Rowan University Announces $1 Million Gift for Planetarium

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Rowan University announced Wednesday that it received a $1 million gift from alumni Fredric (Ric) Edelman and Jean McMenamin Edelman to use toward the enhancement of the planetarium in the new science

Rowan University announced Wednesday that it received a $1 million gift from alumni Fredric (Ric) Edelman and Jean McMenamin Edelman to use toward the enhancement of the planetarium in the new science building, currently under construction. It is the largest gift of any undergraduate alumni in Rowan?s history. In light of this generous gift, the Rowan University Board of Trustees is expected to name the planetarium the Frederick and Jean Edelman Planetarium at its meeting this evening.

<+>This is a wonderful day in Rowan?s history. This is the first time that we?ve had alumni giving us a gift this large<+> said Rowan University President Donald Farish. <+>It is through the generosity of our alumni and friends that this University becomes a better place.<+>

In 1987, Ric, a 1980 graduate, and Jean, a 1981 graduate, founded The Edelman Financial Center Inc., consisting of Edelman Financial Services Inc., Edelman Mortgage Services Inc. and Edelman Business Services Inc. The Center, based in Fairfax, Virginia, has won more than 40 professional, business and community service awards since it began.

In 1994, Washingtonian magazine named Ric one of the top financial experts in the Washington, D.C. area. Four years later, Ric was appointed by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to serve at the National Summit on Retirement Saving. He has written the best-selling books <+>The Truth About Money<+> and <+>Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth,<+> has been featured in numerous magazines and has spoken to television news media throughout the country. He also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Rowan University in 1999 and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994.

<+>Today is not an honor for me, today is a privilege,<+> said Ric Edelman. <+>It is astounding to us that we are able to make this gift to the University. It is a privilege that we can, in fact, do it and that we can see that the University is in such a condition to be able to take such wonderful advantage of it. That is what we find so tremendously exciting, and exciting is really the word for it and privilege is indeed, and also a sense of obligation. We can both tie everything that we have today, everything that we do today directly to our career and experience at what was Glassboro State College.<+>

Jean currently serves as president of Edelman Business Services. She also serves on the board of the Northern Virginia Family Service. While at Rowan, Jean served as the first female president of the University?s Student Government Association (SGA). Jean received the University?s Distinguished Alumnus award in 1994.

<+>Who would have guessed that a sleepy state college ? Glassboro State ? had Henry Rowan and Don Farish in its future,<+> said Jean Edelman, as she recalled her years as student at the University. <+>What they have seen for this University is just amazing and we are so proud and so excited to be a part of it.<+>

The new, three-story $45 million, state-of-the-art science building will house the Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Physics departments, each on its own floor. In addition to the planetarium, the building also will house a greenhouse and observation deck that will include a 16-inch telescope that will feed live celestial images to the planetarium?s screen as well as to an Internet site.

The new Ric and Jean Edelman Planetarium, as well as the rest of Rowan?s new science building, is scheduled to be completed in January 2003.

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