Dear alumni and friends,
One fact jumped out at me while reading this issue of Rider magazine.
When the recently renamed Mike and Patti Hennessy Science and Technology Center was originally constructed in 1961, Rider didn’t offer a single science major. While students could take science classes, two years passed before Rider launched its first science programs, biology and chemistry.
All these years later, we can see how the decision to break ground on a building dedicated to science was much more consequential than simply launching two programs. It created a new foundation that Rider could build upon for the next 60 years and beyond.
And build upon it we have. Today, Rider offers 17 science programs. Our recently expanded science center is now home to some of our most popular and exciting academic programs, such as computer science, cybersecurity and exercise science. In our newest labs, students are simulating cyber attacks, building robots and performing virtual dissections.
That’s why campus construction, such as the new wing of the science center, is so important. New and upgraded facilities help Rider attract new students and compete against our peer institutions. Other strategic priorities, such as new academic program development, serve the same end. To underscore the point, consider the fact that the new academic programs Rider has launched since 2016 now represent 17% of our total enrollment. Growing our endowment, which we have been able to do by about 36% since 2015, is also very important since this is a key to help keep a Rider education affordable.
In 1961, investing in yet-to-be created science programs could have been seen as foolishly impractical. But imagine where Rider would be today if yesterday’s leaders lacked the vision and will to bring about this kind of long-term positive change. I look forward to the many positive changes to come at Rider in the future as a result of what we’re doing today.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.
President, Rider University