News

Published:

December 2, 2014
 
Tagged: Adelphi University, Office of the President

I Feel Very Privileged to be Named the 10th President of Adelphi University

News, Speeches and Correspondence, Message to the Adelphi Community


They say that life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
 
Today is one of those breathtaking moments for me.
 
I feel very privileged to be named the 10th president of Adelphi University and its first woman president. I would like to thank the board of trustees and the search committee for their faith in my leadership and experience, especially Robert Willumstad and Dr. Gerry House for their diligence throughout the process and the personal time they devoted to my family and me.
 
As I address my new Adelphi family for the first time, I thought you might want to know a few things about me: what attracted me to Adelphi; my background, career and my family; and how I envision the future of Adelphi for all of us.
 
Let me start with my first meeting with Chairman Willumstad. He asked me, “How do you know about Adelphi?” It was an easy question. Adelphi is no secret to me since I lived in New Jersey for a time and have visited New York City numerous times throughout my career in higher education.
 
I knew Adelphi to be a nationally ranked doctorial research university with outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on personalized experiences, innovative technology, professional education and a wise blend of liberal arts and sciences. Those tenets speak directly to everything I believe in and work for.
 
Then there is President Scott’s transformative leadership legacy.
 
All you have to do is look around Adelphi’s campus and centers to see that enrollment has grown, alumni support and engagement is at an all-time high, students are succeeding inside and outside of the classroom, the endowment has increased and the Garden City campus has been transformed by new and renovated state-of-the-art facilities, including the much-anticipated Nexus Building and Welcome Center opening in 2015.
 
Adelphi is, indeed, a university of distinction. But a university is so much more than our accomplishments.
 
As you get to know me, you will hear me say a million times: People make the place. It takes everyone to make Adelphi great—faculty, students, staff, trustees, alumni, family members and friends.
 
From my meetings with the search committee and in my campus visits, it is clear to me that the people of Adelphi are the heart and soul of the University.
 
I can see the deep sense of community and commitment that pervades every aspect of campus.
 
Adelphi is definitely a person-centered university. The faculty and staff are focused on students’ retention, graduation and success throughout their time here and well into their careers. University leadership is dedicated to the ongoing scholarship, research and accomplishments of faculty and staff. Most important, everyone here, like me, is devoted to the public good and the creation of knowledge.
 
Like you, I am passionate about helping others succeed. My parents, both of whom were the first in their families to graduate from college, each enjoyed long and successful careers in education.
 
As a teenager, I thought there was no way I wanted to follow in their footsteps—so I got a degree in engineering. But that deep love for knowledge and education, instilled in me by my parents, never went away, and in my mid-20s , I pursued my Ph.D. and committed my career to education.
 
I have taught in classrooms, devoted countless hours to research and led schools and universities from Texas to Denver to Kentucky. With a diverse background in STEM and business, I have a record of developing multidisciplinary learning and research programs and centers.
 
I am supported in all my endeavors by my wonderful husband, Robert Gatewood, author and professor emeritus from the University of Georgia and a champion of education himself, and two teenagers, who keep me humble. I also have a lovable and spoiled bulldog, Georgia, who puts my leadership skills to the test.
 
In the months to come, I will spend time with President Scott and learn even more about the University.
 
When I arrive in July, I look forward to hosting many sessions with faculty, staff, students and alumni so I can listen to your thoughts, ideas and comments on a variety of topics.
 
With your commitment to scholarship that enriches education and society, combined with Adelphi’s solid history and the momentum that I see growing daily, I know that the future of Adelphi is bright.
 
This hidden gem is on an exciting path, read y to launch onto the grand stage as a model metropolitan university.
 
I am looking forward to working with you to write the next chapter.
 
With the already beautiful Garden City campus undergoing state-of-the-art updates, and the Manhattan, Suffolk County and Hudson Valley centers expanding our impact, the potential for cross-campus synergies are enormous.
 
Working together, we can build on Adelphi’s distinct identity for strong STEM education, professional programs, health care programs and liberal arts, and tackle the challenges facing higher education today: changing demographics, greater competition, affordability and access, and integrating technology in ways that make sense.
 
This is no time to think small. If we challenge ourselves and those around us to seek innovative ways of teaching, if we seek out and encourage that spark of an idea, if we collaborate and engage in exciting discussions, together we are the best authors for the University’s next chapter.
 
In the meantime, I am available by email and on Twitter and Facebook. I am look forward to hearing from you, meeting you, and working alongside my new Adelphi family.
 
Thank you again for your faith in me as the 10th president of this great University. I look forward to listening, talking and working with all of you.
 
» Download Dr. Riordan’s remarks as a PDF
 

For further information, please contact:

Office of University Communications and Marketing
p – 516.877.3693
e – ucomm@adelphi.edu

Tagged: Adelphi University, Office of the President