Statement from Dean Marshall Onofrio


On Nov. 6, The Rider News published an article in which a student claimed I made a statement that denigrated the alumni of Westminster Choir College.

That statement is not true. The Rider News, the University's student newspaper, failed to contact me to substantiate the claim before printing it. Had they done so, I would have issued a flat denial.

I hope that all members of the greater Westminster community with whom I have interacted over the past 13 years would attest to the respect I have continually shown to all constituents, including our alumni. My relationship with the Westminster Choir College alumni has remained collegial and professional throughout my time at Rider University. I have cited on many occasions their dedication, their reputation in the international music community and the extraordinary number of them who contribute each year to the College.

I have requested that The Rider News correct the record. I'm hopeful that the newspaper staff will act quickly and that each of us can learn from this experience and gain a greater understanding of how powerfully misinformation can spread and distort perceptions. Due to this false statement, my reputation has been tarnished widely on social media. I ask that all individuals who have shared this false statement on social media remove it immediately.

For all who read the false claim attributed to me today, I want to state unequivocally my belief that alumni, through their experience as Westminster Choir College students, their singular accomplishments as professionals and their incomparable devotion to the College, embody the highest level of musical achievement, and I am honored to be associated with them as dean.


Dr. Marshall Onofrio
Westminster College of the Arts