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Rider University seeks support to rename veterans’ affairs office after alum by Veterans Day

Rider University is nearly three-quarters of the way toward its $100,000 fundraising goal to renovate and rename the campus’ veterans affairs office for Dr. Eugene Marsh, a distinguished alumnus and veteran who died in January from complications of COVID-19. If successful, The Dr. Eugene Marsh Center for Veterans and Military Affairs would become the first space at the university to be named for a Black alumnus.PHOTO COURTESY OF RIDER UNIVERSITY
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Rider University is nearly three-quarters of the way toward its $100,000 fundraising goal to renovate and rename the campus’ veterans affairs office for Dr. Eugene Marsh, a distinguished alumnus and veteran who died in January from complications of COVID-19. If successful, The Dr. Eugene Marsh Center for Veterans and Military Affairs would become the first space at the university to be named for a Black alumnus.PHOTO COURTESY OF RIDER UNIVERSITY

Rider hopes to name the veterans center after Dr. Eugene Marsh; center would become the school’s first space named for a Black alumnus

Rider University is nearly three-quarters of the way toward its $100,000 fundraising goal to renovate and rename the campus’ veterans affairs office for Dr. Eugene Marsh ’13, ’18, ’21, a distinguished alumnus and veteran who died in January from complications of COVID-19.

If successful, The Dr. Eugene Marsh Center for Veterans and Military Affairs would become the first space at the university to be named for a Black alumnus, according to information provided by the school.

Rider hopes to reach its goal before Veterans Day on Nov. 11, in order to dedicate the space on Nov. 6 during the university’s homecoming.

To date, the initiative has raised $70,725, according to the statement.

Marsh was raised in South Carolina by a loving, illiterate foster mother in an era of segregation and he helped integrate his local high school, according to the statement.

After serving in the Vietnam War, he later overcame joblessness and homelessness to establish his own construction company, helping restore the Statue of Liberty and earning an invitation to the White House, according to the statement.

Nearing his 70s, he earned his master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Rider.

At the time of his death, he was 71 and working on his doctoral dissertation in educational leadership.

Rider’s Board of Trustees awarded his doctorate posthumously in May, according to the statement.

Marsh was known for his passion about using his education as a means to help other people and was particularly focused on mentoring and counseling veterans and Black people, according to the statement. For his dissertation, he was researching how student-veterans could be better supported in making informed decisions about their major of study and career goals at the outset of their education.

The proposed Dr. Eugene Marsh Center for Veterans and Military Affairs will encompass both the Rider University Veterans Association Lounge as well as the coordinator’s office. As a veteran, Marsh spent a significant amount of time in Rider’s current lounge and with the coordinator, according to the statement.

The veterans office provides resources and respite for all military-connected students. The staff assists military-connected students with all things unique to their circumstances such as applying for educational benefits for veterans, military and dependents; navigating the complexities of the various VA programs; and guiding them through their Rider journey, according to the statement.

Amounts raised in excess of the $100,000 goal will be allocated toward the Dr. Eugene Marsh Endowed Scholarship, which will be provided to veteran and military-connected students at Rider with financial need. Similarly, if the $100,000 fundraising effort, which is scheduled to conclude Nov. 1, falls short of its goal, all contributions will be allocated instead toward the scholarship.

Gifts can be made to The Dr. Eugene Marsh Memorial Fund by visiting rider.edu/eugenememorial.

For more information, contact Associate Director of Advancement Andrea Neale Jarvis at ajarvis@rider.edu or 609-896-5219.

 

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