Marketing & Business Information Systems
William G. Rohrer
Businessman, community leader, government official, philanthropist and family man.
William G. Rohrer was all of these and much more.
Born in 1909, Mr. Rohrer grew up in Williamsport and Pottsville, Pa. He moved to Camden County to establish the Rohrer Chevrolet Agency with his father. He operated the dealership for 50 years, building it into one of the largest automobile dealerships in southern New Jersey.
A resident of Haddon Township since 1929, Mr. Rohrer served as a committeeman for four years and as mayor for 36 years. He launched the First People's Bank of New Jersey in 1956 and served as its president and chief executive officer until 1982 and later as chairman emeritus of the board of directors. He also established and was president of Wm. G. Rohrer Inc., a real estate holding company, and served as president or partner in several other real estate development companies. Mr. Rohrer was past president of the First National Bank of Stone Harbor and the Fidelity Bank of Pennsauken.
During his lifetime, Mr. Rohrer played a major role in a variety of charitable and fundraising and community improvement activities and contributed to numerous educational and charitable causes.
Mr. Rohrer was married with four daughters. Though he died in 1989 at age 79, his legacy lives on in part through the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation that his estate funds in his honor.
The foundation that honors Mr. Rohrer — the former banker, business owner, public official and humanitarian whose life was dedicated to improving the educational and economic prosperity of southern New Jersey — focuses on funding local causes in keeping with Mr. Rohrer's long-time dedication to local organizations. That foundation has been instrumental in propelling Rowan University’s College of Business into a highly competitive, well-respected, accredited school that provides project-based undergraduate and graduate programs.
In 1999, the Rohrer Charitable Foundation awarded Rowan $1 million to fund scholarships in the College of Business.
In 1994, the foundation made a $1-million gift to the University to establish the William G. Rohrer Professorial Chair in the College of Business, the University's first endowed chair and the first gift of $1 million or more for a chair among New Jersey's nine state colleges. The University has used the interest from that gift to bring visiting professors and business leaders to teach and lecture on campus.
In 2005, the foundation contributed $10-million to the College of Business, which the University named the William G. Rohrer College of Business. That gift was the largest the University had received since Henry Rowan donated $100 million to the school in 1992.
Today, the Rohrer gift is used to support the College of Business’ entrepreneurial curriculum in all disciplines, including applied courses and real-world projects with regional businesses and economic development organizations.