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Making It Official

Florham campus hosts presidential inauguration

By ELIZABETH WHITE

Managing Editor

(FLORHAM PARK) – Christopher Capuano was inaugurated as Fairleigh Dickinson University’s eighth president on Sept. 27 at its campus in Florham Park.

Capuano was appointed as president following university president Sheldon Drucker’s retirement after the 2015-16 academic year.

Capuano has been serving the FDU community for more than 30 years, beginning as a psychology professor before becoming the director of the School of Psychology. He also served as university provost and senior vice president for academic a airs.

Capuano talked about his childhood, and how his father immigrated to the United States from Italy to study analytical chemistry at Northeastern University.

“Before completing his degree, he met my mother, they married, and a few years later they had their first child—in their words, a little rascal (or as my father often said — un cattivo ragazzo), who never took no for an answer and stands before you today,” Capuano said.

President Capuano’s father attended the inauguration and was ecstatic to see his son be recognized at the ceremony.

“I am the happiest man on the Earth. I always knew I could do something like this,” Tony Capuano said. “Even when he was a boy, he was very alive,” he said.

Capuano shared some wisdom that he learned from his parents, who worked hard to make a good life for their children.

“Above all, I learned — and this is what I tell my children and our students — that the best things in life are not those things that are given to you, but rather those things that you work hard for and earn,” Capuano said.

Capuano also talked about where FDU is headed and the changes to come.

Two of Capuano’s projects during his time at FDU include the new School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the establishment of the campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

But Capuano said change is coming.

“Well, while I can tell you that FDU is on solid ground, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there are winds of change blowing all around us,” Capuano said.

Last September, FDU released the strategic plan for 2015-2020, which “provides a roadmap to establishing even more centers of excellence, and to further elevating the University’s reputation— regionally, nationally and internationally,” Capuano said.

The School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will add the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degrees, and “Henry P. Becton School of Nursing and Allied Health will work closely with the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to further

strengthen the University’s reputation and reach in the health sciences,” Capuano said.

The Silberman College of Business will have new programming in digital marketing and wealth and risk management.

“The International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, which is currently ranked 6th in the nation by Bestschools. org and 11th in the world by CEOWorld Magazine, has expanded its programming to the University’s international campuses in Canada and

England, and is nalizing an agreement with a major hotel company to construct new facilities, including a new hotel, on the Metropolitan Campus,” Capuano said.

A new School of Public and Global A airs and a new School of the Arts are also planned.

“Last fall the University initiated the quiet phase of what will be the most successful capital campaign in its 75-year history,” Capuano said. “And just one year into the quiet phase of the campaign, which is appropriately titled ‘One University, Many Dreams,’ I am happy to report that we already have commitments totaling more than $30 million.”

 

Capuano concluded his speech with hopes and dreams for the future.

“We will not miss our opportunity to build on past success and create something even better than what has come before us,” Capuano said. “Our legacy deserves nothing less, and our students deserve all that and more. We will honor our past, while building a brighter future.”

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