CAMDEN – A prominent South Jersey family has contributed in excess of $1 million dollars to create a new center that will advance innovations in accounting practice and education at Rutgers-Camden.
Three brothers – Daniel Jr., Dean and David Ragone, all Rutgers graduates – have worked with their family foundation to make the gift in recognition of their father and his legacy as a respected community and business leader in South Jersey.The Daniel J. Ragone Center for Excellence in Accounting at the Rutgers School of Business-Camden will be launched in 2014 to facilitate connections between accounting professionals in the region and Rutgers’ research-based faculty. The center also will seek to teach the next generation of high-performing accounting professionals to provide southern New Jersey with growth potential for this critical field.
The endowed gift also will allow Rutgers-Camden to develop seminars and executive education programs to help current accountants keep abreast of new practices within the industry.
“This significant gift by the Ragone family is visionary in its scope,” says Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Wendell E. Pritchett. “The generous support of the Daniel J. Ragone Family Foundation firmly establishes Rutgers–Camden as a hub for accounting expertise and skill that will benefit southern New Jersey and the Delaware Valley for decades. We are indebted and deeply grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Ragone and their sons for their commitment to the sustained growth of Rutgers–Camden. Rutgers is honored that to be entrusted with this lasting legacy to Dan, Lillian, and their family.”
According to Dean Ragone, a 1981 Rutgers-Camden graduate, the family intends for the gift to also signal the value of the campus to the region. “Over the years, I’ve met so many Rutgers–Camden alumni who are so successful,” says the principal of allRisk Property Damage Experts. “It’s important for families and business leaders alike to know that Rutgers has an outstanding campus right here in South Jersey. Supporting Rutgers–Camden is an extraordinary investment in the growth of our region and state.”
Daniel J. Ragone Sr. grew up in the City of Camden and graduated from Camden High School in 1945, and La Salle College (now University) in 1951. He formed his own public accounting firm in 1960; that firm – Ragone, Lacatena, Fairchild & Beppel – continues to represent some of the Delaware Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs. His service to the region defines the growth of South Jersey, and includes membership on the boards of the Kennedy Health System, the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation, and Kennedy University Hospital and formally a director of Commerce Bank. He has received numerous honors through the years, including the recent Beacon Award from Kennedy Health Systems and the New Jersey Hospital Trustee of the Year.
“Accounting is a gateway to long-term professional success,” explains Daniel Ragone of the gift that he and his wife, Lillian, endorsed for Rutgers. “Regardless of your profession or industry, accounting is vital to the growth of your business and to the overall economic health of our region and nation.”
“In addition to supporting the accounting profession in the Delaware Valley, my family is pleased that our gift supports my home city, Camden, and Rutgers’ role in strengthening the city as a hub for educational excellence.”
“The generosity of the Ragone family provides a strong foundation upon which Rutgers–Camden students – indeed, our entire region – will draw for generations,” says Jaishankar Ganesh, dean of the Rutgers School of Business–Camden. “Rutgers-Camden has a proven record of achievement and excellence in the area of accounting at the undergraduate and graduate levels, where accounting is the largest major. The Ragone family gift will expand our innovative and practical approach to accounting education and enable practitioners, faculty, and students to collaborate and learn from one another.”
Ganesh further notes that the Rutgers School of Business-Camden recently “has attracted nearly half a dozen remarkable young assistant professors from across the country to join our accomplished senior accounting faculty. The school has also successfully launched a graduate degree program serving working professionals in the field of accounting, with plans to soon launch a second master’s program in taxation.”
David Ragone, a 1988 graduate of Rutgers–Camden, serves as one of the principals of the Chancellor Development Group, a Haddonfield-based regional commercial real estate development company specializing in retail development for national retail companies. “My father taught me the value in conducting business in an honorable and trustworthy fashion and his business acumen has resonated with me every day in the way I operate my business,” says David. “He is truly one of the most principled businessmen I know and I am often reminded of that fact by many of the people I meet in the business world who have conducted transactions with him in the past.”
Daniel Ragone Jr., a 1977 graduate of Rutgers-New Brunswick, is a renowned doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation in Mount Laurel. "Rutgers has afforded my family the opportunity to attain our personal goals. My family’s achievements continue to be reflected by our commitment to giving back to the community. This gift to Rutgers University will continue my father’s dream of promoting his love for accounting and at the same time giving all students the opportunities to choose the same journey.”
A passionate advocate for Rutgers-Camden, Dean is co-chair of the committee that seeks to develop an Alumni House on the Camden Campus.
The Camden Campus enrolls 6,700 students in 36 undergraduate and 27 graduate programs taught by world-class faculty acknowledged widely as leaders in their fields. The 40-acre campus is located in the heart of the vibrant Camden Waterfront.
The Rutgers School of Business-Camden campus attracts students pursuing baccalaureate and master’s degrees that prepare them for success across a wide spectrum of disciplines. The unit emphasizes opportunities for students to work closely with faculty researchers on campus and at businesses, non-profit, and governmental entities around the world. Through the School of Business–Camden, Rutgers is recognized as an international resource for executive education.
The Ragone gift is part of the university’s historic $1 billion “Our Rutgers, Our Future” fundraising campaign.