Big news on campus in 2015

Big news on campus 2015

(Photos by Dan Landau, Kaidi Ilves, Bill Kennedy and Deborah Feingold)

By Kenna Caprio

Before the holidays arrive and thoughts turn to the new year, let’s remember those moments that made headlines at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2015!

  • University President Sheldon Drucker announced that he would retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year. The Board of Trustees appointed Christopher Capuano, the current University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, as the president-elect.
  • WFDU tripled its program offerings, with a leap into hybrid digital (HD) radio, and tripled its coverage area, with a new, more powerful FM transmitter.
  • Two speakers in the New Jersey Speakers Series — David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst, and Ken Burns, award-winning documentary filmmaker, visited the Florham Campus for a Q&A with faculty and students. Gergen came to campus in February, while Burns visited in November.
  • The Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship announced its new name, Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at its 25th anniversary gala in April. Going forward the institute will focus on innovation, supporting companies of all sizes in the tristate area.
  • More than 3,000 students received degrees at FDU’s 72nd Commencement in May. Honorary degrees went to alumna Angeliki Frangou, BS’86 (Metro), CEO of Navios Maritime Holdings; Claudio Grossman, dean of American University Washington College of Law; and commencement speaker Harry Carson, a former linebacker for the New York Giants and Super Bowl champion. After the ceremony, Carson had a little fun with University President Sheldon Drucker, pouring a Gatorade bucket full of confetti over his head!
  • Members of the University community gathered to dedicate the Daniel and Martina Lewis Center for Healthcare Innovation and Technology at the School of Pharmacy in June. Initiated by a $1-million gift from alumnus and University trustee Daniel Lewis, MBA’76 (Florham), and his wife Martina, the academic center will foster collaboration among healthcare education leaders from within and outside of the University.
  • The University completed a number of construction projects and facilities updates this year on the Metropolitan and Florham campuses. Check out the new academic labs in Becton Hall and new bleachers at the Naimoli Family Baseball Complex at the Metropolitan Campus, and new turf on Robert T. Shields Field and renovations at the Snax eatery at the Florham Campus.
  • At Academic Convocation in September, Harvey Lowy, associate professor of computer science and management information systems; Mihaela Leonida, professor of chemistry; and Katharine Loeb, professor of psychology; received the faculty awards for teaching, service and research and scholarship. Khyati Joshi, professor of education, delivered the keynote address, which broached racial, ethnic and religious diversity in America.
  • Silberman College of Business recognized distinguished alumni with its inaugural “50 Under 50” list of business leaders. Alumni were honored at a gala held on the Florham Campus in October.
  • This year’s WAMFest celebrated the “Art of Healing: Veterans,” with singer/songwriter Darden Smith — founder of SongwritingWith:Soldiers —headlining the three-day event in October. Other featured performers included: Warrior Writers, poet J. Mae Barizo, composer Paul Cantelon, poet and essayist Tom Sleigh, National Book Award-winner and veteran Phil Klay, and the American String Quartet.
  • Fashion designer, entrepreneur and entertainer Isaac Mizrahi joined singer/songwriter and novelist Wesley Stace on stage at the Florham Campus for “Unbuttoned,” a candid conversation, in October.
  • A fusion of jazz, gospel and blues music, injected with prose, filled the Ferguson Recreation Center at the Florham Campus in November, courtesy of author and musician James McBride and the Good Lord Bird Band. The music complemented McBride’s National Book Award-winning text, “The Good Lord Bird,” which was the campus’s freshman read this fall.
  • Silberman College of Business welcomed former New Jersey Governor, U.S. Senator, and CEO of Goldman Sachs, Jon Corzine to the Florham Campus in December. In his first public appearance since presiding over financial firm MF Global's bankruptcy in 2011, Corzine delivered a speech on success and failure, and offered life lessons in resilience to the students in the audience.