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Welcome Week 2014 Begins at Cheyney University

August 18, 2014

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Acting President, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Cheyney University (r.) and Al Skudzinskas, Vice President of Finance and Administration (l.) welcomed staff at the Opening Conference August 18.

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Acting President, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Cheyney University (r.) and Al Skudzinskas, Vice President of Finance and Administration (l.) welcomed staff at the Opening Conference August 18.

To kickoff Welcome Week 2014, Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Acting President, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Cheyney University, gave her first State of the University address before faculty and staff in Marian Anderson Auditorium on August 18.

“As a campus, we need to collaborate, engage and grow to secure our future. It will take a village to stabilize and grow Cheyney,” she said. Dr. Dawkins encouraged the entire Cheyney community to raise their standards and expectations, saying that CU will roll out a New Strategic Plan this winter entitled "Pathways to Growth."

“This will be a new chapter at Cheyney University and the staff and faculty will be a part of writing it,” shared Al Skudzinskas, Vice President of Finance and Administration. He outlined a number of changes.

Returning students will find the new science building and planetarium up and ready to go, it's impressive exterior looming tall.  Science faculty hope to educate a new generation of STEM students there in an effort to assist them in pursuing careers in science, technology and math.

In addition to the new, some old buildings are coming down.  Waring Hall, one of the first buildings one sees when driving on campus, will soon be demolished. Alumni have been stopping by to take one last look at a place they fondly recall "held some memorable parties," although the building hasn't been used in years.  The Smoke Stack at Ellis Power Plant and the Lower Garages behind Vaux-Logan Hall will also come down.  All three areas will then be returned to green space.

This year, Truth Hall is closed to students and, Skudzinskas explained, "Tubman Hall has been reopened for the incoming Freshmen to reside as a living-learning community. This expansion of the living and learning community extends this proven concept that was pioneered by the Keystone Honors Program to a broader group of students.” 

Changes are also coming to two of the biggest hang outs where students eat, socialize and unwind. Ada Georges Dinning Hall and the Marcus Foster Snack Bar are getting $500,000 worth of renovations thanks to the University's new food service vendor, Thompson Hospitality, which donated the funds for the purpose of remodeling.  

Meantime, the Offices of Student Affairs, Student Activities and University College are keeping the Class of 2018 busy. Beginning August 19, freshmen will have the opportunity to participate in swimming, a Water Ice Social, Madden Game Tournament, Movie Night, Shopping on the Pike, Block Party, and an Inspirational Hour, among other things, as part of “Welcome Week 2014.”

Then, when the upperclassman return on August 25, new opportunities will be available such as 
Lunchtime Leadership Programs  and the 2nd Annual Student Leadership Conference which will help students develp their leadership skills, Throw Back Movie Nights, and Student Wellness Programs intended to promote positive behavioral health.

"All that we do in the Division of Student Affairs is about providing the best quality support services to enhance student achievement," said Dr. Eric Hilton, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs.

Band and Football camps are still underway and cheerleading tryouts for the freshman will be held August 19-21 each night at 6 pm.  Orientation for the freshmen will begin at 9 am each day from August 19 to the 24, as faculty and staff help students adjust to their new homes, responsibilities and campus policies and expectations. Returning students begin registering on August 20.  Classes start for everyone on Monday, August 25.