As we say goodbye to Rider’s sixth president, we have heard many words of praise for President Mordechai Rozanski. While we at The Rider News have only been at Rider for a handful of Rozanski’s 12 years, we have learned about his legacy through the eyes of those who have worked with him from the start. Despite not witnessing the entirety of his success first-hand, we feel that we are just as thankful for Rozanski and all that he has done for the university and its students.
Students may complain that Rider’s tuition is astronomical, but there is another side to that argument. Thanks to Rozanski’s determination, Rider made it through tough financial times with strength, ensuring that students were provided with increasingly generous scholarships. Many on The Rider News staff know first-hand that without the substantial scholarships we were offered, we might not be on this campus today. On behalf of all who benefited financially, thank you, Dr. Rozanski, for your hard work in cash-strapped times.
Arguably the biggest imprint of Rozanski’s legacy on both campuses will be the new state-of-the-art buildings and renovations completed during his tenure. From the cozy residence halls such as Moore Hall and new academic spaces such as North Hall and the Cullen Center to athletic facilities such as Ben Cohen Field, the Rider campuses are much better places, both functionally and aesthetically.
Many of these new constructions are not just beneficial to the Rider community, but also to the environment. Under Rozanski’s administration, Rider has committed to making every new building on campus LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). These LEED buildings include North Hall, West Village and the Cullen Center.
Another eco-friendly addition to the Lawrenceville campus is the Trigen plant, which utilizes natural gas to heat and cool the four academic buildings that surround the academic quad. Not only do these eco-friendly additions help reduce Rider’s carbon footprint, but they are also saving the university — and therefore the students — hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in utility costs.
Rozanski’s sustainability efforts went beyond infrastructure. Because of him, sustainability has become a core component of our university. Because of him, Rider was lucky enough to establish a sustainability manager position. And because of him, dozens of eco-reps have discovered their passion for protecting our planet, and have taken it into their own hands to educate the rest of the Rider family on the importance of sustainability.
Despite the enormity of climate-change issues at hand, such as terrifying droughts and intensifying natural disasters, we are the generation who must face them. By making sustainability a focus at Rider, Rozanski has played a key role in preparing us for the future.
Let us not forget that Rozanski also has helped make Rider a more diverse university. During his tenure, international enrollment has increased 141 percent, with students coming from all over the world to study at Rider. Agreements with international schools such as Sanda University in Shanghai, China, Centre d’Etudes Franco Américain de Management (CEFAM) in Lyon, France, have helped bring new cultures and worldviews to our community.
Ultimately, Rider has thrived over the last 12 years under Rozanski. We students wish we could have gotten to know him better in these past few years. His biography, we’re just learning now, is amazing. His contact with everyday students the last two years was minimal.
The environment on campus was tense in recent semesters, with financial difficulties and a strike looming. However, the Rider family stuck together — and we made it through the storm. With just a few weeks left of the semester, a legendary chapter of Rider’s history is coming to a close as Rozanski says farewell. But this ending is not sad — it is a promising new beginning.
The weekly editorial expresses the
majority opinion of The Rider News.
This week’s editorial was written by the executive editor, Christopher Brooks and the managing editor, Sarah Bergen.
Printed in the 04/22/15 issue.