Office of the President

April 3, 2023

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to share with you the news that New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy will give the keynote address at our 2023 undergraduate commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 31 at the Prudential Center in Newark, where he will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. It will be an honor to have Governor Murphy join the William Paterson community as we celebrate our graduates, and I know we will all appreciate hearing from him on this special day, which will mark our 200th Commencement ceremonies.

Please click here to view a special announcement video produced by Greg Mattison of IRT and Maria Daniels of Marketing & Public Relations.

Turning from our soon-to-be alumni to future Pioneers, I want to thank Vice President George Kacenga and his Enrollment Management team, including Associate Vice President for University Admissions Stephen Quinn and Assistant Director of Admissions Justin Pannullo, and everyone in Undergraduate Admissions, as well as all the students, faculty, and staff who helped makes Saturday’s Accepted Students Day a success. We welcomed 345 accepted students and their families to campus. While the weather moved events indoors, nothing could dampen the Pioneer spirit that resonated so well with these prospective students. After being welcomed by the Admissions team, Provost Josh Powers, Associate Vice President for Student Development Francisco Diaz, and our mascot, Pio, accepted students and their families were able to interact with faculty, staff, and students, and enjoy fun activities like caricature drawings, mini golf, and nameplate making, as well as some great food. As a result, many students took the opportunity to submit their deposits and reserve a spot for the fall. Thanks again to everyone for their good work on this important event.

I also want to thank everyone who took the time to join us last Thursday for the Budget & Enrollment Forum and Tuition & Fees Hearing. Thanks to Vice President Kirsten Loewrigkeit and Vice President George Kacenga for their informative presentation, which clearly and comprehensively laid out our fiscal circumstances generally and, in particular, how they relate to enrollment trends. If you’d like to take a closer look at the slides, they will be posted here by the end of today. The numbers and context provided during the forum tell a story both of the tough steps we’ve taken and the many ambitious moves we continue to make to expand enrollment and revenue while controlling costs. I also want to thank Vice President Miki Cammarata for moderating the Tuition Hearing that followed and Board of Trustees Chair Michael Seeve and Trustee Kevin Lenahan for joining me for the hearing. We appreciate all the questions and comments from the students, faculty, and staff in the audience. It is important for us to know what is on the campus community’s mind as we continue formulating and communicating our fiscal planning, including tuition and fees for the 2023-24 academic year.    

A reminder that the March “First Thursday” event was the last of the semester, so there will not be one this month or next. Also, please remember that the University will be closed this Friday, April 7 for Spring holiday.

This week’s WPWe are Proud: Congratulations to the 127 student-athletes recognized by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation at a March 30 ceremony for maintaining a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average while completing a minimum of three semesters at WP. The Pioneers recognized 96 intercollegiate athletics student-athletes and 31 club sport members, and also inducted its tenth class into Chi Alpha Sigma, the national student-athlete honor society for juniors and seniors who have a minimum 3.4 GPA (minimum 60 credits earned and three semesters attended at WP). Sixteen new inductees joined 34 returning Pioneers as Chi Alpha Sigma members. Also, the William Paterson softball team received the Pioneer Academic Excellence Award for having the highest combined team GPA for the Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 semesters. As these recognitions demonstrate, our Pioneers are true student-athletes in the finest sense.

Have a great couple of weeks, including a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend.


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