Communities and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania: Celebrating the Art of Collaboration

Updated: 2/25/2014 11:37 AM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

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Contact:  Michele Berardi (484) 259-1751 | mberardi@kal.kendal.or

                       Gwen Owens (610) 399-2121 |

Cheyney University students Zakia C. Royster and Rosalyn Mitchell-Jackson, add their touches to the multi-media piece  created as part of the “Celebrating the Art of Collaboration” joint project with residents of Kendal.

Cheyney University students Zakia C. Royster and Rosalyn Mitchell-Jackson, add their touches to the multi-media piece created as part of the “Celebrating the Art of Collaboration” joint project with residents of Kendal.

Kennett Square, Pa. (Feb. 19, 2014)—Kendal-Crosslands Communities (KCC) and Cheyney University (CU) of Pennsylvania will unveil a collaborative work of art and photographs that are expected to pave the way for more collaborative projects between seniors at the retirement  community and college students at the nation’s first institution of higher learning for African Americans.  The artistic venture, Celebrating the Art of Collaboration, will be the focus of a reception and ceremony on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4 pm in the Lounge at the Kendal at Longwood campus, 1109 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA

Celebrating the Art of Collaboration 

The two sides proved that they could work in partnership, despite what some might call a generation gap and racial barriers, and to their delight, they found that they had much in common.  They share a legacy in Quaker roots and Quaker tradition since KCC was founded in 1971 by a $300,000 gift from the Philadelphia Yearly meeting with a charge to find a better way in retirement and Cheyney was founded because of Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist who donated $10,000 to design and establish a school to educate African Americans.

Lawrence Green, CU’s Assistant Vice President for University Advancement and External Relations, who helped plan the collaboration said, “It became apparent that the Quaker roots that both organizations share provided a bridge that would bring commonality to Cheyney University students and Kendal’s residents.”

CU’s Fine Art Honor Society students came to Kendal twice several months ago to interview some of the residents,” explained CU Art Professor Marietta Dantonio-Madsen. “Then, our biology students came and toured the 500 acre Kendal landscape with some of KCC’s Horticultural Committee, identified plants with them and took pictures.”  The pictures and artwork that will be unveiled at the February 27 reception is the culmination of the collaboration between KCC and CU—showcasing the students’ talents and highlighting the residents’ tastes and life experiences.  In addition, students from CU’s Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management (HRTM) major will work side-by-side with KCC’s dining staff to assist with the afternoon reception.

KCC resident Mary Lee Barker thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration and looks forward to the unveiling of the finished products.  “I saw youth again,” she exclaimed.  “They were without pretense. It was an exhilarating experience interacting with the students.”  Karen Cromley, also a KCC resident, said she appreciated the students’ talents, their desire for art, and the range and variety of topics and subject matter that they study at Cheyney.  She also enjoyed getting to know them better.  “I learned of their hopes and dreams for the future,” she proudly acknowledges.

CU sophomore Dymund Coles, a dual Communication/Graphic Design major, worked closely with Cromley in the collaboration process, and says she can’t wait for Cromley to see the finished product of their efforts.  “I’m excited about the upcoming unveiling,” Coles gushed.  “It’s going to be awesome and I think the crowd is going to be pleased.”

Collaboration between KCC and CU

This isn’t the first collaborative effort between KCC & CU.  Cheyney students previously worked in KCC’s dining services department. In addition, KCC sponsored a Keystone Honors Academy event at Cheyney last year.  This latest partnership, however, brings the students back in touch with seniors.

“This collaboration touches on so many aspects of diversity,” explained Audrey Super, KCC Director of Human Resources. “It provides residents and students an opportunity to explore intergenerational differences.  This collaboration helped to eliminate barriers that may exist between groups of very diverse backgrounds and experiences. We believe this is a model for other educational institutions and organizations demonstrating the benefit from learning from each other and contributing meaningful work to the community in which we live and work.”

About Kendal-Crosslands:  For over 40 years, Kendal~Crosslands has been a non-profit provider of programs and services that advocates for and empowers older adults to achieve their full potentials.  Nestled on close to 500 acres in the Kennett Square area, Kendal~Crosslands is a continuing care retirement community.

About Cheyney University

A liberal arts university, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (Cheyney, PA) hosts signature programs such as the Keystone Honors Academy, the Call Me Mister teaching program, the Aquaculture Research and Teaching Laboratory and the accredited Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program. Recognized as the first institution of higher learning for African Americans, Cheyney University has been educating students for 177 years. The University offers baccalaureate and graduate degree programs at two locations, Cheyney and Philadelphia, PA – Center City. For more information, please visit the website at


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