Thomas J. Lynch and Joseph Adler outside the newly named Lynch Adler Hall.

Rider University hosted a building dedication ceremony on October 17 to rename a 21,000-square-foot academic building. The ceremony included a surprise: The building was not only named after the donor of a $5.5 million gift, Thomas J. Lynch, but also after Lynch’s friend and fellow Rider alumnus, Joseph Adler.

The $5.5 million gift was one of the largest individual gifts ever received by Rider. As part of the multimillion-dollar pledge, North Hall was renamed Lynch Adler Hall.

“There are so many moments in my life that I attribute to Joe Adler,” Lynch says. “It seemed natural that if I was going to do something like this, he had to be a part of it. None of this would have happened without him.”

Lynch and Adler have been friends since their grade school days. When it came time to decide upon a college to attend, Lynch followed in his friend’s footsteps.

“Coming to Rider wasn’t a very strategic decision on my part,” Lynch says. “When my best friend, Joe Adler, decided to go to Rider, it sounded good to me so I decided to go to Rider.”

Lynch credits much of his success to his Rider education and his time as an undergraduate student.

“This potential that I had no idea that I had was discovered here and cultivated here,” he says. “I never would have predicted that 30 years later, I would be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. There’s no question about it. The deep education I got at Rider was integral to that.”

Lynch earned a bachelor’s in commerce with a major in accounting from Rider. He is currently serving his second term on Rider’s board. He is also currently the executive chairman of the board of TE Connectivity, a former Tyco division, a company that makes sensors and connectors that has $12 billion in sales. He served as the company’s CEO from 2006 to 2017. Before TE Connectivity, he was president of Tyco Engineered Products & Services and executive vice president of Motorola.

Adler earned a bachelor’s in commerce with a major in accounting and an MBA from Rider in 1990. Adler worked for more than 30 years in the food industry. He recently retired from Pinnacle Foods, which manufactures and markets branded food products such as Birds Eye vegetables and Duncan Hines baking mixes, as a vice president and controller. For many years Adler taught as an adjunct professor in Rider’s College of Business Administration.

Lynch Adler Hall features nine classrooms, two seminar rooms, 16 faculty and departmental offices, and a multipurpose conference room, completed in 2011.

Rider University, 2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-896-5000. Gregory Dell’Omo, president.

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