Independent Public Mission Schools

Fairleigh Dickinson: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak Speaks at Florham Campus

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak visited Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus recently to talk with students and faculty before his scheduled lecture at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J., as part of FDU’s New Jersey Speaker Series.

In an intimate presentation in Hartman Lounge in Hennessy Hall, Barak had a wide-ranging conversation and Q&A session moderated by David Rosen, professor of anthropology and sociology, hitting on topics such as Barak’s experience as prime minister, the current geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the growth of terrorism. He also offered an inspirational message for students.

Barak served as Prime Minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001. He entered politics following a 35-year career as a highly decorated officer in the Israeli military. He led Israel’s Labor Party from 1996 to 2011 and served as Minister of Defense under Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and later Benjamin Netanyahu. He left government service in 2012.

Opening his presentation, Barak reminisced about his time studying in the United States, saying “two of the best years of my life were as a graduate student at Stanford University. I learned there that American universities are not just shaping America’s future but also the future leadership of the whole world.”

For more stories about Fairleigh Dickinson, scroll down:

New School of Public and Global Affairs
Walmart Foundation Supports FDU’s Veteran Program with Largest Donation in Program History

He continued, telling students that they should not let their age keep them from doing great things. He noted how Nobel Prizes are given out to people his age or older, but in recognition of accomplishments they achieved decades prior. “Any evolution in science, politics, religion, economy, was all done by young people.”

“Dare to think independently; dare to dream; dare to act; dare to defy all conventional wisdom and dogma,” he encouraged the students.

Barak and Rosen shifted gears and talked about Barak’s tenure as prime minister and the current situation in the Middle East. “The Middle East is a really tough neighborhood,” said Barak. “Israel is strong, self-confident and should take care of itself in a tough neighborhood, which is going to remain tough for the foreseeable future.”

Barak also talked about the 2000 Camp David Summit, a meeting brokered by President Bill Clinton between Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. While the summit did not yield a final agreement, Barak said “I do not accept the idea that the [peace process] is over.” Barak is hopeful for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We have to move forward in a mutually respectful way.”

The 2016-17 New Jersey Speaker Series continues on December 1 with a panel discussion on “Racism in America” with former NPR host Michele Norris; Wall Street Journal columnist and author Jason Riley; and Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The New Jersey Speakers series brings world leaders, acclaimed authors and other fascinating personalities to NJPAC for seven Thursday evening presentations, each of which is followed by an audience Q&A with the featured speakers. Presented by FDU, the New Jersey Speakers Series is sponsored by NJPAC, WCBS Newsradio (880 AM), and Star-Ledger. For tickets or information, visit, or call 1-888-MY-NJPAC or 1-888-696-5722.


Alumnus James Orefice stands to be recognized, at Convocation 2016, for his generous gift to the new School of Public and Global Affairs. (Photo by Roy Groething)

New School of Public and Global Affairs


Fairleigh Dickinson University has announced the formation of a new School of Public and Global Affairs.

“Helping to make this possible is a very generous gift of $2.5 million dollars, made recently by FDU alumnus James Orefice and his family,” said University President Christopher A. Capuano. “The Orefice family gift will be used to support private scholarships for students studying in the new school and to support distinguished visiting faculty who will teach in the new school.”

The School of Public and Global Affairs will build on the success of FDU’s Public Administration Institute and Master of Public Administration, FDU’s PublicMind polling institute, and new and existing graduate programs in public administration and global affairs. The new school will operate University-wide, offering programs at all four FDU campuses, eventually including its international campuses in Canada and England.

“FDU is in my family’s blood,” said Orefice, who grew up down the street from the Metropolitan Campus, off of River Road in Teaneck, N.J. He studied history at the University, and is now a real estate executive and owner of Orefice Properties. “I’m proud to be a part of this great mosaic — a wonderful University to attend for people in the NYC metro area and beyond.”

Orefice has fond memories of his FDU professors: the late Emil Lengyel, adjunct professor of history and chairman of the social sciences department; Lev Braun, professor emeritus of history and political science; Faramarz (Jim) Fatemi, professor emeritus of history and political science; and Helen Brudner, professor emerita of history and political science. “Graduate school,” he says, “helped me anticipate trends and make business decisions. It taught me to think and solve problems.”

