William Paterson University and City of Paterson Announce Launch of Propel Paterson Revitalization Initiative


President Richard Helldobler (center) with Mayor Andre Sayegh (right)
and Professor Vincent Parrillo (left)

William Paterson University and the City of Paterson have announced the launch of Propel Paterson, a new partnership designed to support Paterson’s revitalization through learning, research, and action.

The University and the city will work collaboratively to transform faculty research into opportunities for economic and workforce development, educational growth and community action.

“Propel Paterson is an exciting new chapter in the shared history of William Paterson University and the city of Paterson,” says Richard J. Helldobler, president of William Paterson University. “We believe that synergies between University expertise in our full range of disciplines and innovative ideas in Paterson can help to fuel the city’s revitalization while increasing our research profile.”

“This type of in-depth, cross-collaborative partnership is long overdue,” says Andre Sayegh, mayor of Paterson. “Paterson has plenty of potential and William Paterson University will help harness it.”

The Propel Paterson initiative will kick off with an action-oriented conference on Friday, February 15 at the University that will include city leaders, University faculty and administrators, state legislators, and economic redevelopment experts. The conference will lead to development of a blueprint for sponsored faculty research and community redevelopment projects. Propel Paterson will examine opportunities in healthcare, education, business, social services, and arts, culture and tourism.

William Paterson University and the city of Paterson share a long history dating to the University’s founding in 1855 as the Paterson City Normal School to train teachers for the emerging free public schools of Paterson. Since then, and continuing through William Paterson’s move from Paterson to Wayne in 1951, the University has continued to partner with Paterson on a wide variety of initiatives ranging from deep involvement with the Paterson Public Schools and the support for business through the University’s Small Business Development Center in downtown Paterson to the institution’s partnership with the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and the involvement of faculty, students and staff in civic engagement projects with a wide variety of Paterson organizations.

01/23/19