Rider University Announces 2022 Honorary Degree Recipients and Junior Lecturers

Rider University officials have announced the college’s 2022 honorary degree recipients, along with the keynote speaker.

Paul Muller, entrepreneur will be honored at Rider University’s undergraduate drills at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton on May 14, beginning at 2 p.m.

He will receive an honorary doctorate in business.

Muller owns the Toyota team of Langhorne, Princeton and Glen Mills, and is president of the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association. He opened his first dealership in Lawrenceville in 1983 and has bought, opened and sold nine other dealerships since then, according to information provided by Rider.

In 2017 and 2018, Muller served as the first vice president of the Philly Ad Club Education Foundation, supporting educational efforts that include a scholarship program, a college-focused teen program, a mentorship program for young professionals, and students, and a college and university professional development program, according to the release.

Muller is a philanthropist and active in his community. Its Team Toyota dealerships offer a Hero Recognition Program that offers special vehicle awards to police, firefighters, ambulance attendants, paramedics, military and healthcare professionals. Additionally, through the program, Muller’s Toyota team supports the Police and Fire and Widows Fund and the Bucks County Tour of Honor organization, according to the release.

A veteran who served three years in the U.S. military, including a year in Vietnam, Muller supports active military and veterans through local partnerships with the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association, according to the release. Team Toyota is also a longtime partner of Philabundance, collecting and distributing hundreds of thousands of pounds of food in the Philadelphia area each year during the holiday season.

Muller studied political science at Rider University, leaving after his freshman year for his tour in the military before re-enrolling at Rider.

He has remained connected to Rider, supporting Rider Athletics and sponsoring the annual Rider’s Cruisin’ from Commencement Competition through Team Toyota of Princeton, according to the release.

His wife and four sons are all Rider alumni.

New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli will be honored at Rider University’s graduation drills May 12 at Rider University’s Alumni Gymnasium, beginning at 6 p.m.

She will receive an honorary doctorate in human letters.

Persichilli has served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health since 2019. She led, alongside Governor Phil Murphy, the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Health under his leadership strives to protect and improve the health of New Jersey residents, reduce health disparities, improve maternal health, combat the overdose epidemic and to increase access to health care, the statement said.

Prior to heading the department, Persichilli served as interim CEO of Newark University Hospital, chairman emeritus and chairman of CHE Trinity Health, chairman and CEO of Catholic Health East, and CEO of St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, according to the release. . .

She was also Rider Trustee from 1999 to 2008.

She was inducted into the New Jersey State Nurses Association Hall of Honor in 2006. She received the 2008 Richard J. Hughes Humanitarian Award, the KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Award, the Edward J. III Excellence in Medicine Award for Outstanding Medical Executive, The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Healthcare Innovation Lifetime Achievement Award and the Benemerenti Medal, a papal honor bestowed upon him by Pope Benedict XVI, according to the statement. She has also been named to NJBIZ’s “50 Most Influential People in Healthcare in New Jersey” list and Becker’s Hospital Review’s “300 Hospital and Healthcare System Leaders You Should Know” list.

In 2021, the New Jersey Department of Health Building in Trenton was renamed the Judith M. Persichilli Building following the passage of enabling legislation in the Assembly and Senate. Murphy signed it last November to honor Persichilli’s continued service to the people of New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Persichilli earned her nursing degree from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, a bachelor of science in nursing summa cum laude from Rutgers University and a master of arts in administration summa cum laude from Rider University, according to the press release.

Anne Meier Baker, director of music and opera at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will address the Westminster Choir College classes of 2022 and 2020 at the commencement ceremony on May 13 at the University of Princeton, starting at 4 p.m.

Baker was appointed Director of Music and Opera at the NEA in January 2015. She oversees NEA grantmaking in music and opera, including millions of dollars a year in grants for organizations in urban, suburban and rural communities across the United States, according to the statement. She is also responsible for the NEA Jazz Masters scholarship program, the nation’s highest honor in the field of jazz, which includes the presentation of renowned artists at annual Jazz Masters concerts and other celebratory events in collaboration with partners from foreground.

Baker is the co-leader of the agency’s role in the Sound Health Coalition, along with the National Institutes of Health, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Renée Fleming to explore the intersections between music and the brain.

She also led the NEA’s Creativity Connects grant program for projects that connect arts organizations with non-arts entities so they can use the arts and creativity to forge new approaches to help address a wide variety of challenges. societal challenges, according to the release.

Previously, Baker served as President and CEO of Chorus America, where she led the national membership association of more than 2,000 professional, volunteer, symphonic and children’s/youth choirs. She has also held leadership positions with the League of American Orchestras and the National Association for Music Education.

A lifelong choir singer, she began her career as a public school music teacher before becoming a professional singer with the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants, according to the statement.

Earnest L. Veasey