Dear alumni and friends,
The calendar doesn’t officially mark the new year until January. For many of us though, returning to school in the fall, and saying goodbye to summer vacation, often feels like the truer mark of one year ending and a new one beginning.
As we experience this moment at Rider, I’m grateful for the consistency of our rich traditions, our faith in the transformative power of education and our pursuit of scholarly inquiry. I’m equally grateful for our courage to embrace what’s new.
This issue of Rider magazine brings to light some instances where embracing change is particularly meaningful.
In the faculty spotlight, Dr. Elizabeth Hawthorne discusses how she’s working to change the cybersecurity workforce. She shares that a shortage of cybersecurity professionals is predicted to exceed more than three million people, making the world more vulnerable to cybercrime. Hawthorne has worked to help increase the number of women working in the field of cybersecurity from 11% to 25%, a change that she hopes continues to grow.
In a profile, we learn about how a young alumna’s life changed dramatically with a cancer diagnosis. In response, Lorelei Colbert ’14 launched a kindness challenge to coincide with her chemotherapy treatments, hoping to change the world with thousands of simple acts.
In the cover story, we finally see Benjamin Van Cleve in his full complexity. The namesake of a centuries-old house on campus, Van Cleve lived in the age of the American Revolution. He fought and worked for liberty while also, we have recently learned, owning enslaved people. For too long this insightful history has remained obscure and unexamined. I’m encouraged by those who want to face these painful truths of our shared history, learn from them and grow.
As we look ahead to the many new school years to come, these are the kinds of change I hope we can all embrace with courage, openness and hope. These are the kinds of change that will make Rider, and our greater society, a truer and more compassionate place.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.
President, Rider University