By Alexis Schulz
More than 50 student scholarship recipients were able to obtain insight into the lives of their donors at Rider’s annual scholarship and stewardship luncheon on April 5.
Jonathan Meer, vice president of university advancement, started off the afternoon in the Cavalla Room by thanking donors for their continued support and commitment to giving students opportunities in higher education.
“The special folks we have with us today are those who have made scholarships a priority in their lives — our donors,” he said. “We strive to offer our students an affordable education, and the only way we can do that is through their generosity.”
Meer then introduced President Mordechai Rozanski by totaling the monetary gain in scholarship contributions since Rozanski came to Rider.
“In 2003, we awarded $27 million, and this year $61 million; that makes over half a billion dollars awarded to students in scholarship support since Mort became president in 2003,” said Meer. “That doesn’t happen without the generous support from our donors that are with us today. So Mort, as you move into the next phase of your life, you can do so knowing that you have created a lasting legacy that will certainly remain a high watermark in this university’s esteemed history.”
Hannah Bass, junior elementary education major, said she was the first recipient of the Linda Zalewitz Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and was honored to meet her donor.
“During the luncheon, I had a chance to meet with the donor and his daughter; the scholarship was set up to honor his wife and her mother,” she said. “It is such an honor to be selected for any scholarship, and I am so humbled to have had the chance to meet my donor. He was enthusiastic and loved to get to know me as a student. The luncheon was a fabulous experience, witnessing my peers performing and having a chance to talk with other award recipients at my table.”
Rozanski said that at Rider’s 150th anniversary gala on April 18 he will be able to announce more scholarships that have been raised this year.
“Increasing our scholarship support has been a priority for me at Rider, and I’m very proud to say that we have been successful because of what you folks have done,” he said. “So at the beginning of this year’s sesquicentennial celebration, I suggested to the committee in charge of celebrating our 150th anniversary that I did not want to be honored with a building made for me. I don’t have an edifice complex. I already have a building named for me elsewhere. I wanted to continue to generate scholarships for our students because it’s all about their success. And I’m pleased to report at what will be a glorious event on April 18, the gala celebrating our 150th anniversary and my departure, we will be able to announce additionally — for this year alone — having raised close to $5 million for scholarships in cash for our students.”
Rozanski also said that the aim of the luncheon was to create relationships between donors and students and to promote the generosity of those committed to giving scholarships to students in higher education.
“One of our goals today is to see how giving impacts real people like the students in this room, students sitting next to you,” he said. “Speak with them, and learn about how your gift has impacted them in a tangible way. Each and every one of them has a story to tell not just about what brought them to Rider, but what they hope to do with their degrees when they graduate. You are generous donors that help to make dreams a reality and put them on the path to success.”