NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Rutgers Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Bob Goodman and his office hosted the Rutgers Rising Memorial Service on September 19, 2019 to remember recently deceased alumni, faculty, and staff from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.
Over 100 faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends attended the event held at the Cook Student Center to pay their respects and celebrate their loved ones. Brian McGonigle, manager of alumni and community engagement for School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station welcomed attendees and shared the history of Rutgers Rising. Guests were then directed to view the nameplates of the deceased affixed to a standing plaque on the Heron Rising Patio located just outside the Student Center. A light reception followed, and the guests then reconvened in the multipurpose room to commence with the remembrances of those who passed away:
Diane Poehls Adams of the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
Alumnus Arup Baishya (CC’08), a Biotechnology major
Susan Ford (RC’78) of the Haskin Shellfish Research Lab
Seymour Gilbert (AG’35, GSNB’38, ’41) of the Food Science Department
J. Frederick Grassle, founder of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers
Sylvia Griffi (GSED’67, ’84) of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Monmouth County
Charles “Charley” Hess (AG’53), founding Dean of Cook College
Joseph Hunter (GSNB’62) of the Environmental Sciences Department
Marilyn Kluberspies of the SEBS-NJAES Business Office
Daniel Kluchinski (CC’85) of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Maureen Mangee of 4-H Youth Development
James Paterson of the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center
Daymon Thatch (AG’65, GSNB’66) of the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Warner Thurlow (AG’50, GSNB’68) of Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Middlesex County
The loved ones of the deceased who attended were very appreciative and grateful that their family members were honored. Attendees enjoyed being able to reconnect and reminisce with friends and colleagues, many of whom have since retired from Rutgers. It was a wonderful evening to remember alumni, colleagues, and friends who were a vibrant part of our community. Some were taken from us far too soon and others after a lifetime of devoted service and accomplishment. They are forever in our hearts.
All are welcome to visit the Rising Patio and pay their respects to those whose names are enshrined there; and know the high regard in which we hold these members of our community.
History of Rutgers Rising
It was in 1990 that Dean Lee Schneider, now retired, had the foresight to investigate how other land-grant institutions kept alive the memories of their faculty, staff, students, and alumni who had passed away. He discovered that there needed to be a space where folks can go to remember and pay their respects.
Scott Ernst, a member of the Class of 1985, had the privilege of conceptualizing and designing such a space. That space is distinctly marked with intricate brickwork in the shape of a five-foot heron rising from a pond, amidst ripples of water. It is an inspired design, and we are grateful for Scott’s ingenuity and creativity.
The late Roy DeBoer of the Department of Landscape Architecture, a man who truly touched the lives of so many of our students, and after his retirement remained actively involved in the life of the School, chose the river birch trees and many of the plantings surrounding the patio. Scott and Roy had the patio built in one weekend as a student project.
Since its creation, the patio has been a quiet space for reflection. It is most appropriate, then, that it became the place for the Rutgers Rising memorial plaques and this remembrance event.