Office of the President

September 5, 2023

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

Thank you all for helping to make last week’s Welcome Day a wonderful start to the semester, especially for our newest Pioneers. The morning rain gave way to a beautiful, sunny day that matched the tremendous spirit across our campus. There is something truly special when we all gather together in one place, and it made for a very warm welcome for our new students.

I have also heard many positive things from the college and department meetings from participants who valued the opportunity to confer with colleagues, discuss plans, and share strategies for the new semester. I know that seeing many of you and meeting our new students gave me tremendous sense of optimism for the coming year, and I hope we can all tap into this tremendous energy to inspire us to do great things for our students. 

For anyone who wasn’t able to join us for my State of the University address or who wants to take a closer look, you can find it, along with the slide presentation, on my website, along with past addresses. Those of us in Shea were treated to a powerful performance of the Shirley Ellis classic, “The Nitty Gritty,” by some of our many talented student musicians and vocalists under the direction of Professor David Philp. 

In my address, I shared good news on State funding, enrollment, our bold new marketing campaign, upcoming capital projects, and a promising new international enrollment strategy. I also talked about important new initiatives – like Student Success Teams and the Faculty-as-Mentor model – that are launching without further delay. As Shirley Ellis – and our students – sang, it’s time for us to “get right down to the real nitty gritty!”  

It’s going to be a great year at William Paterson, and I thank you all for your continued good work on behalf of our students. 

Also, please join us for another great opportunity to connect with colleagues when we hold the inaugural First Thursday of the academic year on September 7th from 4:00-5:30 p.m., upstairs in Hobart Manor. I hope to see you there.


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