On Friday, October 11, Rutgers School of Social Work hosted a celebration in honor of William Waldman’s dedication to social justice at Rutgers University and beyond. The gala, hosted at The Heldrich in downtown New Brunswick, supported the establishment of the William Waldman Endowed Fellowship, which was created upon Waldman’s recent retirement from his position as Professor of Professional Practice. The Fellowship will assist students who, like Waldman, would otherwise have difficulty attending or remaining in school as they balance education with family and work.
The evening’s program included a panel presentation on the need for bipartisanship to advance social justice, a hallmark of Waldman’s career in government. Panelists included Governor James J. Florio (49th Governor of the State of New Jersey), Jen Velez (Executive Vice President of Community and Behavioral Health at RWJBarnabas), Maxim Thorne (Managing Director of the Andrew Goodman Foundation), Deborah Spitalnik, PhD (Founding Executive Director of The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities), Tessa Farah, MSW (School of Social Work alumna and former student of Bill’s), and Dr. V. DuWayne Battle (Associate Professor of Teaching and Director of the Baccalaureate Social Work Program) who served as moderator.
Waldman joined the School’s faculty in 2001 and also served as faculty advisor for the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Fellowship and Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Fellowship. He has been an integral part of the School for many reasons, particularly the breadth and depth of his expertise and the humility and caring he brought to teaching.
With fifty years of practice experience encompassing casework, supervision, management, policy development, and governance, Waldman held leadership positions in numerous public and private organizations at the local, state, and national levels. He served as Commissioner of Human Services and a member of the Cabinet of three governors of the State of New Jersey.
Cathryn Potter, Dean and Distinguished Professor at Rutgers School of Social Work commented, “A devoted advocate and enthusiastic teacher, Bill’s impact on the field of social work cannot be overstated. We have been privileged to have him on our faculty for nearly two decades, and with his departure, the School will continue to work to honor his legacy by educating the leaders of tomorrow.”
The School will continue to celebrate Waldman's career at the Annual Winter Alumni Reception (AWAR) on Thursday, November 21 where he will receive the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award. An end-of-year crowdfunding campaign will also be launched in the coming weeks for those who would like to continue to support the William Waldman Endowed Fellowship.
See photos from the event on the School of Social Work's Facebook page.