Edelmans again donate to Rowan's planetarium

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Rowan University alumni and benefactors Ric Edelman and Jean McMenamin Edelman, of Great Falls, Va., once again are contributing to science education in South Jersey by donating $54,000 to the Rowan U

Rowan University alumni and benefactors Ric Edelman and Jean McMenamin Edelman, of Great Falls, Va., once again are contributing to science education in South Jersey by donating $54,000 to the Rowan University Foundation to cover admission for elementary school children to the Fredric and Jean Edelman Planetarium in Rowan's Science Hall.

The Edelmans donated $1 million to the Foundation in 2002 for the enhancement of the planetarium, the largest gift made by any undergraduate alumni in Rowan's history.

Their latest gift will make it possible for elementary schools to bring their students to a state-of-the-art facility without any charge to see a variety of astronomy programs that will support their classroom work. Since the planetarium opened in spring 2004, approximately 23,000 people have visited, including school groups; Rowan students; the general public; and special groups, from senior citizens to Brownies and a NASA Explorers Club to a professional planetarium association.

In announcing the latest contribution, Rowan University Foundation Executive Director Dr. Philip Tumminia said, "Both the Edelmans' gifts will help us bring science to the South Jersey public, and this latest gift will really have an impact on the children ? kids who otherwise might never have an opportunity to explore the stars." Tumminia said he expects the funds to cover about a year of visits, with schools admitted on a first-come, first-served basis while the funds last.

Dr. Donald Farish, president of Rowan, said, "Ric and Jean continue to make a difference in Rowan University and South Jersey. Their latest gift demonstrates how much they care about Rowan University serving the community and will open doors to a significant number of students."

Ric, a 1980 graduate and one of the nation's most acclaimed financial advisors, and Jean, a 1981 graduate, founded Edelman Financial Services LLC in 1987. They sold the firm in 2005 to Sanders Morris Harris, a Houston investment bank, but they continue to manage the company. EFS has won more than 60 financial, business, community and philanthropic awards since it began. Ric, a New York Times-bestselling author, hosts The Ric Edelman Show, a weekly personal finance call-in program syndicated by the ABC Radio Network.

For more information on the planetarium or to arrange a visit, contact Keith Johnson, planetarium director, at (865) 256-4389 or visit http://www.rowan.edu/planetarium.

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