Microscopic to cosmic
|107 Glassboro residents raise $7,000 to purchase 25 acres
to attract the new teachers’ school to their town; their
offer sealed the deal and plans began in earnest.
|On September 4, 16 faculty and 236 students
gather in College Hall (now Bunce) to launch The Glassboro
Normal School with Jerohn Savitz as principal.
|The school and its Alumni Association
purchase 60 acres near Elmer and call it Camp Savitz, a place
for nature study, camping trips, hiking, swimming and picnicking.
|Glassboro becomes a four-year, degree-granting
|Name is changed to New Jersey State Teachers
College at Glassboro; Dr. Edgar Bunce becomes president.
|Students publish first issue of The Glassboro
Whit and sell copies for a dime each.
|Male student enrollment drops to only
two as students, faculty and staff leave Glassboro to serve
their country in World War II.
|Dr. Thomas E. Robinson becomes president.
|Baby boomers become college students
and Glassboro grows dramatically; buildings now known as Bozorth,
Hawthorn, Linden, Bole and Memorial Halls are begun.
|Name is changed to Glassboro State College
to reflect the school’s comprehensive curricular offerings.
|President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet
Premier Aleksei Kosygin hold the summit at Hollybush.
|The Camden Urban Center, Glassboro’s
branch campus, is opened; Dr. Mark M. Chamberlain becomes president.
|Dr. Herman D. James is appointed president.
|Henry and Betty Rowan donate $100 million
to the college, at the time the largest gift ever given to
a public institution in the United States; name is changed
to Rowan College of New Jersey.
|New library opens.
|Doctorate in educational leadership is
created; university status is achieved and name is changed
to Rowan University.
|Dr. Donald Farish becomes Rowan’s
sixth president, Rowan Hall opens; $1 million Rohrer gift supports
Rowan’s first endowed chair in business; Jazz legend Maynard
Ferguson and University form Jazz Institute at Rowan.
|Newsweek/Kaplan calls Rowan University
a “Hidden Treasure”; Dorothy Mahley Carney ’34
donates $159,000 to endow a scholarship in College of Education;
first engineers graduate, with employment at industry leaders
and grad school enrollment at Princeton, Stanford and MIT.
|Kiplinger’s Personal Finance lists
Rowan among the 100 best values for public colleges across
the country and U.S. News & World Report ranks Rowan as “top
tier” university; three from Rowan win Fulbright scholarships;
State awards Rowan $6 million to build Tech Center
|Sally ’66 and James Eynon pledge
$500,000 for Student Center improvements;
More than 6,886 seek a place in the 1200-member freshman class; Ric ’80
and Jean ’81 Edelman pledge $1 million for Science Hall’s planetarium;
Foundation announces $22 million campaign, Building Bridges to Opportunity; field
hockey wins national championship
|Science Hall opens; Rowan continues supporting
Glassboro’s downtown revitalization; U.S. News & World
Report ranks Rowan in first tier for fourth consecutive year,
Chemical Engineering ranks fifth in nation
80 years young
By Sabatino Mangini ’01
Eighty years is a fairly generous lifespan
for a human. But humans’ best
accomplishments in life are those that unite them in a common purpose,
benefit others and live beyond them.
Rowan University has lived long beyond the men and women who founded
it and built it with bricks and mortar, example and inspiration,
inquiry and discovery. In its eight decades, the institution has
grown and matured far beyond what it was in 1923, much like a baby
barely resembles the adult he will become.
But for all the progress and maturity we see today, it’s
certain that, even at 80, Rowan’s future appears rich with
opportunity and promise. Consider just a few vignettes from our
first 80 years—and what we have yet to envision.
a lovely location then and now
In 1911, then-New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, a former college
professor who was not satisfied with the state’s quality
of teachers, convinced the State Board of Education to build
a teacher training school in South Jersey. Local towns competed
to be the site. But it wouldn’t be until 1917 that the
members finally decided to award Glassboro the rights to build
During the six-year struggle for site selection, the Glassboro
advocates’ main argument was that the town was situated in
a perfect area: Glassboro had a leading railroad center, a landscape
of natural, wooded beauty and, as a Glassboro spokesman said during
a Board meeting on June 2, 1917, “(Glassboro) has the advantage
of being in the center of South Jersey, an advantage not to be
overlooked in terms of where high school seniors make their homes…Glassboro
(also) is in close proximity to two large cities…where students
preparing to teach can cheaply visit schools.”
