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Rider University receives $4 million to fund expansion of Science and Technology Center

A rendering of Rider University's Science and Technology Center addition.

A rendering of Rider University’s Science and Technology Center addition.

On Nov. 30, Rider University, Lawrence Township, New Jersey, broke ground on a new wing of its Science and Technology Center and announced a $4 million leadership gift from Michael J. Hennessy, 1982, in support of the project. The gift is the largest ever received at Rider for the sciences. The University plans to name the building the Mike and Patti Hennessy Science and Technology Center once the project is completed in January 2022.

The one-story addition will expand the size of the building to more than 79,000 sq. ft. and provide modern labs and classroom space for cybersecurity, anatomy and physiology, as well as an evolving program in software engineering. The $7.5 to $8 million project will support a new greenhouse, along with distinct areas meant to encourage collaboration and study.

“We’re particularly excited about this leadership gift for our Science and Technology Center expansion project,” says Rider President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in our science majors and this construction project will provide us with an opportunity to introduce new, high demand majors.”

Hennessy met his wife, Patrice “Patti” Shelmet Hennessy, 1982, at Rider when they were both students. Patti, who passed away in January after a long illness, graduated with a bachelor’s in office administration. Hennessy, who earned a bachelor’s in political science, is the founder and chairman of MJH Life Sciences. The couple have been longtime supporters of Rider, particularly its Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics.  

Once Hennessy learned about the expansion plans for the Science and Technology Center, he immediately saw the importance of such growth, as well as a way to commemorate Patti through this gift.  

University Advancement is currently fundraising in support of the project at rider.edu/sciencebuilding.