Dr. Schwartz was the founder and chairman of the Department of Communication and Journalism
Kristine A. Brown

Howard Schwartz, the former chair of Rider's Communication Department, meets with students outside of Fine Arts.

Dr. Howard Schwartz, 76, professor emeritus who founded the Department of Communication and Journalism at Rider University, passed away on Saturday, June 28, after a long and brave battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Rider University President Mordechai Rozanski said, “I was greatly saddened by Howard’s passing. He was a wonderful colleague and friend, beloved by the many generations of students he taught, advised and mentored.”

Dr. Schwartz was born in Bridgeport, Conn., on July 2, 1937. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in broadcasting and speech from Emerson College in Boston, Mass. He served as debate coach and speech instructor at New York University from 1961-1962, then went on to complete his doctoral studies at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., from 1962-1965.

Soon after, Dr. Schwartz began teaching at the University of Maryland. In 1968 he joined Rider, where he taught for the next 37 years. During his tenure at Rider, Dr. Schwartz founded the Department of Communication and Journalism and served as its chairman until his retirement in 2005. He also served as president of the Rider Faculty Senate and received the Lindbach Distinguished Teaching Award in 1982. Upon his retirement, the New Jersey Assembly and Senate honored Dr. Schwartz with a joint resolution praising him for his many accomplishments.

Dr. Schwartz had a deep and personal love for Rider’s Equal Opportunity Program, which he helped develop in 1969. Along with his wife, Harriett, also a Rider professor, he mentored innumerable students who were able to attend college through the EOP. In 2005, he was designated a New Jersey State EOP Champion and in 2009 honored by the New Jersey Equal Opportunity board of directors as  “A Fortunate Find.”

Rozanski added, “Throughout my tenure, I have heard numerous alumni recount stories of how Howard shaped their lives. He had a big heart, and was a transformational member of the Rider community. We share our deepest condolences with Howard’s wife, Harriett, and his extended family. He will be greatly missed.”

In addition to his wife, Dr. Schwartz is survived by his daughters, Joanne Schwartz and Susan Kushner, son-in-law David Kushner, and granddaughters Samantha and Mia Kushner.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 1, at 1 p.m. at The Jewish Center, 435 Nassau St., Princeton. Burial will follow at Fountain Lawn Memorial Park, Ewing Township. A period of mourning will be observed at the Schwartz residence in Pennington. A memorial service will be held at Rider University at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Howard Schwartz Scholarship Fund, c/o Rider University, Office of University Advancement.