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PMC Museum
One University Place
Chester, PA 19013-5792
Phone: 610-499-4113
Email: PMC.museum@widener.edu

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The museum is fittingly located in Alumni Auditorium, built by PMC alumni in 1962 on the site of the original Alumni Lodge erected in 1903.

From a Widener University publication:

Honoring an American Legacy

Phase One:

Widener University pays tribute to its illustrious heritage with the opening of the Pennsylvania Military College Museum, a gallery and exhibition dedicated to the men of PMC, their proud past, and time-honored traditions.

Phase Two:

As awareness increases, the museum's reputation as an archival and historical resource will grow. Donor support in gifts of funding and artifacts and participation in the management and maintenance of the museum are necessary to provide expanded opportunities for theme development and a strategic plan for growth. Phase Two planning has just begun, and the Museum Committee, the interim director, and the collections manager are considering options for themes and exhibits. In addition, the museum has the possibility to host educational tours and to develop collaborations with other military museums and historical societies of the region.

Phase Three:

Future plans include an integration of the Pennsylvania Military College Museum as part of a University museum reflecting the past and future of Widener University.

The History:

Pennsylvania Military College began as a small Quaker school for boys in Wilmington, Delaware, just 34 years after the signing of the Constitution of the United States, and 45 years after the Revolutionary War led the way to American independence. One of the oldest military schools in the nation, predating the Civil War and modeled after West Point, Pennsylvania Military College was, in its day, a landmark American institution that educated and trained an elite Corps of Cadets, shaping graduates of character, honor, and courage.

PMC grew as America grew. PMC's colorful story line parallels the social, economic, and political history of the United States over a period of 150 years. The collection offers visitors a glimpse through PMC's prism and illustrates what life was like at one of America's first military colleges. It shows how three generations of the Hyatt family, who ran the school during its first 100 years, and successive leaders shaped academics and military training, and how PMC contributed to life in Pennsylvania and beyond.



Phase One of the museum features:

• An illustrated Timeline, dating from 1821 to 1972. In the next phase, the Timeline Will continue to the present day.

• A study of Cadet Life, with a collage of photographs highlighting important ceremonies and social occasions, and both functional and decorative objects and personal memorabilia that were part of daily life at PMC.

• A mounted display of PMC Uniforms in cadet gray, the same time-honored colors worn by West Point cadets of today.

• A case of Caps and other Headgear supported by historical photos.

• Displays highlighting Sports, with photos and equipment.

• A display of Summer Camp photos. Summer camp was obligatory military training for all cadets.

• Music was an important part of everyday life at PMC. One case is dedicated to music and cheerleaders.

• A display of Women in various roles, including nursing, at PMC .

• A video presentation - the first phase of the Living History program - featuring George Burke, Class of '35; General John Tilelli, Class of '63; and Clarence Moll, President Emeritus, PMC/Widener 1959-1981.

The images, documents, and artifacts on exhibition have been generously donated or loaned to the Pennsylvania Military College Museum by alumni and their families by former leaders of the College, and by Widener University.

The Audience

As with all museums, the mission is to preserve art, culture, and history in a visually interesting and informative manner. Although the PMC Museum will have special significance to PMC alumni and their families and the community of Widener University, this historic site will reach a broader audience, including students, researchers, and visitors who have an interest in its rich military past.


The PMC Museum welcomes students and special interest groups such as history clubs, veteran groups, and others. We also welcome volunteers and docents to lead educational tours and discussions. Please inquire about opportunities and arranging tours through the Development Office: Christina Harman at 610-499-4113 or log on to www.widener.edu.

Hours of Operation

During the fall of 2000, the museum will be open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and during the week by appointment only. Admission is free. An adult must accompany children under the age of 16. Call 610-499-1189 for days and hours.

pmc_logo.jpg (189312 bytes)

Shield and Crest of Pennsylvania Military College

The first shield for Pennsylvania Military College, the large keystone supported by two horses, closely resembled the seal of the State of Pennsylvania, evidencing the close ties of the Commonwealth and the College during early Pennsylvania days.

In 1966, at the suggestion of the Department of the Army's Institute of Heraldry, a new shield was designed specifically for Pennsylvania Military College and uniquely symbolic of the purpose and history of the college. Both the old and the new shields bear the college motto, "Virtue, Liberty and Independence". This new shield consisted of an armored horse's head set against a background of red, white, and gold which were the colors used by the Corps of Cadets. The horse's head refers to the introduction of military instruction to the college and also to the horses supporting the arms of the State of Pennsylvania.

The three white roundels (circles) are a part of the arms of William Penn. The indented partition line marks the college's three changes of location beginning with the transfer from the state of Delaware in 1862.

The crest consists of a wreath upon which is set a keystone with a gold cross crosslet, referring to the arms of Lord De La Warr, namesake of the State of Delaware where the college had its earliest beginnings. Two crossed Civil War officers swords, one Union and one Confederate, overlap the crest. They denote the outbreak of the Civil War and the resultant move to Pennsylvania.

At the bottom of the emblem is a scroll with the inscription in red letters symbolizing the ideals and goals of Pennsylvania Military College.

In 1894, red, white and gold were chosen by the Corps as the college colors. These colors signified branches of the Army: Artillery, Infantry, and Cavalry, respectively.

From the Handbook of Fourth Class Knowledge, c. 1969. Gift of David Neimeyer to the PMC Museum, Class of 1973


1. Two Eagles: One looking to the past, and the other to the future. The head of the eagle looking to the past is larger than the one looking toward the future, because we can see more in the past than we can guess the future can hold.

2. Two Crossed Sabres: Stand for the proud past tradition when P.M.C. had a top-rated cavalry unit.

3. Two Crossed Rifles: Stand for our present establishment, denoting our fight to keep up with the times in order to successfully accomplish our mission.

4. The Eagle of the Seal of the United States: Stands for the power and might of our country.

S. The Circle around the Eagle: Stands for our dedication and devotion, which is without beginning or end, to our country.

6. The Keystone: Stands for the State of Pennsylvania and her historic role in the thirteen colonies as the seat of our first government. In the center is found the year of graduation.

7. Two Torches: Stands for the light of knowledge, both present and future, which we acquire at P.M.C.

8. The Stars: Symbolic of the stars of the states in the field of the American flag and its purpose - Union.

9. The Garland (Wreath of Leaves): Stands for the College motto, "Virtue, Liberty and Independence."

10. The Ring: Made of gold, a symbol of honor and respect for our beloved institution.

The above was taken from the "Handbook of Fourth Class Knowledge," c. 1969, given to the PMC Museum by David Neimeyer, Class of 1973


Information and graphics courtesy of PMC Museum, Widener University

2002 John A. Bullock III.
Graphic Details Publications

This page last updated 10/18/05