th museumSeven more live Zoom programs in the University’s ongoing 150th anniversary museum exhibition lecture and tour series are on the calendar before we host the culminating sesquicentennial celebration on April 23. Visit the WCU 150: History & Heritage Museum Exhibition virtually through these engaging evening lecture tours that feature host and Museum Director Michael Di Giovine, student curators from his museum studies courses, and University experts.

Since November, the WCU Museum of Anthropology and Sociology has partnered with the WCU Alumni Association to present these programs in this “first-ever oral history presentation focused on our institution’s evolution from its earliest days of developing educators to where we are today preparing students to excel in traditional and emerging industries,” says Jenna Birch, Director of Alumni Engagement.

Approximately one hour each, these free, live programs include a brief tour of the sesquicentennial exhibition that highlights elements topical to the guest speaker’s subject. Please note that start times vary for these programs, with most beginning at 7 p.m. Register here or click the links next to the titles below. Recordings of previous programs are available here.

Click here to visit the 150th anniversary exhibition virtually and for additional videos, a timeline, oral histories, and more information.

Wednesday, February 16 @ 7:30 p.m.

The LGBTQIA+ Experience at WCU | REGISTER »

Through artwork and artifacts on display in the WCU 150 exhibition, we will explore the struggles and affirming experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community and advocates at WCU. Di Giovine welcomes Jacqueline Hodes, professor and coordinator of the Higher Education Policy & Student Affairs Graduate Program; Meg Panichelli, assistant professor of Undergraduate Social Work and WCU alumna; and Julia Zahm, student co-curator, for a discussion of the LGBTQIA+ experience at WCU. Since LGBTQA Services was founded at West Chester State College in 1975 as a precursor to today’s Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy, the University has worked to create an environment where the intersectional experiences of trans and queer people are celebrated, supported, validated, and affirmed.

Tuesday, February 22 @ 7:30 p.m.

Women’s and Gender Studies: The Development of a Nationally Recognized Program | REGISTER »

As a Normal School, West Chester’s student population always included a significant number of women, but society was far from treating gender equitably; as society became more progressive, visionary faculty and students at West Chester State College created one of the earliest women’s studies programs in the country. Lisa Huebner, professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and past chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women; Tess Benser (they/them), assistant director of Outreach & Engagement at WCU’s Center for Women and Gender Equity; and Joan Woolfrey, professor of Philosophy and current chair of Women’s and Gender Studies, join Di Giovine and student co-curator Julia Zahm for a discussion of WCU’s longstanding Women’s and Gender Studies program and its history. Illustrated with a rich variety of artifacts and compelling stories from the WCU 150 exhibition, we will also examine the ways in which the University continues to work toward equity in the treatment of women, people of all gender identities and sexualities, and under-represented groups.

Thursday, March 3 @ 7 p.m.

The History of Charter Day | REGISTER »

In celebration of the anniversary of the charter for West Chester Normal School, join John Villella, Vice President for University Affairs, and Christopher Mominey, CEO of the WCU Foundation, for a discussion with Di Giovine and student co-curator Aaron Stoyack. Explore engaging exhibits and never-before-seen artifacts on an historical journey of WCU’s evolution from a Normal School to the largest comprehensive public university in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. We will discuss our strategies to meet the needs of students, the University, the West Chester community, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, March 16 @ 7 p.m.

West Chester Student Experience: History of Student Life at WCU | REGISTER »

At the beginning of the 21st century, many colleges and universities have a broad educational mission: to develop the whole student. At WCU, extracurricular involvement has evolved from literary societies, special interest clubs, and formal dances to a total “co-curricular” approach as the key tool in personal development. Examine the exhibit’s rich collection of artifacts that speak to our unique student culture with Di Giovine; student co-curator Chelsey Moore; Charlie Warner, retired student life director of 30 years; Cara Jenkins, current director of Fraternity and Sorority Life; and Barrett McGee, associate director of Student Activities.

Tuesday, April 5 @ 7 p.m.

Lofty Sentiments of Duty: A History of Military Service at WCU (Registration link TBD)

Our institution was founded less than a decade after the Civil War on land occupied by Camp Wayne, a “Camp of Instruction” that trained nearly 1,500 Union Army volunteers. They reportedly exhibited “lofty sentiments of duty” and “a high spirit of courage and patriotism” that continue to define WCU’s students’ legacy of military service. History Department chair Robert J. Kodosky joins Di Giovine for a tour of the exhibition, focusing on our community’s engagement in the military and our initiatives to serve our veterans upon their return. Kodosky will bring these experiences to life by recounting the stories of those who came to exemplify the legacy of Camp Wayne at West Chester University, a “Campus of Instruction” strong in the tradition of military service.

Wednesday, April 13 @ 6:30 p.m.

A Virtual Walking Tour of the University’s Sculpture Collection (Registration link TBD)

Since our founding in 1871, the arts have held a special place on campus, providing a dynamic outlet for student expression, elevating our minds, and enhancing our space. As our institution has developed into a comprehensive liberal arts university, the University dedicated itself to beautifying an expanding campus with public art. In the last 30 years alone, WCU has acquired more than 40 outside sculptures. Join Professor Emeritus of Art and WCU Foundation Director John Baker for an engaging conversation and stroll across campus with Di Giovine, exploring some of the prominent – and lesser-known – artistic gems that make West Chester University the idyllic and livable campus it is today.

Tuesday, April 19 @ 7 p.m.

Creating an Environmentally, Economically, and Socially Sustainable WCU (Registration link TBD)

In 2013, West Chester University released its Climate Action Plan (CAP) to address the global climate crisis, foster resiliency and social equity, and bring concepts of environmental, economic, and social sustainability into our academics and operations. The CAP built on decades of activism, has guided our work for eight years, and will keep us focused on improvements to our natural and learning environments long into the future. Learn about WCU’s sustainability efforts through a special tour of the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology’s exhibition, Earth Day at 50: Lessons for a Sustainable Future with Di Giovine, then join the Director of WCU’s Office of Sustainability, Bradley Flamm, for an exclusive tour of WCU’s geo-exchange pump house and a conversation about the commitments WCU has made to energy efficiency, carbon neutrality, zero waste practices, and preparing our students and employees to advocate for sustainability on campus and beyond.

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