A tremendous year!

A tremendous year!


I believe that academic year 2016-2017 was the most productive year in the 94-year history of Rowan University.

I know that is a bold statement given that June 24 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Hollybush Summit and that July 6 marks the 25th anniversary of the Rowans’ game-changing gift, but in no single year have we as an institution reached as many critically important milestones.

I invite you to take a few minutes to review all that we achieved together. The impressive details are below; this video shows terrific highlights.

I could not be more proud of our University community and am deeply thankful to our friends, partners and elected officials who continue to support our vision for the University, our region and our state. 

A year unmatched

An extraordinary gift for STEM education

  • Alumni Jean and Ric Edelman committed $25 million to the University to preserve and expand the Rowan University Fossil Park, renamed in their honor last October. Their generosity will enable the University to expand education opportunities vastly with a visitor center and research facility on the 65-acre site.

Carnegie Research designation earned

  • The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recently designated the University as a doctoral (research) university, a prestigious national distinction earned as a result of the number of doctorates awarded each year. While the State of New Jersey qualified Rowan as a state research institution in 2013, the Carnegie classification elevates Rowan outside our region and opens the doors to expanded research funding.

Academic programs added…and doubled

  • Eight new academic programs earned approval.
  • We opened new buildings for the William G. Rohrer College of Business and Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering in January, enabling both colleges to double enrollment to meet demand.
  • In December, the University officially opened the Camden Academic Building—which includes the restored First Camden National Bank and Trust building; a new, three-story addition to the former bank; and the renovated annex. The handsome facility and its growing programs will serve more students and professionals conveniently in the City of Camden.

Partnerships that produce

  • The Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden health sciences partnership has led to the purchase of a city block in Camden where joint health science facilities will be constructed starting this fall.
  • We opened the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATES) at the South Jersey Technology Park. The State of New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Defense/Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Transportation helped fund CREATES with $5 million, investing in research to improve roadways and runways.
  • Nexus Properties continued construction on the last buildings on Rowan Boulevard. A $110 million group of facilities, which will open in August, will include classrooms for the College of Communication & Creative Arts, a fitness center, apartments for our students and retail outlets. The second group of buildings, a $75 million investment, will open in 2018 to provide housing and retail.
  • In September, we held the grand opening of Holly Pointe Commons, a residence hall that welcomed 1,400 underclassmen. Provident Resources Group and University Student Living funded the project in our first public-private partnership to develop on-campus housing.
  • Just this month, Inspira Health Network broke ground for a $350 million health care complex on 100 acres it purchased from Rowan on the West Campus. Discussions are underway to develop initiatives with our medical schools and researchers and to develop opportunities for all of our students.

As if that were not enough:

  • Two students and one faculty member earned prestigious Fulbright awards, wonderful distinctions for themselves and Rowan.
  • Our student athletes captured three individual national championships, and our athletics program was recognized as the top overall program in the conference for the second consecutive year.
  • We increased enrollment by 1,000 to reach 17,300 students total and created a $25,000 four-year degree with our Rowan College partners, expanding access to affordable, high-quality education.
  • We expanded sponsored research funding to $30 million and exceeded our projections for patents with 28 issued in our new but ambitiously productive innovation initiative. 

I think you’ll agree that this is a breathtaking list of accomplishments—and one I trust our University community will celebrate and take as inspiration for what lies ahead.


Yours truly and with gratitude,


Ali A. Houshmand