Celebrating 40


300 people gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of the Rohrer College of Business.

The atmosphere was festive and the conversation was animated when some 300 people gathered on Friday, Sept. 28, to mark the 40th anniversary of Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business.

What started in 1972 as the Administrative Studies Department with 150 majors and six adjunct professors has grown into a well-respected College with close to 1,200 students in undergraduate and graduate programs and 40 full-time, tenure-track faculty as well as adjuncts. The College has 9,658 alumni, many of whom are business leaders or have started their own firms and created jobs in South Jersey and elsewhere.

Rohrer College of Business boasts two important accreditations: AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits the College, and the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits its MIS program, an accomplishment shared with only six schools nationwide.

The Princeton Review named the College one of the “294 Best Business Schools” in its 2012 edition. The Philadelphia Business Journal ranked the M.B.A. program as tops in growth in 2010’s analysis of Delaware Valley schools, after it showed an 81-percent jump in enrollment from 2008-09 to 2009-10. This year, U.S. News & World Report cited Rohrer College’s M.B.A. program in the publication’s first-ever edition of Top Online Education Program rankings.

Noted Rowan’s president, Dr. Ali Houshmand, “The growth (of the College) is the result of many years of dedicated service.  It’s Rowan’s entrepreneurial approach to higher education that has distinguished it.”

Sept. 28 celebrated all of that and more, including the personalized education students receive and the relationships the College shares with regional businesses and organizations.

Let the competition begin

The day’s events started with a Mini Shark Tank in the afternoon in Boyd Recital Hall. Five businesses showcased their products and services before a panel of judges. The judges were ABC Television’s Shark Tank star Daymond John, internationally renowned entrepreneur and FUBU fashion line founder; South Jersey real estate professional, philanthropist and College benefactor Linda Rohrer; and Marc Kramer, author of five books on entrepreneurship and president of Philadelphia’s Angel Investment Network and Angel Fair.

That evening, faculty, staff, students, board members, alumni and local business leaders and supporters gathered in the Eynon Ballroom in the Chamberlain Student Center for a reception and a dinner, with a chance to hear Daymond John as keynote speaker and to mingle with other Rohrer College of Business friends.

Calling himself a “simple, simple guy” and acknowledging that he did not finish high school, John emphasized the importance of education and mentoring. “The common thread for all the companies (in a survey) that were successful was they had a mentor,” he said.

Entrepreneurs at heart

He also addressed one of the core elements of the Rohrer College of Business: entrepreneurship. “We are all born thinking like entrepreneurs,” John said. “When we first start to walk and we fall and stumble . . . what do our parents say to us? ‘Get up.’ Entrepreneurs take an affordable step forward. We’re ‘actioneers.’ You take an affordable step. You learn. You repeat.”

Entrepreneurship was the focus during another part of the evening when the College presented a number of “first” awards.

The William G. Rohrer Business Leader of the Year award went to Gerald Shreiber, president and CEO of J&J Snack Foods Corp., Pennsauken.
Distinguished Business Alumni Awards went to Sarah Piddington ’03 and M05, Dorothy Stubblebine ‘80 and Paul Tully ‘99 in recognition of exemplifying the highest principles of the business profession and making outstanding contributions to the field of business and to society.

Class of 2013 members Jonathan Hirsch and Rachel Hallion and M.B.A. student Crystal (Anderson) O'Neill won $1,000 Distinguished Alumni Scholarships.

About the Rohrer “family”

“Tonight really is all about the Rohrer College of Business and its family,” said the College’s dean, Dr. Robert Beatty, who served as emcee for the dinner and has pledged to make the Rohrer name as recognizable as that of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Said Rowan University Board of Trustees chairman Linda Rohrer, a trustee of the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation that has contributed $13 million to the College and to scholarships at Rowan, “I am continually impressed by the quality of students and faculty. (My father would) really enjoy giving Mr. Wharton a challenge.”