Office of the President

November 20, 2023 

Dear William Paterson Community,

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I am thinking of all the things I am grateful for, including our wonderful William Paterson community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. Everyone has been working hard throughout the semester, so my wish for all of you is that you are able to take time over the holiday to spend time with family and friends and enjoy good food along with the good company. When we return next Monday, there will be just a few weeks left in the Fall semester, so I hope everyone is able to rest and reenergize for the homestretch. 

In the meantime, may we all take time during this holiday season, when food is often at the center of our celebrations, to think of those within our own community who are dealing with food insecurity and consider supporting our campus’s Pioneer Pantry, through monetary donations or the donation of needed items directly or through its Amazon Wishlist. Please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for full details, and thank you.

Last week, I had the honor of presenting on the topic of higher education to a gathering of the LGBTQ+ Summit, which was sponsored by the New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce (NJPCC) and held during the League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City. I spoke about the strength of William Paterson’s diverse student body, including our LGBTQ+ community, and talked to the audience of influential leaders from government, business, and the non-profit sector about what our students are looking for from their prospective employers. My presentation was preceded by a great WP highlight video and followed by a robust Q&A session, providing great exposure for the university before a large and important audience. Also of note, the NJPCC is led by a proud WP alumnus, Gus Penaranda.

Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s Fall Giving Day by supporting one of several worthy projects, including the First Generation Student Scholarship, the Provost Powers Emergency Grant, the Pioneer Food Pantry, the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Internship Fund, the Cotsakos College of Business General Scholarship Fund, the College of Education Head of the Class fund, and the College of Science and Health General Scholarship Fund. Thanks to Provost Powers for again launching Giving Day activities by leading fellow Pioneers on a High Mountain Preserve hike to benefit his Emergency Grant fund. Giving Day is a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives our students through scholarship and other support while also helping to strengthen the culture of philanthropy in the WP community.

This week’s WPWe are Proud – Congratulations to the William Paterson volleyball team on its postseason success! After advancing to the semifinal round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time since 2009, the Pioneers were the runners-up in the ECAC Tournament on Saturday at our very own Sports and Recreation Center. Junior Paola Molina and freshmen Cecilia Miller and Abby Houpt were named to the ECAC All-Tournament Team, and WP matched its program record with 26 victories this season.


All the best to you and your families for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.


Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.
Office of the President | 973.720.2222 |