Upholding legacies: Four honored for exemplary Centennial service

Upholding legacies, four honored for exemplary Centennial service

Four members of the Rowan University community were recently honored for their commitment, dedication, institutional knowledge, leadership and creativity in support of the University’s year-long Centennial celebration.

All of the once-in-a-century named awards honor those whose legacies are indelible at Rowan. Each honoree was recognized for upholding those legacies through their own careers at the University and, especially, during the Centennial.

The awards were presented during the Celebrating 100 Years Summer Sendoff Awards Ceremony for the University community in June.

Harold F. Wilson Centennial Ambassador Award
William Carrigan, Department of History

Named to honor the legacy of one of the most distinguished and respected faculty members in Rowan’s 100-year history, the award was presented to Carrigan in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and dedication to connecting students, faculty, staff and alumni with the University’s remarkable past.

Through his Project 100 initiative, Carrigan singlehandedly conducted, published and promoted more than 100 interviews with current and former professors, students and staff to resurrect often never-before-told stories of Rowan’s past, giving the University community intimate details into key moments in time.

His interviewees recalled everything from the historic Hollybush Summit to Operation Uganda to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to 9/11, among other events. Carrigan’s work has provided first-hand accounts of historical University and world events that students and scholars can reference for decades to come.

Like Wilson, who taught at the institution for 33 years, Carrigan is a long-time professor who just completed his 25th year of teaching. Also this year, he accepted the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the University’s most prestigious teaching honor.

236 Heart of Brown & Gold Award
Anthony Jimenez, Class of 2024

Established to honor the original class of 236 New Jersey State Normal School at Glassboro students who paved the way for every Rowan student that followed, the award was presented to Jimenez in recognition of his tireless work on numerous Centennial projects.

His deep institutional knowledge, diligent work ethic, can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit ensured that Rowan’s Centennial branding always was prominent and professional. Additionally, he contributed to the success of the University’s Centennial Shop, ensuring it was well-organized and running smoothly. Proceeds from the shop, which features one-of-a-kind items designed in-house in celebration of the Centennial, benefit Rowan students in need.

Like the original 236 students in the institution’s first class, Jimenez, a music education major, is committed to classroom teaching. Moreover, he is an Army reservist.

John B. Sangree Stewardship Award
Sara Wright, Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Named to honor a biology professor who was a charter faculty member, the Sangree Award recognized Wright’s dedication to educating the University community and the public about the fascinating history of Rowan’s natural environment. 

In her work, Wright has given walking tours of campus throughout the seasons, identifying species and teaching University community members how to preserve the natural beauty of campus…and Sangree’s work. Dedicated to training teachers with a firm foundation in science, Sangree, himself, helped beautify campus by planting hundreds of trees, rose bushes and other perennials.

Rowan’s campus today boasts nearly 100 different tree species. Wright’s commitment to preserving and educating about the University’s “living learning landscape” upholds Sangree’s distinguished legacy as a campus leader and naturalist.

This year, Wright, a plant evolutionary geneticist, also accepted the Frances S. Johnson Junior Faculty Innovative Teaching Award in recognition of her work with students to establish the Rowan Arboretum Project.

Donald Bagin Professional Legacy Award
Daniel Murphy, University Publications

Bagin was an internationally respected communication giant, the first chair of the Department of Public Relations & Advertising and the founding director of the University’s graduate program in public relations. Moreover, he was public relations director during the 1967 Hollybush Summit, when, with just 16 hours’ notice, the institution became the center of the world’s attention as President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin held talks at the height of the Cold War.

Under incredible pressure, Bagin was unflappable, demonstrating the best of what outstanding professional communicators can accomplish.

The Bagin award was presented to Murphy in recognition of his communication skills, dedication and creativity to Rowan for many years and, especially, during the Centennial. Murphy’s work included creative leadership for “100 Years Forward: The History of Rowan University,” the institution’s massive history book, and for many of the Centennial designs that honor the University’s institutional heritage.

Much like Bagin’s, Murphy’s work and leadership have raised Rowan’s profile—and built institutional pride—for more than 25 years.