Rutgers Center for Real Estate: Investing in students is right thing to do  

To invest in someone is a huge commitment. It shows dedication and a belief that, through resources and assistance, value will be increased.  

The Rutgers Center for Real Estate invests in its students. It is committed to being the top real estate program in the country in terms of training its students and producing the most important and industry-relevant research. Since its inception in 2014, the center has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to students enrolled in its programs. Last week, the center celebrated the 2022 round of scholarship winners, who in total were awarded more than $400,000.  

The scholarship dinner at the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville was the center’s first in-person event since the pandemic. The evening brought together board members, donors, alumni and others in the commercial real estate sector to celebrate the scholarship program and its recipients, who were also in attendance. 

Ron Ladell at the event.

Kicking off the evening was Ron Ladell, the newly selected chair of the Rutgers Center for Real Estate. 

Ladell served on the center’s Executive Committee since its inception in 2014 — he is a Rutgers University senator, representing the Rutgers University Alumni Association. He succeeds co-Chairs Carl Goldberg and Jimmy Hanson, who have served in that role since the center’s founding, and have been a very important part of the program.   

Support from Ladell and others in the industry is vital to the center, as they help set the academic courses, share their real-world experiences and provide students with networking and job opportunities. 

Morris Davis, the Paul V. Profeta Chair of Real Estate and the academic director of the center, said the center believes in enabling students to understand and achieve their potential, and the scholarship dinner celebrates that, somewhere along the way, the scholarship recipients have shown the center something within themselves that makes it think they will do something to unlock their potential. 

Davis said the center’s philosophy about giving out scholarship dollars is that it is the right thing to do.  

“We believe in investment, and what greater investment is there than our own? A building doesn’t just get built. It requires investment. Your human capital doesn’t just get built. It requires investment. You have to study. You have to work. You have to go to clubs. You have to take it all very seriously. That’s an investment you have to make, and the center wants to help make that investment. We want to support students financially, so they are not worried about debt when it comes time to invest in themselves. We want them to focus on their careers and studies while in school and give them the financial support to allow them to do that.” 

The center doesn’t just run itself. Davis not only highlighted the input from Hanson, Goldberg and Ladell, but he gave special props to Lori Layton, the director of marketing and outreach, who he said is instrumental to the viability of the program. He also gave thanks to numerous donors, who are the lifeline of the program, and who assist in its structure in various ways — everything from choosing the courses and instructors to building the advisory board and general advice along the way. Corporate sponsors of the program were also called out for their influence not only to the program, but to the industry. Davis thanked many others, as well, for their hard work and dedication to making the program a success.  

In all, approximately 100 students were awarded scholarships at the dinner. To be eligible for an award, students must be enrolled in one of the center’s academic programs at either the undergraduate or MBA level. The Scholarship Committee reviews all applications using a “blind” selection process. For information on supporting the program, please contact Lori Layton.