‘This was George’s home’

Rowan College of South Jersey announces scholarship in memory of longtime advisor

Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) has announced the creation of the George Henry Rey IV Teaching is Advising Memorial Scholarship to honor a longtime staffer dedicated to supporting student success.

The anouncement was made at the student services building on the college’s Deptford campus, where the late Rey spent two decades of his 34-year career at Rowan.

- Advertisement -

“This was George’s home. We’re sitting here in his house,” remarked Rowan President Frederick Keating, as he welcomed attendees who included some of Rey’s family and friends. “On behalf of our student body, I would like to say thank you to the Rey family. Thank you for loaning George to us for all those years to guide and assist the many students who have walked these halls.”

Rowan was like a second home to Rey, colleagues and family said. It was there that he made it his personal mission to help students make academic choices that aligned with their career goals and personal values.

“He valued the importance of an affordable college education and always advocated on behalf of his students,” remembered Shawn Rutter, Rowan director of academic advisement and retention, who worked with Rey for 10 years.

The $500 transfer scholarship in Rey’s name will be awarded annually to a full-time student at Rowan in Deptford who wants to move into Rowan University’s School of Education programs after earning an associate’s degree. To apply, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and submit an essay describing how they plan to use their education to make an impact of their own.

Rey’s wife, Julia Elizabeth stood at the podium during the scholarship announcement last month and recalled how she met her husband some 30 years ago through her first job at Salem County College. Julia Rey – who has worked for Rowan University for 17 years – described how a relationship between two respected colleagues with a shared passion for higher education blossomed into a lifelong partnership. 

“He’s my husband, he’s my best friend, and the father of my children, but he was also a colleague before that,” she noted. “We definitely had a special bond. In our household – although we had much to talk about besides work – there was more than one heated debate over transfer policies, (course) articulations, whose campus was better …”

Following her husband’s death, Rey saw an outpouring of love from his colleagues. Rowan co-workers collected funds for the family, and they in turn decided to add money of their own and endow a scholarship that for years to come will continue George Rey’s mission of guiding students.

“This place was his heart,” Beth recalled. ” … He was so excited to come to campus and see each one of you and, especially his students. When we started to think about the best way to honor George’s legacy, creating a scholarship just made sense …

“To further keep his legacy going, we wanted to endow that scholarship …” she added. “But this scholarship is not just from my family – it’s from all of you. So, thank you for your contributions, because you helped to make this happen today.”

To learn more about the George Henry Rey scholarship and other scholarship opportunities enabled by donors, visit RCSJ.edu/Scholarships.

- Advertisment -