Rutgers–Camden Alumnus the First to Chair University Board of Governors

Sandy J. Stewart CCAS’81, GSC’87 By Patrick Monaghan

Shortly after retiring from a successful career in the biotechnology industry, Rutgers University–Camden alumnus Sandy J. Stewart CCAS’81, GSC’87 decided it was time to give back—even if in a small way.

He wanted to serve Rutgers, so, in 2002, he asked to join the Rutgers University–Camden Alumni Association. “I did that and next thing I knew I was on the Dean’s [Leadership] Council, and next thing I knew I was on the Board of Trustees,” he said. “It just kind of kept rolling.”

His service to Rutgers has rolled all the way up to the universitywide Board of Governors, to which Stewart became the first Rutgers–Camden alumnus to be elected chair. His one-year term, for which he can be re-elected up to three times, began on July 1, 2017.

In the coming year, Stewart sees Rutgers solidifying Rutgers Health as one of the premier health-care delivery networks in the nation; initializing a successful partnership with the recently announced RWJBarnabas Health collaboration; and making strides to build Rutgers into one of the top academic research facilities in the nation. “That,” Stewart says, “is the goal.”

Stewart credits Rutgers–Camden— where he spent countless hours toiling in the Science Building—for an education that prepared him for his first biotech job at Ciba-Geigy/Novartis. At the time, Stewart said, as many as half the scientists hired by the company were international. It was an intimidating environment, but he was able to compete with some of the world’s best scientists “because I received such a tremendous education at Rutgers–Camden.”

Stewart went on to found or co-found several biotechnology companies, including Paradigm Genetics (now Cogenics Icoria Inc.) and Immunovation. These companies spanned functional genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics into drug development.

Formerly of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Stewart now lives in New Hill, North Carolina. In addition to chairing the Board of Governors, he also is a member of the Rutgers University– Camden Board of Directors.

“Camden is a jewel,” he said. “There’s a soft spot in my heart for Camden because, as someone who went to high school in Virginia, I chose to be there. Camden became home for me and still feels like home.”

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