Anybody want to buy a music school?
Rider University has reversed course on the fate of Westminster Choir College and is now looking to sell the music school along with its Walnut Lane campus. The private college earlier aroused protest among students, alumni, and faculty when president Gregory G. Dell’Omo said in December that the Choir College campus in Princeton would possibly be closed and classes moved to Rider’s main Lawrenceville campus.
As Rider’s board members met to discuss plans for the college on March 28, a crowd of protesters organized by the “Save Westminster College” campaign gathered, sometimes standing in silence, sometimes singing in harmony.
That afternoon, Rider announced it was seeking a buyer for the school and its 23-acre campus, either to operate the 430-student school where it is or move it to a new location. The school has hired Price Waterhouse to help with the search.
“After commissioning a months-long study that incorporated community input and concerns,” the school wrote in a statement, “the Rider University Board of Trustees today announced a decision on the future of Westminster Choir College.” The Rider board concluded that the strategic goals of the university would not be achieved either by keeping Westminster at its current location in Princeton or by consolidating Westminster onto the Lawrenceville campus. Updated information on the selling process will be posted at www.rider.edu/thepathforward.
Rider says it is facing budget pressure and declining enrollment, and that relocating Westminster would have been a cost-saving measure. Westminster, founded in 1920 in Dayton, Ohio, was independent until it merged with Rider in 1992.
Westminster Choir College of Rider University, 101 Walnut Lane, Princeton 08540. 609-921-7100. www.rider.edu/wcc.