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Drucker Invested with Presidency

President Sheldon Drucker was officially invested with the office of the presidency during a ceremony prior to this year’s annual Board of Trustees picnic.

See video of the Installation ceremony

Board Chairman Patrick J. Zenner bestowed upon Drucker the medallion of the Office of the President. “With this installation today,” he said, “we officially recognize and commemorate your leadership, we charge you with the responsibility of guiding this institution and confer upon you the authority for the task.”

After serving as acting president and interim president, Drucker was named president by the Board in April 2013. A member of the FDU community since 1996, Drucker has also held the positions of vice president for finance/treasurer and senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Zenner noted Drucker’s strong preference to not have the costly type of celebration that often marks presidential inaugurations, particularly in a period of economic challenges.

The Board decided to hold the ceremony in conjunction with another event already scheduled, the annual picnic. Drucker proudly announced, “The money we didn’t spend on a more dramatic production has all been dedicated toward student scholarships and toward operating expenses that benefit our students.”

The investiture of the president was a historic moment for the University, and Drucker holds a position that only six other individuals have held. Zenner added that Drucker’s presidency occurs during a critical period when higher education is facing many changes and challenges. “Shelley Drucker is the right person for the right time and we have great confidence that he will continue to build on the outstanding accomplishments of this great University.”

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President Drucker

The ceremony featured greetings from community leaders representing the faculty, students, staff and alumni. In attendance were higher education leaders and several elected officials and a resolution was presented on behalf of the New Jersey Legislature congratulating and supporting Drucker.

June Middleton, president of the Faculty Senate, expressed her appreciation for President Drucker’s experience and devotion. She cited his involvement in and in-depth knowledge of so many aspects of University life. “Among the list of FDU’s presidents, you stand out in matching the dedication, experience and commitment exemplified by our founder and first president Peter Sammartino.”

She added, “In your role as the leader of your faculty colleagues, we know that we can continue to seek your guidance and advice and to benefit from your broad expertise. … I know that I speak for our colleagues when I applaud what has already been accomplished in your first year and what we truly anticipate as an even brighter future.”

Kaitlyn Komstead, a junior mathematics major at the Metropolitan Campus and a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, congratulated Drucker on behalf of the student body. “Since its founding, Fairleigh Dickinson has been blessed with amazing leaders, and President Drucker is no exception to this legacy. His skills, knowledge and drive are going to help raise Fairleigh Dickinson to another level of excellence.”

Komstead added that without scholarship support she and many others would not have been able to afford a high-quality education. “President Drucker’s focus on affordability and his emphasis on awarding scholarships have allowed many of us opportunities that we didn’t think possible. He sees the potential of all the students who walk through the doors at Fairleigh Dickinson, and he is striving to help us all reach that potential.”

Karen Lewis, president of the Professional Administrative Senate, said, “We are truly excited to be working with you as you develop the next institutional strategic plan and chart the course for the future. Your engagement with our staff members and your influence on us through the years has been very inspiring. We welcome the opportunity to strengthen our FDU community by increasing employee engagement and support.”

Steven Grumbach, president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors, said, “In the time he has been serving as president, Sheldon Drucker has shown himself to be truly worthy and well deserving of this great honor, and he has certainly earned our respect, admiration and support. President Drucker knows that a University is at least partially defined by the success of its alumni. And so he has taken the time to recognize that success and to help further cultivate alumni success and achievement. He has also taken the time to understand alumni concerns and to help us stay involved and contribute our enthusiasm and expertise to everything that’s going on today.”

Drucker said he was “grateful for the confidence and trust expressed by the Board and the entire University community. It is truly a privilege to serve such a talented, committed and caring community.” He stressed, though, that he was just one member of an “extraordinary team” that is working well together to continue the University’s momentum.

Drucker said he has many dreams for FDU’s future, beginning with continuing to provide an education that is “global and personal; an education that is accessible, affordable and transformational.” He said he dreams of bringing the University’s global mission to life in all of the University’s activities, introducing additional innovative programs, increasing FDU’s national and international recognition, forging more partnerships with important institutions and opening new campuses.

“I dream perhaps above all that all our students will have the education and the tools necessary to not just find jobs, but to truly become top leaders in their chosen pursuits, ready and capable of shaping the future.”

As Drucker has emphasized throughout the past academic year, higher education is facing several major challenges relating to “increasing competition and costs, decreasing support and resources, and questions about the value of a college degree.” He said FDU had hard decisions to make, but is well prepared for the future with the current development of a multi-year strategic plan. “Together we can bring that blueprint to life. But as with the formation of our strategic plan, I need your ideas and your involvement. I need your passion and your persistence. I need you and your creativity.”

“Together,” he added, “we can move forward and add a wonderful new chapter to an already extraordinary story. Together we can aspire to be everything our students need to make their own dreams come true.”

Installation President and Mrs Drucker FULL

President Sheldon Drucker and his wife Sandi commemorate Presidential Installation on June 3, 2014.

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Grand Marshal Antoinette Anastasia leads the procession.

Installation Zenner FULL

Patrick J. Zenner
Chairman, Board of Trustees

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June Middleton
President, Faculty Senate; Associate Professor of Biology

Installation Komstead FULL

Kaitlyn Komstead
Presidential Scholar Recipient, Metropolitan Campus

Installation Lewis FULL

Karen Lewis
President, Professional Administrative Senate; Senior Director of Principal Gifts

Installation Grumbach FULL

Steven Grumbach
President, Alumni Association Board of Governors