CLAES marking 50th anniversary

By Tara Cirincione

Let the festivities begin as Rider University’s College of Liberal Arts, Education and Sciences (CLAES) celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Various events from different areas of liberal arts are planned beginning this month and will culminate in a “big celebration” in June 2012, according to Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Sciences Dr. Patricia Mosto.

CLEAS was first established in 1962 by President Moore ’27 Today, The Fine Arts building houses many of the CLAES classes.

“We are doing a series of events throughout the year, and in each event we will invite alums related to it,” Mosto said.

The events aim to reconnect alumi with each other and faculty, according to Mosto.

“I can tell you that I have worked at four institutions now, and I have never seen such a dedicated faculty to the students,” Mosto said. “That is the reason that most attracts me to Rider. I see the one-on-one detail that we provide to the students.”

Notable alumni include film critic Gerald Peary ’64, who will be the keynote speaker at Rider’s Media and Film Symposium: Films from the ’60s and will present his short film For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism. Comedian and host of NBC’s The Marriage Ref, Tom Papa ’90, will perform at the Reunion Weekend in 2012.

President Franklin F. Moore ’27 announced the separation of Rider College into five separate schools for the 1962-1963 school year to the Board of Trustees in 1961. With that, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences was born.

Within its first year, the school was divided into three academic sections — humanities, natural sciences and social sciences — under the College’s first dean, Dr. Lawrence O. Ealy.

Today, CLAES, the largest of Rider’s four colleges, houses 27 majors, 30 minors and 14 departments, as well as seven masters’ degree programs and two educational degree programs.
Rider’s theater program began in 1959 with the creation of Theatre ’59, Rider’s first formal instruction in theater education. Today, Rider has expanded its fine and performing arts programs with the construction of the Yvonne Theater and the addition of arts administration, dance, theater, music and musical theater majors.

President Frank Elliot developed the School of Education within five years of his installation as president in 1969. The School of Education was officially added to the School of Liberal Arts to form CLAES in 1997.

Mosto discusses the value of a liberal arts education in her article “Now, More than Ever,” found in the current issue of Rider Magazine, the university’s alumni magazine.

“Liberal education transforms students by providing them with a fuller life of the mind, inspiring them to question goals and values, and helping them to better understand themselves and their place in the world,” Mosto writes. “It is an approach to learning that empowers and prepares students to deal with complexity, diversity and change.”

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