Dr. Marianne Stankiewicz Battista ’56, ’70, a giant of Rider's accounting program, dies at 85

Battista helped the program gain national visibility
Adam Grybowski

Dr. Marianne Stankiewicz Battista ’56, ’70, an associate professor emerita of accounting who helped Rider University’s accounting program gain national visibility, died on June 27. She was 85.

She taught accounting at the undergraduate and graduate level for 24 years at Rider until her retirement in the mid-1990s. Since then, she was recognized repeatedly for her service to the University and the contributions she made to Rider independently and in partnership with her husband, George L. Battista ’43.

"We have received many notes of sadness over the loss of Dr. Battista and notes of gratitude for the life lessons and business knowledge from the Rider alumni who knew her," says Dr. Evelyn A. McDowell, chair of Rider's Department of Accounting and an associate professor. "In the accounting department and the Accounting Advisory Council, we are all very grateful to have had the chance to honor her while she was with us. She will be lovingly remembered."

In 2013, the University’s Accounting Advisory Council inducted Battista as one of four successful alumni into the Accounting Hall of Fame for her significant contributions in the field of accounting, including enhancing the image of accountants and making noteworthy volunteer efforts outside the workplace. She received the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

On the occasion of Rider’s 150th anniversary, Battista was selected to receive an honorary Sesquicentennial Medal of Excellence. In bestowing the medal, Mordechai Rozanski, who at the time was Rider's president, said, “Over our 150 years, thousands of faculty members, if not tens of thousands, have walked our halls, presided over our classrooms and connected with our students. Only a handful of them have had the profound positive impact on the course of a Rider education similar to that of Marianne.”

Battista was born on Dec. 6, 1934, in Trenton, N.J. She received a bachelor's and a master's from Rider, as well as a doctorate from Temple University. She was called to teach after a successful career as a public accountant. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, she was accomplished at needlepoint and enjoyed playing Scrabble, bridge and swimming.

Battista was a resident of Bordentown, N.J. for 51 years and of Florence, N.J. for nine years. Most recently she resided in Hightstown, N.J. "She is known in all of the communities in which she lived for her wit, her compassion and her religious faith," notes her official obituary.

In October 1997, accounting students, family and friends established the George and Marianne Battista Scholarship Fund in recognition of the many accomplishments made by the Battistas during their tenure at Rider. Through this fund, the significant achievements of Marianne and George, who was a professor, department chair, associate dean and acting dean, continue to be honored.

"When alumni reminisce about what they remember most fondly of their time at Rider, the Battista name comes up a lot," says Dr. Eugene Kutcher, dean of the Norm Brodsky College of Business. "Marianne is universally regarded as a talented, dedicated and beloved member of our college family."

Battista was predeceased by her husband, George Battista, and her sisters, Lillian Stankiewicz Iero and Carolyn Stankiewicz Deodato. She is survived by her sister, Mildred Stankiewicz Oswald; her sons, Gregory Battista and wife Melissa; Dr. Robert Battista and wife Tracy; Dan Battista and wife Dori; and many loving grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A celebration of life was held on July 6 in Bordentown, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Bordentown Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Rider College George and Marianne Battista Scholarship at or the American Cancer Society.