Office of the President
June 6, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

I hope everyone had a restful holiday week and a pleasant start to the summer. While much work remains to be done in getting more continuing students enrolled and registered and otherwise preparing for the Fall semester, this is a good time to take advantage of the summer work schedule and any available vacation time. When planning for the coming months, please keep in mind the schedule for the Summer 2022 Learning and Development Program, which will kick off in the Shea Center on June 29 at 8:00 a.m. with a keynote address by Jackie Freeman, President of Delta-V Strategies LLC, and continue on select Wednesday mornings throughout the summer. Please click here to see program descriptions and schedules and for the registration links.

We recently received the wonderful news that our new Child Development Center at 1800 Valley Road has received the temporary license from the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) that will allow it to begin enrolling children for a Fall opening, at which point NJDCF would return for a follow-up inspection with the expectation that we would then receive a full license. So many people have contributed to this significant undertaking, and I’d like to especially thank Provost Josh Powers, College of Education Dean Amy Ginsberg, Associate Vice President for Administration Kevin Garvey, CDC Director Kristina Deak, and Director of Early Childhood Innovation Cindy Gennarelli, who all played key roles in turning this idea into reality. 

As many of you know, June is Pride Month, in which we recognize and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community here on campus and around the world. While we wait until our students return in the Fall to do our Pride-focused programming, I am pleased to share the great news that William Paterson University’s Campus Pride Index Score is 4.5 out of a possible 5. The index is a national assessment tool that assists campuses in improving safety and campus climate for LGBTQ people and helps shape the educational experience to be more inclusive, welcoming, and respectful of LGBTQ people and allies. While there is always more work to be done, this is a positive sign of the progress our campus community is making in creating a more equitable and inclusive community. I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in this work as part of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s LGBTQIA Advisory Team under the leadership of the Director for Student Diversity and Inclusion Yolany Gonell.

Also, I had the pleasure of joining local elected officials, clergy, and other leaders for a June 1 ceremony in which the Pride flag was raised in front of the Wayne Township municipal complex on Valley Road. This flag is another small but powerful symbol of the essential part that LGBTQIA+ people play in our local community, as well as communities across New Jersey and around the world. I want to thank, in particular, Wayne Mayor Christopher Vergano and Councilwoman Francine Ritter for their role in flying the Pride flag in recent years and in organizing this first-ever ceremony.
This week’s WPWe are Proud – In a ceremony last week, we celebrated Dr. Dorothy Grant Hennings and her late husband Dr. George Hennings and recognized their generous philanthropic support for William Paterson by renaming Science Hall East in their honor. The Hennings’ gift will provide additional generous support towards the already established Barbara M. Grant Endowed Scholarship – named for Dr. Grant Hennings’ late sister and WP Professor Emerita – as well as additional generous support for the already established George and Dorothy Hennings Endowed Scholarship. It will also provide support for student research in the science disciplines in the College of Science and Health. And, finally, it will provide significant funding to create an endowed fund in George and Dorothy Hennings’ name, which will be a source of unrestricted support for strategic initiatives of the University. William Paterson and our students will benefit greatly from the Hennings’ generosity for a long time to come, and I hope we all take a moment to recognize them whenever we enter or pass by the new Hennings Hall.

Have a great week.

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