Years later, Glassboro’s midway location between Washington
D. C. and New York would also make it an ideal, strategic setting
for an internationally historic campus event. In June 1967, President
Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin held a summit
conference on the Glassboro campus to discuss the implications
of the Cold War. Overall, the world leaders had an amiable conference,
with Kosygin even remarking to Johnson, “You have chosen
a beautiful place.” Kosygin went on to say in his farewell
speech, “I think altogether we’ve spent and worked
here about eight or nine hours, and we’ve become accustomed
to the place and we like the town. We think the people of Glassboro
are very good people. We’ve been favorably impressed with
the time we’ve spent here.”
Even today, students choose Rowan for its location, consistently
one of the top three reasons—along with reputation and cost—for
undergrads to come here. “I think it’s a huge benefit
to attend a school near big cities,” says Eric Springer ’04,
a current graduate student in the public relations program. “As
an undergraduate, I went to school in Maryland, but by going to
Rowan, I’m that much closer to getting a well-paying job
in New York.”
the gift of giving
Throughout its history, Rowan has benefited from the vision and
generosity of many people. In fact, when the State Board of Education
had yet to pick a suitable location for the new teacher’s
school, 107 Glassboro residents helped to sway the decision by
raising $7,066 to purchase 25 acres of the proposed site, and then
donating the land to the state. The state couldn’t ignore
such initiative and Glassboro was chosen as the school site.
While the residents’ land donation helped to establish a
new school in Glassboro, Henry Rowan’s $100-million donation
in 1992 helped Glassboro State College establish a new vision for
the public college. “I’ve been a consistent giver to
my alma mater because I know how significant private support is,
whether it’s a small or large gift,” said Associate
Provost Bob Zazzali ’72, ’74. “But the Rowan
gift made me look at the institution in a different light. Henry
Rowan believes in public education and he recognized the traditional
foundation and ambitious goals we have. He reaffirmed for me the
importance of giving because he believes this University has a
great deal of promise.”
Much of the evolution and awareness of the University can be attributed
to the College of Engineering. “The Rowan gift gave us the
means to make the College of Engineering a reality,” said
Dianne Dorland, dean of the College of Engineering. “It was
the catalyst that prompted the University’s great talent
and resources to accomplish even more, especially encouraging multidisciplinary
partnerships among the colleges.”
The engineering program—ranked 27th overall in the nation—along
with the progressive advancement of Rowan’s entire curriculum,
has inspired more contributors to invest in Rowan. Rowan’s
current capital campaign, Building Bridges to Opportunity: The
Campaign for Rowan University, has raised more than $23 million,
surpassing its goal of $22 million more than a year ahead of schedule.
Campaign funds will help improve student programs, academic development
and campus facilities. Overall, 8,265 alumni and 497 employees
have contributed to the Campaign.
“We owe a special thanks to the campaign’s leadership
and to all those who have supported the University in this ambitious
effort,” said Phillip Tumminia M’69, executive director
of the Rowan University Foundation. “The money we have raised
is truly making educational dreams a reality.”
it’s a credit to you
“When I decided to pursue a career in teaching, it was a
no-brainer to attend Rowan,” says Mike D’Alessandro ’03,
a math teacher at Gateway Regional High School. “I researched
the school and saw that it had such an awesome reputation with
teaching, not to mention a competitive listing of education accreditations,
which proves that it is a strong, successful program.”
