Rider University reports record fundraising for second year

University raised more than $20 million for scholarships and other initiatives
Diane Cornell

Rider donors committed a record amount to the University last fiscal year, raising more than $20.5 million in 2018-19 to create scholarships and opportunities for students and improve campus facilities. The total was the most raised in Rider history, surpassing last year’s record by more than $7 million.

“This second year of record-breaking fundraising shows how much our alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents and students value Rider and are committed to its future,” says University President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D. “We are profoundly grateful for that support and their generosity.”

Thousands of donors contributed to the effort, with several alumni bolstering fundraising by stepping forward with particularly generous gifts. Among the year’s highlights:

•William M. Rue '69 and his wife, Joan, continued their long-time support of student scholarship with a gift to the Rider University endowment. Over the past 20 years, the Rues have helped more than 40 students pay for their education with their contributions to the William M. and Joan Rue Endowed Scholarship.

• Joan C. Mazzotti ’72 and her husband, Michael C. Kelly, established an endowment to create a need-based scholarship for first-generation-to-college, underrepresented students. Currently, one in three Rider students are the first generation in their families to attend college.

• Barry Bierenbaum ’76 and his wife, Gail, created an endowment for scholarships and programming for the Gail Bierenbaum Women’s Leadership Council. The Council is dedicated to developing the next generation of Rider women leaders.

• Wayne ’72 and Jill Hammer ’72 Canastra supported athletic facility renovations, including a major refurbishment of the campus’ Richard A. Coppola pool, home to the champion Broncs men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Last season, the men’s swimming and diving team won its 8th consecutive MAAC championship.

In addition, the University received a planned gift from the estate of Joseph and Dorothy Stritesky Kovacs. The funds are to be used to support The Joseph ’61 and Dorothy Stritesky ’47 Kovacs Scholarship for voice and organ students at Rider’s Westminster Choir College.

In the last two years, the University has raised more than $33 million, with more than $10 million for the University’s endowment.

“As a small, private university, we must rely upon our donors to increase scholarship support for students of modest means, and to launch new initiatives and programs,” says Karin Klim, vice president for University Advancement. “I am heartened by the generosity of our donors and their belief that a Rider education is a transformative experience.”