Three alumni were recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to Rider University at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 12, during the 2010 Reunion Weekend on the Lawrenceville campus.
Jonathan Meer, vice president for University Advancement, recognized Thomas Marino ’69 as the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award; Helen Napoli Cabrera ’56 as the recipient of the 2010 Gordon E. Prichard Award for Volunteer Service; and Lewis Rosenblum ’73 as the recipient of the 2010 Harold L. Conover Leadership Award.
The awards are bestowed annually by the board of directors of the Rider University Alumni Association and by faculty and administrative committees representing each of the four academic colleges on the University’s Lawrenceville campus.
Thomas Marino ’69
Thomas Marino was recognized for his exceptional professional achievements with J.H. Cohn, the largest independently owned CPA firm in New Jersey and the 13th largest in the United States. Currently, Marino serves as chief executive officer and his previous posts with J.H. Cohn have included managing partner, partner-in-charge – audit department, management committee and partner. Under his leadership, J.H. Cohn has earned numerous distinctions, including being named one of the 50 fastest growing companies by NJBIZ, and it produces annual revenues upward of $220 million.
In 2004, Marino was honored by the Anti-Defamation League’s Banking and Accounting Division as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the accounting profession for promoting the philosophy of fair treatment. Then, in 2006, he was named to Accounting Today magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People” in accounting.
While Marino was unable to attend the awards ceremony, Meer shared Marino’s remarks on receiving the honor.
“I can honestly say that after four years at Rider and 40 years at J.H. Cohn LLP, this is the greatest honor that has ever been bestowed upon me,” wrote Marino, adding that he had some of the toughest professors that any university could have. “The thing was, you did learn from them and they did prepare you for what was to come.”
The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented by the Alumni Association for exceptional attainments in life by an individual which reflect credit to the University.
Helen Napoli Cabrera ’56
As a scholarship student at Rider, Helen Napoli Cabrera was involved in numerous activities as a member of the Zeta Mu Epsilon sorority, captain of the women’s basketball team and as the Mayfair Queen runner-up at the annual Mayfair Ball.
Cabrera has distinguished herself as an alumna by continuing to give her time, talent and energy to Rider. She plays an integral part in the planning and execution of numerous University functions and alumni events, including Reunion Weekend, the Racquet and Tennis Dinner, the Scholarship and Stewardship Luncheon, and the Rider ZME/DZ reunion in October 2009.
After Cabrera accepted the award at the ceremony, she recalled the excitement she felt when she learned that she had received a full scholarship to Rider. It was not until 10 years after she graduated, while helping her mother clean out her parents’ house, that she discovered that she had only received a partial scholarship and her parents had paid the remainder of her tuition. Cabrera established the Anthony P. and Helen S. Napoli Endowed Scholarship as a tribute to her late parents and the staff at Rider. The scholarship is given annually to a Rider junior enrolled in the English program who maintains at least a 3.0 GPA and demonstrates financial need and merit.
“In my Rider education, in my Rider life, I saw nothing but dedication to the future of our country,” Cabrera said.
The Gordon E. Prichard Award for Volunteer Service was established in memory of Prichard, who was involved in numerous student activities as an undergraduate and later served as a member of the Alumni Association Board.
Lewis Rosenblum ’73
Lewis Rosenblum is considered to be one of the most successful trial attorneys in the nation. He served as an Orange County prosecutor for 28 years, beginning as a deputy district attorney and eventually serving as assistant district attorney. He spent 11 years as a senior trial attorney on the D.A.’s Office Homicide Unit, where he prosecuted 64 defendants and secured 64 convictions. In 2009, Rosenblum opened the Law Office of Lewis R. Rosenblum in Santa Ana, California, where he now serves as a defense attorney.
“I owe to almost everything in my life to Rider,” said Rosenblum after he was presented with the award.
Rosenblum shared how he applied to 13 different colleges, including Rider, and was rejected from every one of them. He knew he had to make something of himself, so he met with Rider admissions and asked for another chance. Admissions finally agreed that if he received grades of “C” or better in two summer courses, he would be admitted to campus.
Once admitted, Rosenblum not only was able pick up two work study positions, but he met his roommate, John Nosal ’73, who played such impact on his life as a friend and mentor. As a result of their relationship, Rosenblum became more involved on campus and eventually enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Later, while working out in a California gym, he was recruited to play on the Orange County District Attorney Office’s baseball team. His teammates’ work inspired him to apply to law school, and he was eventually hired by the DA’s office.
“I never would have dreamed I would be where I am at today. This is full circle for me,” said Rosenblum to those in attendance, including Nosal. “I’m happy that I have this opportunity to thank you for what you have done for me. I would not be here without Rider.”
The Harold L. Conover Leadership Award was established to recognize the first president of the Alumni Association, who was also Board of Trustees member.