Although the College of Education isn’t the only University
program to receive accreditation, it did get the ball rolling in
1938 when the American Association of Teachers Colleges first approved
the school as an accredited institution. Since then, Rowan has
gained 10 accreditations, with the School of Engineering achieving
that status only five years from its inception. “We take
great pride in knowing that all four of our engineering degree
programs have been fully accredited,” said Dorland.
And last year, Rowan’s College of Business joined an elite
18 percent of schools in the nation which have earned accrediation
from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
International. It’s a milestone achievement for both the
College and University.
“AACSB International is the premier accrediting body for
business programs throughout the world,” says Ted Schoen,
dean of the College of Business. “Our attainment of AACSB
accreditation reinforces our position among the leading business
Each accreditation proves that Rowan is providing a rigorous and
thorough education. “I originally looked at Rowan as a local
school that I would go to if all else fell through,” says
Kelly Menna ’03, an accounting professional at Cendant Mortgage. “But
I saw how its reputation was improving and that it was growing
into a great school. I decided to major in business at Rowan and
it was a wise decision.”
glassboro’s college goes global
While Rowan was once considered a South Jersey school for South
Jersey students, those days are gone. Now, Rowan not only receives
numerous nationwide enrollments from top-tier students, it also
attracts an ever-growing population of international students. “More
than 30 countries are represented by our international students
from Argentina to Zimbabwe,” says Craig Katz, director of
International Student Services. “We recognize the enormous
value of these students in terms of the diversity and unique perspectives
they bring to the Rowan community.”
In 1960, Rowan’s faculty already included professors from
seven foreign countries. Although Rowan began welcoming international
students in 1961, the school still had to earn recognition as a
world-class institute of higher learning. It seems Rowan is beginning
to achieve that recognition.
Rowan has also received a global boost in reputation from international
alumni who are leading successful careers abroad. “I still
have a Rowan sticker on my car—see how enthusiastic I am
about my college?” said Umut Urfali ’96, a business
graduate and strategy and business development supervisor for Efes
Beverage Group in Istanbul, Turkey, his native country. “Overall,
as an international student, attending Rowan was a great experience.
Rowan has great professors and has well-organized academic offerings.”
Jihane Ben Khedher ’03, born in Tunisia, is another international
student who is making the most of her Rowan education. Last year,
she served as an intern at the United Nations’ Department
of Economic and Social Affairs. Kheder is continuing her Rowan
education as a public relations graduate student. “Since
I speak four languages,” Kheder says, “it’s a
good decision to combine my economics degree with a public relations
degree.” Kheder’s relationship with Rowan professors,
faculty and students helped make it an easy decision to further
her education at Rowan. “I like a lot of the professors,
and I really appreciate what Craig Katz has done for international
students,” says Kheder. “International students can
get homesick or bored. He organizes events and trips to make sure
we’re busy and having fun—and if you’re American,
you can come also. It helps brings people together.”
from “safe” to selective
Students have always considered the college in Glassboro a good
educational option because of its location, low tuition cost and
academic reputation. Now, selective students put Rowan at the top
of their list. The “safe” choice has become the school
In fact, over the last four years, U.S. News & World Report
has ranked Rowan one of the best institutions in American higher
education, at 33rd of 165 colleges and universities in the northern
region and fourth among the region’s public schools. Not
coincidentally, over the last nine years, applications, student
enrollment and the average SAT score have all increased. These
trends have led to even more competitive admissions: the University
now receives five times as many applications as it can accommodate.
The prestige and value of a Rowan degree have risen with each passing
year. Prospective students expect to be challenged from the moment
they apply for admission and throughout their academic career. “I
was confident about being accepted because I had a very good high
school record, but maybe I was overconfident,” says Kiley
Grammer, a math and secondary education junior. “Students
graduating after I did are having a harder time getting in. Now
that I’m here it’s still very competitive. The professors
expect a lot and I’m learning a tremendous amount.
Sabatino Mangini ’01 works
as a copywriter for Voveo Marketing Group while pursuing a M.A. in writing
at Rowan and teaching writing at Camden County College. He lives in Wenonah.