WCU Dedicates The Roger and Agnes Ware Plaza, transforms entrance to campus and borough

Pictured at the dedication (L to R): Ashley Battiste, Katie Lickfield, Sean Wattman, Roger Ware ’82, Agnes Ware, President Chris Fiorentino, Sue Fiorentino, Joshua Filer, Keana Flowers

WEST CHESTER — Thanks to the generosity of Agnes and Roger Ware ’82, the gateway to West Chester University’s campus has been transformed and the borough of West Chester is now even more engaging. Located at the northwest corner of High Street and Rosedale Avenue in West Chester, The Roger and Agnes Ware Plaza, which features a president’s walk and a fountain that illuminates in the evening, was formally dedicated on Saturday, September 25, by the West Chester University community and members of the Ware family.

The metamorphosis was five years in the making and began with an epiphany that Roger Ware had on what he called a rainy and sleepless night in Georgia. “When I awoke the next morning, I informed my wife, Agnes, about my idea for a fountain project for the University,” shared Ware with more than 75 students, faculty, staff, family, and friends who gathered at the new Plaza. “Her response was, ‘If that is what you want, make it happen.’ Today is the day that I have literally been dreaming about.”

Ware said that he discussed his brainchild with President Fiorentino and the two made plans to include the new entrance in the University’s landscape improvement plans.

“We also discussed that studies show that when prospective students visit a campus for the first time, they usually know within the first ten minutes if that campus feels like home,” said Ware. “Agnes and I hope that this Plaza and fountain is enjoyed by students, faculty, and staff for years to come. We wanted a space to be the first spot a new prospective student would see when visiting, a place to take family photos, graduation pictures, a place to relax, and enjoy this beautiful campus and city.”

As the University celebrates its 150th Anniversary, The Roger and Agnes Ware Plaza is the icing on the birthday cake. “Thanks to Roger and Agnes, this incredible new gateway welcomes the arrival of all to campus and to the borough of West Chester,” said Fiorentino in his remarks. “We at this University are grateful for your generous support throughout the years, and for conceptualizing this magnificent space and being its visionary. As West Chester University celebrates its sesquicentennial, this Plaza truly reflects our new beginning.”

Also acknowledged during the ceremony for their work on the project were the University’s Vice President of Finance and Administration Todd E. Murphy, Associate Vice President for Facilities Gary Bixby, and members of the Department of Facilities Management.

Following a formal countdown led by Fiorentino and the audience, the fountain was formally turned on and cars passing by acknowledged the towering spurts of water by tooting their horns.

The fountain, which will be operational for the public’s enjoyment except when winds are too high or temperatures fall below 40 degrees F, is composed of two large concentric spray rings, 22’ (ring 1) and 15’ (ring 2) in diameter with arching multi-stream jets. Four vertical multi-stream jets are fed from a smaller ring (ring 3) at the center of the feature with underwater light fixtures inboard of the two spray rings and at the central vertical jets. Each ring has 20 jets (40 ring jets and 4 central jets, total). All jets are installed flush with the pavement. There are four central jets, or column jets, arrayed at 90° on a diameter of 16” at the center of the fountain. These jets are also mounted flush with the plaza.

Roger Ware, Jr. graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1982.  Roger has served as president and chief executive officer of Jencap Insurance Services Inc. (formerly Genesee General) since 1998.

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