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RCBC Dedicates Building to Founding College President Dr. N. Dean Evans

Drayton, Evans, Gibbs, Nyikita

Rowan College at Burlington County announced Tuesday that the business and science Incubators in Mount Laurel would be renamed Evans Hall, after founding college President Dr. N. Dean Evans.

“It is only fitting that the first building the college renames as we transition to Mount Laurel is in honor of the college’s first president, Dr. N. Dean Evans,” said Rowan College at Burlington County President Paul Drayton. “Dr. Evans laid the foundation for our great college and allowed us to became what we are today—a national model for modern higher education. I can think of no person more deserving of this honor.”

Dr. Evans was appointed as the college’s first president in 1967 and served until 1976. He and his wife Jackie and daughter Jennifer attended a reception in his honor at the Enterprise Center. President Drayton announced the college would create a scholarship in Dr. Evans’ name.

“I thank the Board for this honor, and must add that the successful founding of the college involved an exceptional Board of Trustees, represented tonight by Judge Victor Friedman, a dedicated group of administrators, a superb faculty and staff, and an eager student body. Working together we achieved full accreditation in three years,” said Dr. N. Dean Evans. “I wish the current Board, administration and faculty the best as you work to provide first-rate learning experiences for your students.”

Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director and a former RCBC Trustee Kate Gibbs, presented Dr. Evans with a proclamation honoring his service to the college and county.

“Countless students in Burlington County transformed their lives through education because of Dr. Evans’ work,” Gibbs said. “Rowan College at Burlington County is an extraordinary success and Dr. Evans was an instrumental figure in its earliest chapter. The entire county appreciates his service and it is wonderful to acknowledge his contributions as we usher in a bright new future.”

Dr. Evans opened Burlington County College in 1969 at Lenape Regional High School with 728 full-time and 323 part-time students, before moving the campus to Pemberton in 1970. In 1971, the Lewis M. Parker Center (than known as College Center) and the Physical Education Center opened. He was also responsible for creating the college’s first major off-campus facility in Willingboro and increased access to education in local communities by offering night classes in several towns including Cinnaminson and Fort Dix. Dr. Evans is noted for embracing educational innovation and oversaw the creation of a basic skills program, long before such curriculum was mandated by the state.

“Dr. N. Dean Evans was a tireless advocate for education throughout his lifetime,” said Board Chair George Nyikita, who presented Dr. Evans with a resolution on behalf of the board. “We are committed to preserving the college’s history as we transition to the Mount Laurel campus and Evans Hall will allow us to recognize Dr. Evans’ immeasurable contributions and carry his name into the college’s future.”

The newly renamed Evans Hall will become the temporary home for student services and the bookstore after the spring 2016 semester until those functions move to the new student success center, slated to open by fall 2017. Evans Hall will ultimately house several college departments including Public Safety, the Workforce Development Institute, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Strategic Marketing and Communications.

Complete information about the college’s transformation is available at rcbc.edu/campus-transformation.

After the college announced its new premier partnership with Rowan University that allows students to achieve a bachelor’s degree for as little as $30,000 and plans to create the ultimate campus experience in Mount Laurel, it created the Preserving our Pemberton Heritage Committee to identify ways to honor the college’s Pemberton roots at its new main campus in Mount Laurel.

President Drayton stressed that the college’s plans to transform the Mount Laurel campus includes the consideration of important cultural and historical artifacts to preserve from Pemberton.  

“As Rowan College at Burlington County works to establish the modern model of higher education so that more students have access to college, we are cognizant of the fact that many, many people helped us get to where we are today,” he said. “We are making every effort possible to properly honor our past.”

Pictured: (left to right) Rowan College at Burlington County President Paul Drayton, founding college president Dr. N. Dean Evans, Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director and former RCBC Trustee Kate Gibbs, and RCBC Board Chair George Nyikita.