All business: Accomplished RCB grads, alumni celebrate the Class of 2019

All business: Accomplished RCB grads, alumni celebrate the Class of 2019


Present and future business leaders came together to celebrate the Class of 2019 in Rowan University’s William G. Rohrer College of Business during Commencement on Tuesday, May 14.

The class, 625 of whom participated in the ceremony held in Esbjournson Gymnasium and the Rowan Rec Center, was distinguished by a number of “firsts,” noted student speaker Rob O’Leary, a finance major who also served as president of the Bureau of Business Associations at Rowan.

The class was the first to spend all four years with Sue Lehrman as its dean and also was one of the first student groups to move into Business Hall, which opened in spring of 2017 and is the first campus building dedicated to business education, O’Leary said.

“We watched as Rowan blossomed…not just within our business community, but, also, all over campus as more buildings went up and campus got nicer and nicer. Being a part of the Rowan culture has been special. At Rowan, the attitude is always, ‘How can we do more? And how can we be better?’ O’Leary said.

Lehrman echoed those sentiments.

“You helped inaugurate our beautiful new building in style and with gusto,” Lehrman told the class. “In our short time in Business Hall, you have done so much to make it not just a building, but a living, breathing space brimming with your enthusiasm and your activities.”

In her message to graduates, Lehrman outlined a long list of accomplishments for the Class of 2019, including that 40 MBA and 125 undergraduate students were inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society for AACSB-accredited business schools. Moreover, nine students—more than any other New Jersey institution, Lehrman said—were inducted into the New Jersey Collegiate Business Association Honor Society.

Lehrman said nearly 280 students earned academic credit for internships with companies such as TD Bank, Target, KPMG, and Lockheed Martin, among others. Additionally, although business majors account for 13 percent of the student body, over time students have held more than 21 percent of the top leadership positions in Rowan’s Student Government Association, Lehrman noted.

Also during the ceremony, the University honored alumni Debra DiLorenzo and Kathleen Davis with Medals of Excellence for their exemplary leadership and service to the South Jersey business community.

DiLorenzo and Davis both are retiring this year from their positions with the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. DiLorenzo, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rowan in 1976 and 1987 respectively, currently is the chamber’s president and CEO.

In her Commencement address, DiLorenzo urged the graduates to find work that resonates with them.

Her own success, she said, was “fueled by five key factors: honesty, personal responsibility, self-motivation, discipline and hard work. My parents instilled these qualities in me and this university refined what I learned at home. I firmly believe these traits will continue their relevance into the future and I urge you to embrace them.

“Have you found what you love? If you have, revel in your ability to connect your dots. If you haven’t, trust in your heart and intuition as you pursue your journey. They somehow already know what you truly want to become,” DiLorenzo added.

Davis, who earned her bachelor’s degree in law and justice studies in 1981, Davis is executive vice president and chief operating officer of the chamber. She leads the government relations, special events, marketing and communications, finance and member retention areas of the chamber. She also was lead facilitator for the South Jersey Summer Institute for Educators for two decades.