Office of the President

October 31, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

Each week, I feature a “WP: We are Proud” moment in this space. Given the especially high number of great things happening on campus lately, today’s entire message consists of reasons to be proud, starting with Saturday’s Homecoming and Family Day. It was great to see so many of you join us for the festivities. The beautiful autumn weather was the perfect complement to a fantastic day of activities, from the pre-game tailgate to the fun carnival activities. Even though we didn’t get the hoped for result on the field, it was still great to see the Wightman Stadium stands filled with students, faculty, staff, and alumni from across the decades cheering on our football team. The WP Pioneer spirit was on display throughout the day.

Thanks to Vice President Miki Cammarata and everyone in Student Development, Vice President Pam Ferguson and everyone in Institutional Advancement, in particular Executive Director Jenna Villani and the Alumni Relations team, as well as everyone else from across the campus who helped host such a wonderful event for the entire WP community.  

Earlier on Saturday, I had the pleasure of hosting a breakfast in Hobart Manor for Emeriti faculty members. I always appreciate the chance to welcome retired faculty back to campus, and we are fortunate to have so many who remain engaged in the life of the University. Thanks to Professor Emerita Dr. Jean Levitan and Dean Emerita Dr. Anne Ciliberti for helping to sustain this group and organize a great event.

It was wonderful to see the in-person return of the Distinguished Lecturer Series  on Thursday, and I can’t think of a better speaker to mark the occasion than Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Dr. Dyson is rightfully known as a bestselling author on race in America, and the urgent message of his most recent book, “Unequal: A Story of America,” really came through from the lectern, where he showed why he is also renowned as a dynamic and engaging speaker. I want to thank Dr. Dyson for a great evening, including his thoughtful responses to audience questions. Thanks also to WP alumna Dr. Janelle Hall for introducing the featured speaker and to CAHSS Dean Wartyna Davis and Director of Special Events Meredith McCarthy Makkai for organizing the evening’s events, as well as to the Shea Center staff for its good work.

Congratulations to Director of the Center for Chinese Art Dr. Zhiyuan Cong, Dr. Steven Hahn, Director of the University Galleries Casey Mathern, Director of Development Maureen O’Connor, and everyone who helped organize last week’s successful symposium, “Across Time and Space: The Silk Road and the Silk City,” and the companion exhibit, “A Durable Thread: The Silk Road from China to America.” The event brought together scholars from around the world to discuss global artistic connections to our region and attracted international news coverage. If you haven’t already viewed the exhibit, it continues in the University Galleries through December 2.

Congratulations to Dr. Pamela Brilliante, professor of special education and disability studies, who has been appointed to the New Jersey Special Education Advisory Council. The council, established by the New Jersey Department of Education and required under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, provides policy guidance on special education and related services for children with disabilities in New Jersey. Dr. Brillante will be the only member of the advisory panel representing New Jersey institutions of higher education that prepare special education and related services personnel. 

The University community is once again coming together to raise funds for William Paterson students on our Fall Giving Day, which takes place on November 15. To kick off WP’s celebration of generosity, Provost Josh Powers is inviting everyone to join him on Friday, November 4 at 1:30 p.m. for a hike to the top of High Mountain, which is adjacent to campus, on University Drive. Students who participate will earn credit towards their WP LEADS Digital Civic Engagement and Philanthropy badge. No gift is required to participate. To register and learn more, please click here.

Thank you all for everything you do for our students and our entire University community. Have a safe and fun Halloween and a great week.


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