Alumna commits $300,000 to transform Rowan’s college-to-career experience

Alumna commits $300,000 to transform Rowan’s college-to-career experience

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In her second major gift to Rowan University, Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver has pledged $300,000 to establish the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Career Resource Library within the Office of Career Advancement.

The Resource Library in Savitz Hall will enhance the office’s ability to help students and alumni develop skills for lifelong professional development, job satisfaction and job readiness as they build connections and find opportunities.

The Office of Career Advancement serves more than 2,000 students and alumni each semester through career management programming, services and events.

“The Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Career Resource Library will increase the University’s ability to meet the needs of more students in new and diverse ways, including additional visitors and guest speakers, larger events, updated technology and other knowledge-sharing initiatives,” said Office of Career Advancement Director Bob Bullard.

Dr. Kopenhaver (at right) honed passions in journalism and education at then-Glassboro State College, graduating as valedictorian of the Class of 1962. She served at Florida International University for 46 years, where she holds the titles dean emeritus and professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and executive director of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication.

“The Office of Career Advancement is focused on offering opportunities to help students and alumni succeed,” said Dr. Kopenhaver. “As a first-generation college student, I appreciated all of the opportunities at Glassboro State and I want to help other students realize their dreams.”

Dr. Kopenhaver was the 2005 recipient of Rowan’s Distinguished Alumna Award. In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of her college graduation, she also donated to Rowan’s Office of Alumni Engagement to establish the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for Alumni Engagement.

Vice President for University Advancement R.J. Tallarida noted Dr. Kopenhaver’s long-standing connection to the University and her role as a champion for student and alumni success.

“Dr. Kopenhaver is in the field of educating communicators and understands the needs of employers,” Tallarida said. “College is about gaining knowledge and wisdom, but also experience. The Office of Career Advancement and the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Career Resource Library are key assets in providing that experience.”

Nationwide, universities are dedicating more resources to career advancement offices as they shift from career placement to career education models. Now, more than ever, students need to be prepared to manage and take responsibility for their career path as they develop personally and professionally.

“College is about finding your passions,” Dr. Kopenhaver said. “I’m supporting Rowan’s Office of Career Advancement to help more students do just that.”