Rowan dedicates the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Career Resource Library

Rowan dedicates the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Career Resource Library

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OCA Director Robert Bullard with Dr. Kopenhaver and President Houshmand
OCA Director Robert Bullard (at left) with Dr. Kopenhaver and President Houshmand

Rowan University on June 12 celebrated the achievements and generosity of an alumna who believes so much in her alma mater that she helped fund a career center to support future generations of graduates.

The valedictorian of her class, Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver ’62 has enjoyed a career as a journalist and educator in New Jersey and Florida where, for more than 46 years, she’s been a faculty member at Florida International University in Miami. Today Kopenhaver serves as dean emeritus and professor in the School of Communication & Journalism at FIU and is executive director of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication.

Kopenhaver this year donated $300,000 to bolster the careers of students and alumni at Rowan.

“It’s another wonderful day,” said Rowan President Ali Houshmand as he introduced the guest of honor. “Once again, one of our successful alumni is giving back, providing opportunities for our students.”

Since Kopenhaver’s graduation, then-Glassboro State College evolved into a nationally ranked research university with two medical schools, additional campuses in Mantua, Camden and Stratford, and total student enrollment approaching 20,000.

Dozens of well-wishers joined Kopenhaver, Houshmand and Office of Career Advancement Director Robert Bullard in the atrium of Savitz Hall for the unveiling of a plaque and the commemoration of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Career Resource Library.

Located just inside the street-level entrance to Savitz, the expanded career resource library can accommodate additional visitors and guest speakers, larger events and offers updated computers and other technology thanks to the Kopenhaver gift.

“For me, a lifelong career began here,” Kopenhaver said. “I am delighted to help support future generations of graduates.”

Following the brief afternoon program, Kopenhaver marveled at the university’s development, much of it the result of Houshmand’s belief in what the school can be as Rowan maintained a focus on undergraduate education and access while expanding its commitment to research, medical education and its role as a regional economic engine.

“Ali has a wonderful vision for higher education and I wanted to be a part of it,” Kopenhaver said.

Rowan’s 2005 Distinguished Alumna, Kopenhaver in 2012, the 50th anniversary of her college graduation, donated funding to establish the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for Alumni Engagement in Shpeen Hall.

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

Joining her college friend for the June 12 dedication, Barbara (Sherlock) O’Breza ’62 of Cherry Hill said she was editor of The Whit when Kopenhaver was writing for it and the two remained friends through the years and careers that followed.

“I’m so very proud of her,” O’Breza said. “And I couldn’t wait to see her.”