The Rowan University Board of Trustees officially voted to unveil the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts during their monthly meeting in the Eynon Ballroom of the Chamberlain Student Center on Feb. 12.
The name change commemorates last semester’s record-breaking endowment donation of $10 million from the Edelman Foundation to the College of Communication & Creative Arts. Jean Edelman was in attendance to receive the honor.
“You need to understand where we came from [Ric and Jean Edelman]; we are just some kids who went to Glassboro State College,” Jean Edelman said. “We didn’t take any math classes. I took Home Economics and, in this great honor, Ric was in communication.”
Ric Edelman earned his communication degree from then-Glassboro State College in 1980, while Jean Edelman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in consumer economics and marketing in 1981.
Since 1990, the Edelmans have donated or pledged over $36 million to the university. Their donations have resulted in numerous advancements to the Rowan community, including the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park and the Edelman Planetarium.
The Edelmans are the owners of the largest independent investment advisory firm in the United States. However, it was far from an easy path to their success.
“There were weeks when we were newly married where we had $25 for food. Weeks when we had $75 to our name,” Jean Edelman said. “There were times when there was no money in the bank. That keeps us humble and we always asked ourselves: do we need it, or do we want it?”
The Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts becomes the first Rowan college to be named in honor of an alumnus, cementing the Edelman name and legacy in the history of Rowan.
Jean Edelman wants students to know this is for them to develop professionally in the fields they are passionate about.
“We are extremely honored and humbled to give this gift. What we are hoping for is that it changes lives, that everyone now has the opportunity for scholarships and it’s also for professional development. We think that’s so important; that every student is out there networking and learning about the industry in the real world,” Jean Edelman said.
Shortly after the vote took place, President Ali Houshmand sent out a university-wide email touting the decision to honor Ric Edelman’s philanthropy.
“As an institution, we’re extremely fortunate that Ric and Jean continue to support and advance the university’s mission,” Houshmand wrote. “On behalf of a proud and grateful university, thank you so much, Ric and Jean.”
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