These days, he says, “I always have a book in my hand. Years ago, I dropped in on Dr. Fatemi. He turned to me and he said, ‘What have you read lately?’ Crickets. I was so busy at work that I hadn’t read anything in about six months. That’s never going to happen again. Now, I always have a book.”

That passion for education, so pronounced in his professors, Orefice says, remains prominent today at FDU. “It’s very gratifying to talk to some of the students, to hear their enthusiasm. There’s always been a positive trajectory with the University, and President Capuano exemplifies the great potential of the University and its mission.” [Florham Campus] Provost Woolley and many others have a special rapport with students, as does President Capuano. [The late] President Michael Adams was a man of optimism, former President Sheldon Drucker maintained the school’s direction and profitability, and President Capuano is a man of vision and detail. He just ties the whole thing together.”

Orefice hopes that his family’s donation will spur students in a positive direction, helping them to become involved and concerned citizens. “It’s about getting them to jump off in the right direction and know how to deal with world issues,” Orefice says. “Our greatest resource is the young people in our country.

“Once you get off campus, and you start talking to people, they’re not as engaged as they should be. This country is too much involved with sound bites and editorializing to get perspective on what’s really going on.”

Previously, Orefice’s generosity allowed the University to establish the Orefice Family Scholarship at FDU. The scholarship supports undergraduate students studying political science and international studies. The Orefice family has also contributed matching donations to the 42-Hour Challenge, in honor of FDU’s founding year 1942.

“As far as I’m concerned, with my family’s contribution, we’re a very small part of a very positive movement at FDU,” Orefice says.


Representatives of the Walmart Foundation, presented a check for $48,000 to support Fairleigh Dickinson University’s entrepreneurship program for veterans: Veterans Launching Ventures.  From left to right: Brenda Marquez, Walmart; Andrew Rosman, dean of FDU’s Silberman College, Kelly Jensen, Walmart field administrative assistant; Mahmoud El Hamamsy, VLV faculty member; Timur Pakay, executive director of FDU’s Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Alan Levitan, VLV mentor.


Walmart Foundation Supports FDU’s Veteran Program with Largest Donation in Program History

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship received a check from the Walmart Foundation for $48,000 to support the 2016-2017 Veterans Launching Ventures (VLV) program. This donation is the largest in the VLV’s history.

In its sixth year, the VLV program is designed to provide the skills and support veterans need to seize entrepreneurial opportunities and launch small businesses. The VLV program is offered as part of FDU’s commitment to improving the lives of veterans.

“If not for Walmart’s support, the Veterans Launching Veterans program would not be as successful as it is today. We are grateful to Walmart for providing the educational resources to support veterans at FDU,” said Andrew Rosman, dean of FDU’s Silberman College of Business.

This gift is far from the only support that Walmart has given to FDU and its veterans programs. Since 2009, Walmart has donated $270,000 to FDU and since 2009, Walmart has donated $163,000 to support the VLV program.

“Walmart strives to make a positive impact to the communities it serves and we’re grateful for the sacrifices veterans have made,” said Jennifer Hoehn, Senior Manager of Public Affairs at Walmart. “This is why Walmart is committed to support FDU in assisting vets with employment, job training and education. Investment in our nation’s veterans is imperative in making our country better.”

The VLV program offers a combination of online education and in-person instruction to teach students the fundamental entrepreneurial skills required in today’s business environment, as well as the competencies needed to launch a new business. Particular emphasis is placed on developing a robust marketing plan as well as a realistic business plan to help veterans make informed decisions to start a business or assist and prepare the student for the general business environment.

A team of experienced faculty and successful entrepreneurs work with the veterans, providing an interactive and informative experience. Over a 10-week period, VLV introduces entrepreneurship ideas and concepts, and demonstrations on how to apply those concepts to potential business opportunities. The VLV students are each matched with a mentor who will assist and guide them for 10 months following the completion of the course.