Rohrer College of Business kicks off four days of Commencement 2017

Rohrer College of Business kicks off four days of Commencement 2017


During a picture-perfect first ceremony on the first day of Commencement 2017 at Rowan University on Tuesday, May 9, Marynelle Brida wasn’t shy about her sentiments.

Standing in the sunshine outside of Bole Hall with her mother and boyfriend, near the edge of the University Green, the Rowan rising senior hoisted a large gold-trimmed sign that read: “Nellie’s #1 Cheerleaders! CONGRATSGRADWELOVEYOUNEL-NEL.”

Nel-Nel is her sister, Nellie Brida, of Glassboro, who just earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting.

She was among close to 450 students in the William G. Rohrer College of Business who participated in the first of nine ceremonies taking place through Friday, May 12.

The chairman of the Rowan Board of Trustees, Linda Rohrer, said her father, for whom the College is named and who passed away 27 years ago, would be “totally ecstatic” today. She said that while she was proud of the new Business Hall that opened in January, “I am even more proud, however, of all of you. Today I see a group of remarkable graduates . . .”

Those graduates were part of a 10 a.m. ceremony that was a mix of the fun (decorated caps; shouts from loved ones to grads; and music by the Rowan University Pep Band and vocalists that included “Shake it Off,” “Dancing in the Street” and what has become a staple of commencement Rowan style, “Uptown Funk”) and the serious (speeches that highlighted achievements and expectations, the presentation of graduates, and recognition of honor students and those serving in the military and National Guard).

Rowan President Dr. Ali Houshmand recounted the changes at the University in the last decade and his own journey from poverty in Iran to the presidency of a university in the United States. “Each and every one of you," he said, “has the ability to be the president of a university or even of the United States.”

Commencement speaker David Cohen, senior executive vice president, chief diversity officer and senior counselor to the CEO for Comcast/NBC Universal in Philadelphia, quoted Mark Twain when he said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” He assured the soon-to-be graduates that earning a degree from RCOB was indeed a good start. And, he added, “Business has never been better positioned to make an impact on society.”

RCOB’s dean, Dr. Sue Lehrman, outlined a long list of accomplishments by students and the College during the last year, including six students inducted into the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Honor Society and 59 traveling, presenting or competing at conferences across the country. “To say we are excited to see what you will do next is an understatement. Our seatbelts are fastened, and our tray tables are in the upright positions. We are ready to see where you decide to take us next, and we know it’s going to be exciting.”