Campus changes reflect increasing alumni donations

By Lauren Minore 

Rider President Gregory Dell’Omo gathered with alumni, students, faculty and staff members on Sept. 10 to celebrate the renaming of the West Village apartments in honor of ‘74 graduate Steven R. Beckett and Sharon A. McDonald-Beckett. 

“On behalf of our students, faculty, staff and our board of trustees, I would like to thank Steven and Sharon for their commitment to Rider and for ensuring our students to receive the life-changing benefits that a college education provides,” said Dell’Omo, as he addressed members of the Rider community at the ceremony. 

Over the past year, several buildings and facilities across the Lawrenceville campus have been renamed and, in some cases, renovated to honor significant donations from Rider alumni. Some of these include the name change and renovations to the athletic facility formerly known as the Maurer Center to the Canastra Health and Sports Center and the renaming of academic building Memorial Hall to Bierenbaum Fisher Hall.

Beginning with the notable renaming of North Hall to Lynch Adler Hall in Oct. 2018, after a $5.5 million gift from ‘75 alumnus Thomas J. Lynch, community members have noticed the trend in honoring alumni by offering name recognition on buildings.

“One of the real pleasures of being a college president is meeting highly successful and accomplished alumni, like Steven,” Dell’Omo said in his speech honoring Steven Beckett. 

According to Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Kristine Brown, $12.1 million in gifts and pledges were received from alumni in the past year. She said the recent and future campus dedications recognize Rider’s “most generous” donors.  

Rider is actively partnering with alumni and other friends of the university to seek support for its strategic plan, according to Brown. Contributions tend to support campus enhancements as well as new construction, scholarships, Rider’s endowment and academic and community programs. Brown said that all of these initiatives positively impact students. 

“The university is fortunate to have many alumni who serve on Rider councils and committees, are featured in articles, who come back and speak to classes or attend special events,” Brown said. “The Scholarship Luncheon each spring is another good example of how we continue to honor alumni by inviting them to this special event to be recognized and meet with scholarship recipients from throughout the university.”

Brown said Rider greatly values its alumni engagement and involvement, and, in 2020, hopes to launch a new event to appreciate its volunteers and donors.

“I think it’s important for the university to have a long-lasting connection with alumni because it proves that we want to build strong connections and a greater sense of community here at Rider,” senior political science major Charles Palmer said. “However, as a student, [the name changes of buildings] are something you have to get used to.” 

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