Letter to the Editor: Tribute to dear friend

Dr. David Rebovich, a valued member of our Rider community, passed away suddenly last Friday. Many will remember David, or as I always called him, Dr. Reb, as a talented, well-respected and influential political scientist, and as an esteemed faculty member and colleague. Dr. Reb was indeed all of these things. But even more important, he was a loving father and caring mentor to countless students, and to me, a very special friend.

I worked with Dr. Reb for more than 28 years, including 12 in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. It was during this time that I came to know Dr. Reb as a remarkable individual, as a scholar and capable administrator who understood the value of friends and family. No matter how deeply involved he was with academic and administrative work, he never missed an opportunity to share stories about his daughter, Melissa, and to listen intently to updates about my children. He also loved to talk about his family and friends and the good times he had growing up in his home town, Perth Amboy. There is no doubt, however, that he took the greatest pride in Melissa. He beamed when he spoke of her and was so happy she decided to attend Rider this past fall. It meant a lot to him to have Missy close by. Dr. Reb knew what is truly precious in life.

Dr. Reb’s enthusiasm for teaching and sharing his knowledge of New Jersey politics was always evident. Students looked forward to his classes, even though they were always scheduled first thing in the morning.

Of course, we all know how much fun it was to be in Dr. Reb’s company. Dr. Reb had a great sense of humor to say the least. He knew how naïve I can be, and often took advantage of this to tease me or heighten the effect of one of his pranks or fabricated stories. I never minded though. He loved to make people laugh and used humor to lift our spirits and brighten our days. Is it any wonder that we enjoyed his frequent visits to the Dean’s Office?

Above all else, to me and many others, Dr. Reb was a loyal friend — the kind of person you could call on any time and count on for support no matter what the circumstances. Dr. Reb was one of a kind, a once-in-a-lifetime friend, and I will miss him very much.

— Barbara Fruscione
Assistant Dean, College of Liberal Arts, Education and Sciences

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