Rowan dedicates new alumni center funded by Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver
Rowan University recently dedicated the Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for Alumni Engagement in Shpeen Hall, off the main campus in Glassboro, honoring the alumna who in part funded the room with a $150,000 contribution.
A member of the Class of 1962, Kopenhaver is a resident of Miramar, Fla., and a nationally known authority and researcher on the First Amendment and the student press who found her niche in writing as a journalism major at then-Glassboro State College.
Dean emeritus and professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University, Kopenhaver has received numerous awards, including the 2009 Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communication Education Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and honors from many journalism and education organizations. She is or has been a member of such professional societies as the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, College Media Advisers and Society of Professional Journalists. Kopenhaver has published and presented extensively.
The 2005 recipient of Rowan’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, Kopenhaver was a leader during her time at GSC. She served as senior editor of the student newspaper, The Whit; president of the Board of Student Publications; editor of the student handbook, The Acorn; and president of the institution’s Kappa Delta Pi chapter. The recipient of two GSC Medallions, she graduated as valedictorian.
“I had not been back to campus for many years; the first time was for our 40th reunion,” said Kopenhaver, who noted that event — and Director of Alumni Relations Kathy Rozanski — helped to rekindle her involvement with the institution and inspire her desire to give back.
“Kathy made us feel really great about the school and getting involved again. I had such a good experience at our reunion that I wanted other classes to share that as well. The Center will give them that opportunity, providing alumni with a place dedicated to just them.”
With computer, iPod and other high-technology capabilities, the Center is equipped to host lectures, dinners and meetings, with seating for up to 125. The Center is decorated with memorabilia and photographs from all of the institution’s eras, from its start as Glassboro Normal School to Rowan University.
“This Center will benefit alumni in all fields, past, present and future,” said R.J. Tallarida, Jr., associate vice president for University Advancement and acting executive director of the Rowan University Foundation, who noted the Kopenhaver gift was the largest given to the Alumni Association for a capital project.
“It’s wonderful to have such a permanent space dedicated to alumni,” said Rozanski. “Lillian’s gift helped us transform a functional area into an inviting gathering center. Her class has been engaged, and Lillian has been a leader. She may live in Florida, but she’s been very helpful in planning reunions and returning for special events on campus recently. The Center is a fitting tribute to the kind of person she is.”
Kopenhaver is pleased with the new facility. “They did a terrific job. The place is just beautiful and offers so many opportunities for alumni meetings and receptions and other gatherings. It was very exciting to see my name on the door,” added Kopenhaver, who earned an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.