Public 4-Year Schools

Rowan University Receives $5M from William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation for Business Education

The William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation has committed $5 million to Rowan University’s William G. Rohrer College of Business, Rowan President Dr. Ali Houshmand announced Wednesday, Sept. 13.

The gift will establish a permanent endowment within the Rohrer College of Business to attract, support and graduate Honors business students. The fund will be used to incentivize potential students through targeted scholarships and to create and implement recruitment and retention initiatives.

Working with the University’s Thomas N. Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in the Honors College, the Rohrer College of Business will build on its already strong population of talented and engaged students, and will continue to solidify its status as a top destination for the region’s best and brightest business students.

“One of our primary responsibilities as a public research university is to help drive the economy of the region by developing a talented stream of future business leaders,” said Houshmand. “This generous gift will help us stem the tide of students going out of state for business education, many of whom do not return.”

The gift comes at time of great growth for the Rohrer College of Business as it celebrated the opening of its new home, Business Hall, in January 2017. There are currently 2,000 business students studying in Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, HR Management, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Supply Chain Logistics and a graduate MBA program.

The college is one of a handful of business schools in the nation to hold accreditations from both the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for its business programs and from the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET for its MIS program.

“My father had a passion for education and for helping fellow businesspeople succeed,” explained Linda M. Rohrer, former Rowan Board of Trustees Chairman and trustee of the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation. “As we work to continue his legacy, this gift will ensure that the Rohrer College of Business remains competitive and can educate even more talented business students.”

A strong advocate of Rowan University, Rohrer has served on the University’s Board of Trustees since 2009, including most recently a term as chairman of the Board, and as a member of the Rohrer College of Business Executive Advisory Council. In addition, she served on the Rowan University Foundation Board from 2005–2008. The gift announcement was made at the closing of the Board meeting, where she turned over the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees to Chad Bruner.

The Rohrer College of Business is named for Rohrer’s father, William G. Rohrer, a distinguished businessman, community leader, government official, and philanthropist who died in 1989.

The gift is the latest commitment by the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation to the institution, bringing its total commitment since 1995 to $19 million.

The Foundation’s previous support includes $12 million for the College of Business: $1 million to establish the William G. Rohrer Endowed Chair in 1995, $1.02 million in 1999 to establish the William G. Rohrer Scholars in the College of Business, and $10 million in 2005 to establish the William G. Rohrer Fund for Excellence in Business.

In addition, the Foundation has provided $2 million in support for the School of Osteopathic Medicine, $500,000 for the William G. Rohrer Research Endowment, $500,000 for the School of Osteopathic Medicine Education Center Endowment, and $1 million for the William G. Rohrer Endowed Chair in Geriatrics at SOM’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging.

Impact of the gift

The Rohrer College of Business is a leader in business education and provides a hands-on student experience. Its unique approach to business education is built upon collaboration, small class sizes, project-based learning, problem solving, teamwork and entrepreneurship.

Over the last few years, 14 new faculty members have joined the Rohrer College of Business, including Eric Liguori, who was recently named Rohrer Professorial Chair of Entrepreneurship and executive director of the Rowan Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“The extraordinary generosity of the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation has been the catalyst for our college’s amazing transformation,” said Rohrer College of Business Dean Sue Lehrman. “Building on our commitment to create the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, this gift will ensure that our college will retain its competitive advantage. We are grateful for the Foundation’s continued investment in the future of business education at Rowan.”

“A-3” Opens on Rowan Boulevard

The latest and largest phase on Rowan Boulevard opened Aug. 23, another piece in the $400 million project that extends the University’s presence downtown, supports Glassboro economically and furthers the borough’s draw as a regional destination.

The four-building complex, built by Nexus Properties of Lawrenceville and Glassboro, provides classrooms and offices for the College of Communication & Creative Arts (CCCA), luxury student and market rate housing, vast amounts of ground floor retail space, Rowan Boulevard’s second parking garage and much more.

The complex contains seven classrooms for the CCCA at 260 Victoria Street where it will house the departments of Writing Arts and Communication Studies, further integrating CCCA into Glassboro’s downtown following the 2015 relocation of the dean’s office, the departments of Journalism and Public Relations & Advertising, and the Rowan University Art Gallery into neighboring properties.

One of several speakers featured ahead of a formal ribbon cutting, President Ali Houshmand was credited with not only supporting the project but with proving the vision to drive its success. He noted that A-3 adds to a project that’s redefining Glassboro as a true college community, a physical joining of town-gown that provides greater opportunities for learning, living, dining and shopping just off campus.

“This town is going to be glorious,” he said, looking about, cranes overhead for the next phase shadowing the celebration. “And, despite all this beauty, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Construction of Rowan Boulevard began in 2008. Since then, numerous buildings have opened along the one-third mile corridor, a public-private-public partnership between Rowan, private developers and the Borough of Glassboro.

The A-3 portion includes four buildings, “230 Victoria,” a six-story structure with 413 student beds, the 18,000 square-foot Rowan fitness center, 30,000 square feet of office and classroom space, and 14,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space; “223 West High Street,” a four-story, 70,000-square-foot building with 144 student beds and 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space; “Park Place South,” a four-story, 70,000-square-foot building with 37 luxury apartments for non-students and 14,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space; and “Mick Drive Parking Garage,” a 934-space structure adjacent to 230 Victoria, 223 West High Street, and Park Place South.

The new Rowan University fitness center at 232 Victoria Street features banks of cardio equipment, high-end Precor resistance machines and a wide variety of free weights, benches and other exercise gear.

Since construction of Rowan Boulevard began, Rowan has added its two medical schools, built numerous buildings on its Glassboro and Camden campuses, and roughly doubled enrollment from about 9,000 students to about 18,000.

“We are now one of the fastest growing institutions, if not the fastest, in the nation,” Houshmand said.

Nexus Chief Operations Officer Dante Germano, a Glassboro native, said his involvement with the Rowan Boulevard project is especially rewarding because it is redefining his hometown.

He said the A-3 project alone was a $110 million investment. Rowan Boulevard is expected to be complete next year with the opening of the neighboring A-4 parcel but additional construction planned for downtown includes a theater building with classes for the CCCA, additional student housing and retail space.

“There’s plenty more to come,” Germano said.