Introducing the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts

Introducing the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts

Students in the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts celebrate the college's new name. Pictured (from left) are Kayla Santiago, Sean Kelly, Jana Jackstis, Matthew Issacs, and Jada Price.

Ric Edelman used the skills he learned at Rowan University to build a stellar career as one of the nation’s top financial advisers, a best-selling author, and an award-winning radio and television program host.

In recognition of his success and the extraordinary support he and his wife, Jean, have given to the institution and its students, Rowan’s College of Communication & Creative Arts will bear his name.

The University’s Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday, Feb. 12, to rename the college the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts.

Together, Ric ’80 and Jean ’81 have given their time and resources to help fuel the growth and transformation of Rowan from a college for aspiring teachers into a comprehensive public research university. At 19,500 students, Rowan today is the fourth fastest growing research institution among public doctoral institutions in the nation.

“Naming a college is one of the most significant ways we as a university can recognize and honor the achievements of our most extraordinary leaders and supporters,” Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand said. “Ric and Jean Edelman are two of our most successful alumni. We’re pleased that our growing College of Communication & Creative Arts will now honor Ric, whose successes in the field of communication are nothing short of extraordinary.”

In 1986, the Edelmans founded Edelman Financial Engines and built it into the largest independent financial planning and investment management firm in the nation. With more than 180 offices coast to coast, the company’s advisers manage more than $215 billion in assets for 1.2 million clients.

Ric earned his bachelor’s degree from Rowan (then Glassboro State College) from the Department of Communications, which was established in 1966. In 1996, the School of Communication was formed. Later, it became the College of Communication & Creative Arts.

Widely regarded as among the most influential financial planners in the nation, Ric is a #1 New York Times best-selling author of 10 books on personal finance. He hosts the country’s longest running radio show on personal finance and also has hosted a series and five specials for Public Television.

Named the #1 Independent Financial Adviser in the nation three times by Barron’s, Ric attributes much of his success to his ability to communicate complex financial information in a way that’s easy to understand. He learned that skill as an undergraduate under the tutelage of faculty members who demanded excellence, he said.

“There’s no question that I use the skills I learned at Rowan University. This institution gave us the foundation that enabled Jean and me to embark on our journey,” Ric said.

“We strongly believe in the importance of giving back, and that’s why we’re proud to support Rowan and contribute to its success.”

Supporting Rowan University

The Edelmans are staunch supporters of the institution and have made donations and pledges to Rowan totaling more than $36 million. In November, they announced a $10 million gift to provide scholarships and professional development opportunities to students in the College of Communication & Creative Arts. Their gift, the largest one-time endowed gift to Rowan dedicated solely to student scholarships, will support both merit and need-based academic scholarships.

Three years ago, they pledged $25 million to establish the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University, which was the largest gift ever by Rowan alumni and the second largest in University history.

Ric, along with Jean, who is a University trustee who earned her bachelor’s degree in consumer economics and marketing, gave $1 million to establish the Edelman Fund in support of Rowan’s planetarium, which bears their name.

“It was the wonderful education we got here that gave us the foundation of who we are,” Jean said.

About the College

The Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts has experienced a 133 percent increase in freshman enrollment in the last three years.

The college includes departments in art, communication studies, journalism, writing arts, public relations/advertising, and radio/television/film. Alumni include film and television executives, Emmy Award winners, and a Pulitzer Prize recipient.

Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM, the Rowan University Art Gallery, the Center for Art and Social Engagement, the Rowan Writing Center, the Center for Sports Communication & Social Impact, and the Institute for Innovative Media, Materials & Design are all based in the college.

The college’s new name will have an impact on recruiting both students and new faculty, Dean Sanford Tweedie said.

“Being the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts will absolutely help us attract more top students and faculty,” said Tweedie. “Ric is one of ours. His success covers so much of our college—books, television, radio, public relations. He’s drawn on all of the disciplines to create his phenomenal success. As a college, we will work our tails off to make Ric and Jean proud.”

The Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts is the third named college at Rowan. The Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering honors University benefactor Henry M. Rowan, while the William G. Rohrer College of Business honors South Jersey business leader William G. Rohrer.