Letter to the Editor: Alum values Rider degree

I am a Rider graduate, and I, along with my fellow alumni, have been watching things closely regarding the changes at the university. In the last few weeks, I have read articles sent to me by friends and posts on social media that have been both positive and negative. I may be a decade removed but I feel like I need to mention some things.
I understand these changes are going to happen no matter what and that they happen all the time. Yes, I believe that the degree won’t be devalued just as the degrees from people I knew who went to Rider when it was still Rider College don’t have devalued degrees.
To the students of Rider University, I must say this: Your provost is correct about the degree not being devalued and about it carrying the Rider name; however, I can fully understand your feelings. I know some of you will feel that you must pursue your education elsewhere and that’s OK. But you must remember this: You are learning not just for a career but for your life.
Also, I should point out that your university experience is about more than sitting in a class. It is about the experiences you have and the friendships you forge. Can I be perfectly honest with you? I learned a lot at Rider and not all of it was in a class. The good and bad experiences and friendships that I made lasted me much more than any time I spent in a lecture hall or classroom listening to a professor (my apologies to any of the professors that still might be at RU from when I graduated).
I also read the statements from President Dell’Omo and I can understand why he is making these changes,  but I hope and pray that he keeps (as he put it in a town hall with students) that “practicality and relevance for students” alive while showing that Rider is a “vibrant, successful, exciting and progressive” university. Sir, I want you to know that practicality and relevance is why myself and many others like me have graduated from Rider. I wish you luck in your work as I can understand this is no simple undertaking.
And finally for the students, you’re going to be OK no matter what choice you make. Please don’t let this bump in your educational career ruin it. As I said, if you go somewhere else, it’s OK and if you stay at Rider, that’s OK, too. I was a first-generation college graduate and I’m going to give you the same piece of advice that I was given when it took me a little longer than expected to get my B.A.: When you go across that stage at your graduation, remember that the degree you get is irrevocable. I wish you all luck and hope you have much success.

—Marie Brophy ’05
Journalism major
Gender Studies minor

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