P- Widener President James Harris IIIIn one of his first interviews last Friday afternoon, just hours after publicly announcing his acceptance of the position as the fourth president of the University of San Diego (USD), Widener University President James T. Harris, III told The Spirit that he sees the end of his 13-year tenure in Chester as “bittersweet” but that he remains “extremely optimistic” about the city and its people.

Harris will leave Chester July 31st and begin in California on Aug. 1st. But “Widener will still embrace the future, I believe, is strong,” he said.

Almost immediately, the accolades began flowing.

Former Mayor Wendell N. Butler, Jr. said, he understood the USD Board of Trustees’ unanimous selection of Harris. “A person of his talent and ability to grow a learning institution,” Butler said, “I’m not surprised.

“We were pleased to have him in Chester,” Butler continued. “He’s a good man who really improved relations between the school and Chester residents. I was thrilled to work with him; we had a fond relationship and I wish him nothing but the best.”

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