WCU says farewell to outgoing president

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website and the Delaware County Daily Times‘ website.
Retiring West Chester University President Greg Weisenstein and his wife, Sandra, unveil the new sign for the Greg & Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center on High Street. (Pete Bannan)

Retiring West Chester University President Greg Weisenstein and his wife, Sandra, unveil the new sign for the Greg & Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center on High Street. (Pete Bannan)

WEST CHESTER — It was a heartfelt and sincere farewell tribute to the man who has brought record enrollment, the expansion of academic programs, the expansion of campus buildings and more to West Chester University.

On Monday afternoon, the university celebrated the university’s president and all that he has accomplished because on March 31, its leader, Greg Weisenstein, is retiring after seven years at the helm.

“There comes a time when you need to move on and there is such a thing called retirement and it sounds very good,” Weisenstein said with a laugh to the crowd. “It’s hard to leave West Chester University. It’s hard to leave a place that has meant so much to you.”

Feeling that it was the university’s moral obligation to give back to America’s veterans, Weisenstein helped build academic resources and other assistance necessary for the university’s veterans to thrive.

…[Please continue the story on the Daily Local News website by clicking here.]

ROTC numbers at West Chester grew from six to about 55 and there are now roughly 300 veterans attending the university. Weisenstein also arranged for the Troops to Teachers program’s North Atlantic section to be headquartered at West Chester.

“He sees my fellow student veterans’ potential on this campus (and) also across the country,” said Sarah Tolley, president of the Student Veterans Group at West Chester. “He gives us the tools to add to our toolkit so upon graduation, we can use them throughout the rest of our lives, proving to the world that we are the next greatest generation.”

In honor of everything Weisenstein has done for the student veterans, the center was renamed the Greg R. and Sandra L. Weisenstein Veterans Center, with the unveiling taking place on Monday afternoon.

“I can’t think of anything better to do than to develop programs that help our veterans — those who have sacrificed so much for us and their families — transition from active duty or reserve status to civilian employment,” Weisenstein said. “(They will) make us proud again in serving their communities, their place of work and their families as they served our country through the military. I can’t think of a higher honor than to be part of establishing those programs that are so important.”

Once the unveiling was through, people crowded into the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall for the hour-long tribute given by faculty, administration and students.

During the tribute, key highlights during Weisenstein’s tenure were presented, including the growth of the enrollment, which rose 20 percent, from 13,621 to 16,609 — a record number for the university.

The large student body now makes West Chester the largest of the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the fourth largest in the southeastern portion of the state.

“Under  President Weisenstein’s leadership, student life has been enriched and continues to soar,” said Matthew Bricketto, vice president for Student Affairs. “One of the many areas of excellence at West Chester University is our athletic programs, with 24 sports. In the ‘Weisenstein Era,’ our Golden Rams have won 20 PSAC conference titles, 14 PSAC Eastern Division titles and three NCAA Division II National Championships.

“What is most impressive is the academic performance of our WCU student-athletes off the field. More than 60 percent of our 500-plus student-athletes were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll this past year. The combined grade-point average for all of our student-athletes is above 3.0.”

During the tribute ceremony, various musical groups from the university performed for the Weisensteins, including the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band, the High Street Hamonix and more.

At the end, the Weisensteins were presented with two gifts from West Chester, which included a book filled with sentiments from individuals in the university’s community and a purple bowl created for the outgoing president, featuring the WCU logo and inscribed with a thank you note.

“I think West Chester University’s best years are still ahead,” Weisenstein said. “You can leave a place, but you never leave your friends at that place. They are always your friends and you will always be in our heart and you will always be our friends, so we’re not leaving you. Physically, we’ll be someplace else, like South Carolina, but our hearts will always be here at West Chester University and our friends will always be here at West Chester University.”

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Categories: Community, Education

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