Former president Bob Messina reflects on reflects on history of Rowan College at Burlington County

May 20, 2019 284

BY: David Levinsky

Messina wasn’t the college’s first or even second president. But much of what the school has become can be traced to the Mount Holly resident, who came to the school after stints as a professor and administrator at Nassau Community College, the State University of New York and Broome Community College. Bob Messina wasn’t supposed to amount to much.

One of eight children in a poor Italian family in New York City, he often found himself in the back of classrooms in high school with other students who weren’t considered particularly bright or potential college material. He never thought he would attend college, let alone lead one for the better part of three decades, and he credits his own experiences with helping to motivate him to ensure that college was accessible and affordable for Burlington County students, no matter their circumstances or financial means.

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