Shreiber’s gift will establish an endowment to create a self-sustaining program bringing certified therapy dogs to Rowan’s Glassboro campus.
“It is a pleasure for me to give back to the community,” Shreiber said. “I can think of nothing better than [the experience of] our young students striving for education, complemented by therapy dogs.”
Rowan said it is committed to providing an environment where all students can thrive, and research has demonstrated that positive human-animal interactions improve the physical, emotional and psychological experiences of college students.
“This gift will ensure our continued ability to deliver resources to enhance the health and well-being of our students and the entire Rowan community,” Rowan President Ali Houshmand said. “The social, emotional and physical well-being of our student body is always at the forefront of what we do.”
Over the past three years, Rowan’s Wellness Center offered “Paws for a Break,” a program that enables students to interact with certified therapy dogs, and it has become a popular and well-attended outreach effort.
The Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program will complement treatment by Rowan health care facilitators by supporting students and helping to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression through targeted events, initiatives and services.
Rowan will hire a full-time coordinator to oversee program logistics, including managing volunteer handlers and dogs through certified therapy dog organizations, coordinating schedules for animal visits and creating a required training program for program volunteers.
Rowan will create an office for staff and a resting place for the certified therapy dogs while they are on campus, as well as a permanent fenced outdoor space that is dog-friendly. The program is scheduled to begin in Fall 2019.