Rider Athletics to Dedicate Plaque in Memory of Earle Rommel '67

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rider University will honor the memory of Earle Rommel ’67 prior to Rider’s baseball game against St. Joseph’s University at Sonny Pittaro Field on Tuesday, April 27. The Dedication Ceremony will begin at 3 p.m., with Rider’s game against St. Joseph’s starting at 3:30 p.m. A plaque will be displayed in Rommel’s honor during the Dedication Ceremony.

Rommel was a great supporter of Rider baseball for nearly four decades, serving as sports information director from 1972 to 1979, while also devoting time to the Athletic Council. He is perhaps best recalled as the University’s director of public relations from 1979 until his retirement in 2007.

“Earle was a good friend and a loyal supporter of Rider Athletics, and was a great friend of Rider baseball, so when (former Rider head baseball coach) Sonny Pittaro came to me with the idea to honor Earle this way, it was something we were so happy to do,” said Don Harnum, director of Athletics. “This was Sonny’s field, and he and Earle were such great friends, so it was a privilege to accommodate Sonny’s request.”

Rommel’s affiliation with Rider began in 1963, when he first enrolled as a freshman. Following his 1967 graduation, and a stint as a sports reporter at the North Penn Reporter and then at the Trenton Times, he served his country in Vietnam, earning two bronze stars and an air medal as a counterintelligence special agent.

Upon his return, Rommel began work at Rider, first as assistant director of public relations, before being named sports information director. He returned to the Office of Public Relations in 1979 as its director, a post he held for nearly 30 years. He earned the University’s Frank N. Elliot Award for Distinguished Service in 1997.

Well known and widely recognized in the community beyond Rider’s two campuses, Rommel was actively involved in a number of civic organizations and activities, including the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair, the Rotary Club of Hamilton Township, the Lawrence Township Tricentennial Committee, Heritage Days and as the United Way campus campaign chair.

To the media, Earle Rommel was the consummate professional and the face of Rider for a generation. To his friends in the Rider community, he was a kind, unassuming and compassionate gentleman. A devoted fan of all Broncs teams, Rommel’s love for Rider University was infectious and inspiring.

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