Seeing the future, leading the way
Rowan’s responsibility to serve our region and its citizens helps create enterprising new perspectives on education
o one dared say it on the record, but some people thought Tom Robinson was muddled. It was 1952 and the new college president in Glassboro had plans to expand with more facilities to serve more students.
In fact, since the beginning in 1923, the student body had averaged just 378 and after Oak Hall opened in 1930, no one thought they’d need any more dorm space or classrooms.
But President Robinson saw the desperate need for new teachers in post-World War II America and in South Jersey in particular. He saw the opportunity—and responsibility of his public institution—to meet that need.
By 1962, enrollment had multiplied nearly five times to tally 2,116 students on their way to careers and communities, mostly in South Jersey.
Robinson also more than tripled the existing campus acreage and built 11 new facilities, including Mimosa, Hawthorn and Evergreen, Esbjornson, Bozorth, Savitz, Bosshart and Westby.
It was fantastic growth, rapid and responsive to vast changes in the South Jersey region and the lives of its citizens.
No magic numbers
Forty-five years later, we’ve marked a new statistical milestone with our first enrollment over 10,000 this academic year. It’s not the number itself that deserves attention, but the context in which we reached it:
• there’s more demand than ever for a Rowan education—more than 8,100 freshman applicants
• we had an unusually high yield on our admission offers and more students than ever—3,012 this year—live on campus
• we’ve been recognized in national rankings again, at some of our highest standings ever
• while we overwhelmingly serve New Jersey students, applications for 2008 enrollment so far include students from 34 other states
These numbers suggest that your alma mater is still responding in a visionary way to the needs of students and our region while gaining national stature and distinction wherever a Rowan diploma leads our graduates.
Our impressive statistics affirm the legitimacy of Rowan University as the region’s de facto leader, not just in higher education, but also as a powerful influence on the South Jersey economy, our communities and cultural resources.
We now see a convergence of demographic and economic forces creating new demands for professional education, particularly in allied health and hospitality. In the coming months, I look forward to laying out our plans to collaborate with business, industry and partners in education to expand Rowan’s academic options.
With an independent, entrepreneurial approach, we will continue to meet educational needs, transform people’s lives and drive our region’s collective future. We remain deliberately committed to excellent academics, comprehensive student life, a safer and more accommodating campus and the preparation of a well-educated citizenry.
I invite you to see the future with me. Our collective visions for Rowan University may seem fantastic, but they will prove to be a model for sound thinking and a more secure and prosperous future for generations to come.
Donald J. Farish