What Matters Most

Richard L. McCormick, President
As published in the Winter 2012 issue of Rutgers Magazine

What matters most to you about Rutgers? With 400,000 living alumni, thousands of former staff and faculty, and countless friends, there are untold numbers of answers to that question. It could be the outstanding quality of the faculty in your major, or the research you did, or mentorship from a particular professor. It could be the camaraderie you felt playing on a team, marching in the band, singing in the choir, or joining a sorority or fraternity. Or it might be the support you received from a scholarship or the Educational Opportunity Fund or the counseling center.

As our fundraising campaign—Our Rutgers, Our Future: A Campaign for Excellence—continues, we have seen donors make gifts to many dozens of funds at Rutgers, from athletics teams to scholarship programs to academic departments to building projects and more. So often, these gifts align with a donor’s personal interest or honor a meaningful personal experience they have had at the university. Taken together, all these gifts advance Rutgers in our mission as an ambitious public research university.

Richie Goldman RC’72 loved how Rutgers gave him the freedom and encouragement to pursue interests outside of his major. The independent project he did on the psychology of advertising led to his future success as one of the earliest investors in Men’s Wearhouse. When he wanted to make a gift to Rutgers, Doug Greenberg RC’69, the executive dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, suggested he invest in the new Signature Courses, which explore global topics such as war by bringing a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Goldman responded, “That’s perfect.”

What matters most to Daniel Swartley-McArdle CCAS’09 is the feeling of community he found at Rutgers–Camden, especially in the Camden Honors College. After a very active career as an undergraduate student leader, including founding the Rutgers Bioethics Society and serving as a student representative on the Rutgers Board of Governors, he donated $1,000 to the Honors College fund.

Tricia Bozyk Sherno NLAW’07 was inspired by the generosity and personal involvement of Paul NLAW’62 and Carol Miller, the donors of a scholarship that helped her through law school. So at her own graduation, she pledged to give $100 annually for the next five years to help students like her—and she hopes to give even more when her pledge is complete.

Phyllis Passman Kornicker, a Johnson & Johnson employee with a passion for politics, did not attend Rutgers, but after she retired she got involved with the Eagleton Institute’s Center for American Women and Politics. She became a regular attendee at its events and gave support to its Ready to Run program. This is what mattered most to her, and a $500,000 bequest in her will proves just how much it mattered.

What matters most to you about Rutgers? In my own case, it is the opportunity Rutgers provides to young people who are the first in their families to attend college, and that’s why my family has given to the Rutgers Future Scholars program. I hope you will consider making a gift to our campaign for excellence in support of a program that means something to you. (Visit support.rutgers.edu to learn more.) Your gift can keep that part of Rutgers strong or make it even better for the next generation.

— Richard L. McCormick