FDU Magazine Online, Winter/Spring 2007


Imagine a typical day in the life of the University just a few short years from now.

At the College at Florham, the Monninger Center for Learning and Research is buzzing with round-the-clock activities. Inside, a group of philosophy students are collaborating with their professor on a class project. In the Orangerie, at a new Internet kiosk, a faculty scholar from the communication department conducts online research by conferring with a colleague in Korea. That evening, the lecture space will feature a group discussion on human rights.

Meanwhile, a renowned biology professor from a European university steps off a plane in New Jersey, heading for the College at Florham. A newly established endowed professorship has brought her here. During the next year, she will challenge students and collaborate with faculty on new academic initiatives.

The Devils women’s lacrosse team is off to a winning season as it holds its first game on a new field, the result of a generous alumni donation. And the tennis teams are practicing on brand new courts.

On the Metropolitan Campus, the Student Union Building has become the place to meet on campus. On this day, we see friends taking a break together in between classes. A new café, small group meeting areas and a new ballroom have invigorated student life and activities. In the evening, hundreds of students, faculty and staff gather to hear a presentation from a recently retired CEO from a major multinational corporation.

A large crowd gathers under new lights, as the Knights baseball team prepares to play ball on a new home field. The renovated North End Complex also includes new facilities for the soccer and tennis squads.

Meanwhile, a student who has become the first recipient of a newly endowed scholarship attends a special ceremony. Surrounded by family members and scholarship donors, he expresses his thanks by making a commitment to take full advantage of this special opportunity to succeed. He and other scholarship recipients are looking forward to making significant contributions to their professions and the world.

This is a glimpse of the future of Fairleigh Dickinson. And to fulfill the vision, FDU is launching the most comprehensive and ambitious capital campaign in University history: FDU NOW, The Campaign for Fairleigh Dickinson University.

“The success of FDU NOW will transform the University unlike anything we have seen,” said President J. Michael Adams. “These initiatives build on our many traditions and continue to advance efforts that have distinguished the University.”

The campaign will fulfill strategic needs by providing funds for the University endowment, scholarships, athletics, global education, the unrestricted Fund for FDU, the renovation of the Student Union Building at the Metropolitan Campus, and the creation of the Monninger Center for Learning and Research at the College at Florham.

Under the leadership of Adams, Campaign Chair and University Trustee Greg Olsen, BS’66, BS’68, MS’68 (T), and the Campaign Steering Committee, FDU NOW is well on its way to success. Early commitments to the campaign total more than $24 million.

“It’s been a very gratifying experience,” said Senior Vice President for University Advancement Richard Reiss. “Right now we plan to announce the campaign’s goal in fall 2007 and to run the campaign though 2010. The support to date has been overwhelming, and we’re very excited about broadening our efforts to the larger University community of alumni, faculty, staff and friends.”
A College at Florham junior from Cinnaminson, N.J., K.C. Ogbonna plans to pursue a graduate degree in pharmacology. “I came to Fairleigh,” he said, “because of the strength of the academic and athletics programs. I knew FDU was the right place for me to study chemistry and pursue my athletic interests.” A member of the Devils football team, Ogbonna serves on the Student Athletic Council.

Discussing the campaign’s initiative to establish the Monninger Center for Learning and Research, he said, “The center will add a lot to the student experience. Right now, it’s sometimes difficult to get online to do research because there are only so many terminals available, and space is tight. A new, expanded learning space will be an important addition to our campus.”

So why is FDU launching a major capital campaign? President Adams said that when he arrived at FDU in 1999, “I was deeply impressed by the quality of people at this institution and the thousands of lives transformed by our faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

“I remember learning about the University’s wonderful legacy by talking with the people who shaped it. I experienced the history of this outstanding institution by learning about the contributions of those who came before us,” he added. “It strengthened my personal commitment to further distinguish the University’s position in the world.”

And now, he said, after a period of renewal that included the creation of a new mission — to prepare world citizens through global education — and several major groundbreaking initiatives, “FDU is ready to take the next step toward greater distinction.”

As Adams noted, students who come to FDU today have a world of unique learning opportunities at their disposal. They can attend a semester at Wroxton College in England; log on to their computers and engage scholars from throughout the world; have dinners with U.N. ambassadors; and experience a vibrant community of fellow students from more than 70 countries.

“We are at a crucial juncture in the history of the University,” said Adams. “Our accomplishments in global education have built a foundation of innovation and earned us a strong reputation.”

“What we do next,” he said, “will impact the University throughout this century and beyond. “We’re calling the campaign FDU NOW for a very good reason. There is a sense of excitement and urgency that is propelling the University forward.”

“By supporting FDU NOW,” Adams said, “our alumni and friends join our commitment to ensure that FDU students are distinct from their peers at other universities and that FDU graduates are ready to make an impact locally and around the world.”

Next …

“What we do next will impact the University throughout this century and beyond. … There is a sense of excitement and urgency that is propelling the University forward.”
— J. Michael Adams


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For a print copy of FDU Magazine, featuring this and other stories, contact Rebecca Maxon, editor,
201-692-7024 or maxon@fdu.edu.