Rowan to Award Honorary Degrees at May 13 Graduation


During commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 13, Rowan University will issue honorary doctor of humanities degrees to the late William H. Myers and to civic leaders and philanthropists Allen and Joan

Also will Present Distinguished Alumnus Award

During commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 13, Rowan University will issue honorary doctor of humanities degrees to the late William H. Myers and to civic leaders and philanthropists Allen and Joan Bildner.

For more than 25 years, Mr. Myers dedicated himself to Rowan University. Assistant dean of students at the time of his death at age 48 in 2003, Mr. Myers worked for 22 of his 26 years at Rowan in The Educational Opportunity Fund/Maximizing Academic Potential (EOF/MAP) office. Exceptionally active on campus, Mr. Myers served on numerous committees. He was a senator for the University Senate and professional staff subcommittee chair and council delegate for the American Federation of Teachers union. He volunteered for the University Hearing Board and supported student leadership programs.

He was a mentor for hundreds of students. Mr. Myers served as the co-director and developer of the Dr. Harley E. Flack Student Mentoring Program as well as co-developer of the EOF/MAP Summer Institute?s Student Leadership Conference. He was co-advisor for several classes and active with homecoming committees, Peer Referral and Orientation Staff, and Senior Farewell Week. He advised Greek organizations on campus and worked with the Inter-Greek Council and the Latin Male Caucus. He was active with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at state and regional levels.

Mr. Myers received many awards, including the State Educational Opportunity Fund Champion Award from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. Last fall, the University named the late Glassboro resident the recipient of the third annual Joseph A. Barnes Award for Outstanding Service.

The Bildners are deeply committed to addressing issues of intolerance and bigotry in the United States. The Bildners have used their professional success as a springboard for achieving meaningful social change. They recently founded the Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University and the New Jersey Campus Diversity Initiatives (NJCDI), which provide to Rowan University and seven other New Jersey higher education institutions funds to implement programs that promote and build understanding and reduce prejudice and bigotry among college students. The Bildner Family Foundation, based in Livingston, also promotes racial and ethnic understanding by supporting the Anti-Defamation League?s ?A World of Difference? and ?Facing History and Ourselves? tolerance education programs for schools.

The Bildners also serve the community through leadership on boards and committees for nonprofit organizations, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council; Prevent Blindness New Jersey; New Jersey Israel Commission; and the Rutgers Board of Governors, Trustees and Overseers. Allen has been honored with the National Conference of Community and Justice?s Charles Even Hughes Humanitarian Award and Joan with the Volunteer of the Year Award from the National Society of Fundraising Executives of New Jersey. Allen and Joan Bildner currently serve as chairman and president, respectively, of SME, Co, Inc., and are former corporate officers with Kings Super Markets, Inc.

Rowan will present its Distinguished Alumnus Award to Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, Class of 1962 and dean and professor at Florida International University School of Journalism and Mass Communication in North Miami.

Kopenhaver, originally from Point Pleasant, found her niche in writing as a Glassboro State College journalism major. After four years at The Whit, the past president of Student Publications received a fellowship at the University of Wisconsin. There, she earned her master?s degree in journalism before pursuing her doctorate in education at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Kopenhaver has filled many roles throughout her career, including journalism educator, student publications advisor, public relations director, newspaper reporter and editor. She has published three monographs and many articles featured in journals and other publications, including ?Quill,? ?Contemporary Education? and ?Community College Journalist.?

Associate editor of ?College Media Review? and ?FIU Hospitality Review,? Kopenhaver has also reviewed books for ?J/MC Educator? and served on the editorial board of ?Public Relations Research Annual.? She reviews manuscripts for a number of academic journals, including ?Communication Law and Policy.? A member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Kopenhaver has participated on numerous committees and served as president of the organization. She was one of the first women inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists and was named to the National College Media Adviser Hall of Fame in 1994. She has served as both president and vice president of the College Media Advisers and authored its Code of Professional Standards and Code of Ethics.

Kopenhaver is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 2000 Honors Lecturer by the Scholastic Journalism Division, the 2001 AEJMC?s Distinguished Leadership Award and the Wells Memorial Key?the highest honor given each year by the Society of Professional Journalists for service to the Society.

An expert in the area of press ethics and law, Kopenhaver stresses the importance of ethics in journalism and works to bring professional development and continuing education to journalists across the country, teaching seminars and workshops for high school and college student publications advisers and editors.