Susan Rosenberg, BA’68 (Flor), Fine Arts

A combination of a portrait and illustration of a woman.

(Illustration: Matthew Hancock)

“In the early 1960s, Frank Gimble, a professor, moved next door to my childhood home. I was a junior at Asbury Park (N.J.) High School and considering becoming an elementary school teacher. He recommended that I study fine arts at Fairleigh Dickinson University, one of the schools where he taught, instead. ‘It would open more doors,’ he told me. He was right.

Dr. Gimble made a phone call to FDU on my behalf, and I was in. Beginning in my freshman year, I struggled with time management. But I felt prepared in other ways — I credit my parents and their superb qualities, their character and their work ethic for that. FDU created a welcoming, nurturing environment that provided me with a fabulous foundation.

In 1967, I was sitting on the mansion patio one day, reading an article about careers in museum curation in Cosmopolitan magazine. That, combined with more advice from Dr. Gimble — study library science because elementary education is a crowded field — propelled me to my master’s degree at the University of Michigan.

Brookdale Community College opened in 1969, only 12 miles from my family home. I applied for a job at their academic library, beginning a 41-year career. I got to arrange exhibits and displays, as well as work with academic departments. The library ensured that students had the best resources. Teaching students the value of good information, and how to access it, was integral to the job.

My bachelor’s degree from FDU enriched my entire life and allowed me to develop my interests in art history, painting, yoga, spirituality, photography, travel, anthropology and reading. We cannot turn all our interests into careers, but interests make life more interesting.

To date, I have been to 74 countries and all seven continents. In my retirement, I gravitated to the Asbury Park Historical Society, where I am secretary and outreach chair. I conduct research and contribute to its newsletter. And as a board member of the newly formed Asbury Park Museum, I help create exhibits.

A college education provides individuals with choices and insight. A first-generation student is a trailblazer. I might have gotten advice and encouragement, but I had to pave the path myself.”