Rowan University’s William G. Basil School of Business (RCB) follows an industry model for the greater good, just like its namesake company.
Founded in 1972, celebrating its 50th anniversaryth Throughout the anniversary of the 2022-23 academic year, the Department of Administrative Studies grew into the School of Business in 1986 and changed its name to Rohrer in 2005, a community banker and philanthropist dedicated to helping South Jersey businesses thrive .
Like many of the businesses Basil helped fund, the college named after him grew rapidly while never losing its focus on service, community and entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking are key to our mission,” said Dr. Sue Lehrman, RCB dean since 2015, noted that the university’s entrepreneurial spirit, get-it-all attitude attracts thousands of students each year.
The Princeton Review and entrepreneur The magazine ranked the college’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the top 50 in the U.S. in 2021, a nod to the ideals championed by University President Ali A. Houshmand and encouraged by all Rowan schools and colleges.
According to Lehrman, recognition affirms entrepreneurship, as taught at RCB and encouraged across the campus, and means following passion to do great things.
“It’s about thinking and acting in bold, innovative ways,” she said. “Follow the pattern set by Mr. Rohrer. Dr. Rohrer is very encouraging. Houshmand, we support students and community members in their pursuit of great ideas, which often means starting a business.”
RCB at a glance
Helping define the college at 50 are four centers of excellence and a wide range of degrees, from certificate and bachelor’s programs to an innovative and customizable MBA.
- Centres of Excellence for Experiential Learning, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professional Development and Responsible Leadership;
- 12 advisory councils of regional leaders who help develop the curriculum and provide graduates with mentoring, internships and job opportunities;
- There are about 2,000 undergraduates and nearly 300 graduate students;
- More than 60 full-time teachers and a dedicated team of part-time teachers;
- AACSB and ABET accreditation, one of the few U.S. business schools to hold both accreditations.
Do business for the greater good
While business schools are defined as preparing students for profitability, Lehrman said RCB also places great emphasis on the ways in which business can benefit humanity. For example, high school students at this summer’s Think Like an Entrepreneur Academy applied an entrepreneurial perspective to achieve the United Nations’ global sustainable development goals, such as eradicating poverty and ensuring clean drinking water.
“we discuss people, planet, profit,” Lehrman said. “Historically, business schools have only focused on profits, but we look at the triple bottom line, which we call the ‘three Ps.’ “
Purpose-driven themes range from the Dean’s Office to the four University Centers to their classrooms and affiliates.
From an MBA program focused on sustainable business practices, to the Accelerated South Jersey program launched this year to support inner-city entrepreneurs, to a long-term program for business students to help community residents prepare their taxes for free, Lehrman says, Social impact is always part of the curriculum.
“We’re training business people who are committed to higher goals,” she said.
Stephen Kozachyn, executive director of external affairs at RCB and director of the Center for Experiential Learning, said this spring’s John of God community service with St. Westville exemplifies the college’s commitment to business for the greater good.
In that program, 68 RCB students developed a marketing plan, studied supply chain and logistics, and provided human resources mentoring to the Holy Land. John of God customers with special needs hope to be available in retail stores soon.
“The Holy Grounds coffee program is a perfect example of good cause,” Kozachyn said. “Stone. John of God customers roast, pack and distribute coffee at yard sales, online and at certain events. It’s not yet in supermarkets, but we hope to help it get there soon.”
The Legacy of Responsible Leaders
Rowan University’s 2022 Distinguished Alumnus and RCB Graduate Joseph Cosgrove ’00 said the courses he took as an undergraduate helped set the tone for the way he conducts his business and career.
As CEO of Pentec Health, a Glenn Mills, Pennsylvania company, Cosgrove leads an organization that has become a leader in patient-specific medicines in dialysis centers and home settings.
In addition to being designated Rowan’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Cosgrove was named a 2016 Marcum Innovator of the Year, was a Philly 100 CEO Hall of Fame Society inductee, and received the National Kidney Foundation Leadership in Business Award and the Ernst & Youth of the Year Entrepreneur Award.
All of this, he said, would not have been possible if he hadn’t learned to put the customer — in his case, the patient — first.
“There is no greater joy than knowing that the products we make and the services we provide help improve the quality of care,” he said.
One of the college’s longest-serving faculty, professor of management and former dean. Robert Fleming said the concept of community service, sometimes referred to in business as “servant leadership,” has been a core teaching principle at RCB for decades.
Fleming, who is also a nationally recognized expert on fire safety and emergency management, said his own experiences, including serving with a volunteer fire company since 1972, have always informed his courses.
“We have people who teach our classes and they don’t just read the playbook about servant leadership,” Fleming said. “They go through it. When you have people who actually do it and share those experiences with students, It not only enhances the reputation of the business school, but also the reputation of Rowan University.”
Part of Mr. Basil’s Legacy
Since 1995, the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation has donated nearly $20 million to the university, with more than $17 million going to the School of Business.
Of these, the foundation donated $10 million to support RCB students in 2005, the largest gift to the university since Henry Rowan’s $100 million. In 1999, the Foundation awarded Rowan $1 million to fund a business fellowship, and in 1995 an additional $1 million was used to establish the Professor William G. Rohrer Chair within the RCB. (In 2000, the Campbell family of Salem also donated $1 million to fund the School of Business’s Professor John B. Campbell Lecture, named after the late President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mannington Mills.) 2017 Commitment $5 million to establish the William G. Basil School of Business Honors Scholarship Program.
gentlemen. Basil was Hatton’s first mayor (he held that position for a total of 36 years), and his death left millions for organizations across South Jersey, including for Hatton’s William Basil Memorial Library, Funding provided by Bancroft School. Haddonfield, Camden County Leukemia Association, American Diabetes Association and Arthritis Foundation.
based on success
Building on its decades-long track record of success, RCB opened in 2017 Business Hall, a gleaming glass and brick building on the north side of the Rowan Glassboro campus, designed to allow the college to double enrolment .
The Academy fosters relationships within the Chamber of Commerce and across the region, offering a wide range of professional affiliations, including a partnership with Saxbys Coffee last year to open a student-run cafe in the Chamber of Commerce; a presentation with Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens; and Community Service with St. John of God.
as part of Academy 50th For the anniversary, RCB will equip 50 first-year students with business wardrobes for special events, career fairs and interviews, and will host a series of special events to build on its first half-century of success. They include:
50 supporting RCBththe college also conducts a fundraiser where donors can donate $50 or other gifts to help keep the college strong and vibrant for the next 50 years.
“We want to make 50th The anniversary means a lot to our students, faculty, alumni, donors and community,” said Dean Lehrman. “As part of that, we are hosting events that align with our mission. “