West Chester University in West Chester, PA, is thrilled to host the 2019 CPTSC conference Oct. 10-12, 2019. In this brief post, we’ll share a little information on our university and the surrounding area, which offer a wonderful mélange of the past and the present.
Who we are
West Chester University (WCU) is the second-largest school in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, located in the historic town of West Chester, PA. WCU is the fourth-largest university in the Philadelphia region (and one of the few wholly state-funded universities in the region). Ranked among Kiplinger’s 100 best values in public colleges for its academic quality and affordability, the University is committed to providing access and serving the educational needs of a diverse student body. It was founded in 1871 as a normal school for teacher preparation; though the university became a regional comprehensive university in the 1960s, the education programs remain a (dare we say it?) keystone of the university. In the last few decades, the university has added a number of thriving programs designed to meet the needs of a changing and growing population, including (but certainly not limited to) Pharmaceutical Product Development, Peace and Conflict Studies, Digital Humanities, and CPTSC 2019’s host program, the Business and Technical Writing Minor.
Upon our academic quad, a statue of Frederick Douglass signals the university’s long history of fostering an environment of collegiality, dialogue, and action to address issues of social justice. Tracing back to February 1, 1895 (19 days before his death), Frederick Douglass gave his last public lecture at West Chester University and left an indelible mark. His work is continued through the Frederick Douglass Institute, which honors Douglass’ legacy through scholarship, pedagogy, advocacy, and activism.
West Chester University is also committed to minimizing its environmental impacts on the surrounding communities. WCU was awarded a LEED Gold Certification for the newly built Business and Public Management building, the second-highest rating from the United States Green Building Council. The BPM building stands out for its water efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. This is the third LEED-certified building on our campus: Mitchell Hall and the Wells School of Music and Performing Arts Center are both LEED Silver. The university has invested in additional sustainability efforts, including a campus geothermal system, a 73-acre on-campus nature preserve, and alternative transportation.
Where we are
The university has the advantage of being situated in a picturesque area of Chester County, while also being within close range of Philadelphia and nearby shopping and entertainment venues.
Within walking distance of campus, West Chester alone boasts dozens of restaurants and boutiques. Enjoy authentic Italian food at one of our many local, family-owned restaurants (like Dolce Zola or Teca), indulge in a craft beer at award-winning local brewer Levante, or skip straight to dessert with homemade gelato at Gemelli’s, a cupcake at Dia Doce (winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars), or edible cookie dough at Baked. Find your favorite new-to-you accessory at Malena’s Vintage Boutique, a treat for your fuzzy friends at All the Dogs, or some of the best chocolate in the country (seriously!) at Éclat.
The area around us offers a range of opportunities for visitors to enjoy the outdoors, history, shopping, and more. Valley Forge National Park, a key site in the Revolutionary War, is 20 minutes away from campus. If you’re a fan of hiking or running, Valley Forge also offers 30 miles of paved and dirt trails. In nearby Kennett Square, Longwood Gardens is situated on 1,077 acres of stunning botanical gardens, greenhouses, and open land. We’re also 20 minutes or so from King of Prussia Mall, the largest mall in the country by retail area. (Sorry, Mall of America. You still win with that amusement park, though.) There are so many things to see and do near West Chester that we simply can’t list them all here; for more information, please visit http://www.downtownwestchester.com/visitorsguide.php.
Over the next few months, this blog will share specific details about the 2019 conference hotels, CFP, and more. In the meantime, if you have questions about West Chester University or the surrounding area, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Local Host Committee Chair Ashley Patriarca (apatriarca at wcupa.edu)
Lisa Konigsberg, Ilks Sancak-Marusa, and Ashley Patriarca for the CPTSC 2019 Local Host Committee